DiFiore: “I would be privileged to serve”

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DiFiore Portrait

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said she’s honored to be among seven candidates to be New York’s next chief judge.

As expected, DiFiore made the cut from 33 candidates who applied for the powerful post. The seat will be open at year’s end because Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has reached the retirement age of 70.

“It is an honor to be one of the seven nominees for the position of Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York and to be included among such a group of distinguished colleagues,” DiFiore said in a statement.

DiFiore, 60, is an ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who will make the selection between Nov. 15 and Dec. 1. Then it would be up to the state Senate to confirm the nominee.

Cuomo appointed DiFiore to serve as the first chairwoman of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics. It was a rocky tenure on a commission that has been maligned for failing to crack down on corruption in Albany.

She served in the volunteer post from 2011 to 2013, resigning as she sought re-election.

A former Republican turned Democrat, DiFiore is in her third term as district attorney.

The chief judge post comes with a 14-year term, but DiFiore would be able to complete 10 years of it before she reached the retirement age.

Cuomo would also have to appoint her successor as district attorney if she’s picked.

DiFiore earns $167,000 as district attorney. The chief judge earns $198,600.

“I am grateful to the Commission on Judicial Nomination for its nomination and for recognizing my experience, qualifications, and fitness to become Chief Judge,” DiFiore’s statement continues.

“If appointed by Governor Cuomo and confirmed by the New York State Senate, I would be privileged to serve as Chief Judge and would fulfill the duties of that office to the best of my ability.”

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