Sullivan judge candidates hurl charges at each other

Posted 10/29/19

A mailer that arrived in Sullivan mail boxes on October 29 sparked a battle of press releases between the campaigns of Cynthia Dolan and Jim Farrell. Democrat Dolan and Republican Farrell are …

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Sullivan judge candidates hurl charges at each other


A mailer that arrived in Sullivan mail boxes on October 29 sparked a battle of press releases between the campaigns of Cynthia Dolan and Jim Farrell. Democrat Dolan and Republican Farrell are competing to become the next Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge, to fill Frank LaBuda's seat who is retiring.

The mailer calls Dolan a "Westchester Liberal Elitist" and makes other accusations against her. In a prepared statement, her campaign said the mailer oversteps the bounds of what the state allows in a judicial race.   Farrell responded with a statement of his own.

The entirety of both statements are posted below.

From the Dolan campaign:

"An illegal and offensive political mailer has been sent to Sullivan County voters attacking Judge Cynthia Dolan.

"The mailer is a collection of outright lies and campaign talking points her opponent has been using throughout the campaign.

"Judge Dolan has never attempted to 'discredit' Farrell and has only EVER mentioned him in response to direct attacks Farrell has made in violation of judicial campaign ethics.

"By contrast, Judge Dolan’s vastly wider legal experience in state and federal courts and her judicial experience is being denigrated by her opponent because she has never “tried a case” in the court she and her opponent are running for.

"The DA is using this false argument to obscure the numerous and profound conflicts of interest he would he have if he were to win and his clear lack of experience in civil, surrogate and appellate practice if he were to become the judge.

"Cynthia Dolan is a judge in the Town of Mamakating now serving her second term. She is certainly not a Westchester “liberal elitist,” and is not a Socialist and is not soft on crime as the Farrell mailer so wrongly implies.

"We demand that Farrell take responsibility for the mailer and its’ contents and apologize for his denigrating and misogynist comments during the campaign to date. Specifically we are demanding an apology for his comment of October 22 at the Rock Hill candidate forum where he told the audience 'when you have heart problems, you call heart surgeon, NOT A GYNOCOLOGIST.'

"Jim Farrell knows how to issue a press release, his failure to immediately publicly disavow this unfounded mailing tells you all you need to know."

Farrell responded with this statement:

"The mailing sent out today was sent out by my campaign and with my approval.  Since the beginning of the race for County Court Judge, I have been silent about repeated attacks from my opponent and her election campaign team, and they have launched spurious allegations against me, including false claims that violent crime is up, and an allegation that the criminal justice system in Sullivan County is not working, is broken and needs to be changed. This was a direct attack on me as an integral part of the criminal justice system.  I cannot be silent any longer. The truth about the record of fairness, dedication to public service and public safety that I, together with the members of my Office and our partners in law enforcement, have demonstrated over my tenure as Sullivan County District Attorney must be heard. 

"My opponent has circulated t-shirts proclaiming that she is 'unbiased' and 'unbought,' implying that I am 'biased' and/or 'bought.' I am neither. In fact, I’ve spent my career working for the people of Sullivan County, rather than in the private sector, and I have not demonstrated any bias, prejudice or favor during my 24 years of criminal law practice.

"My opponent endorsed, via public statement, a “hit piece” editorial, written by local blogger, which, again, falsely attacked my record of service; despite its patent falsities, my opponent described the piece as 'well-researched' and encouraged other people to read it. The piece echoed a suggestion and/or claim circulated by my opponent and her team, that I have created a 'two-tiered' criminal justice system in this County; this is another blatant falsity. I determine the appropriate handling of all criminal cases in Sullivan County based upon the facts and the law, together with my staff of ADAs, which includes more women attorneys than any Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office ever has.

"When I recently answered a question about the ongoing investigation into a fatal crash on Glen Wild Road, stating that I cannot have any public comment until that investigation is complete, my opponent’s campaign aide publicly responded, 'Dodge-Ball.' I will not compromise the integrity of a confidential investigation for political gain.   Judge Dolan knows that the District Attorney cannot publicly comment about an ongoing investigation, yet remains silent when her own team attacks the District Attorney for doing just that. Judge Dolan knows that the District Attorney must speak out in favor of public safety, including by taking a strong stance against the impending implementation of legislation which drastically reduces the amount of crimes for which bail may be set and compels disclosure of information with respect to victims of crime at a very early stage in criminal proceedings, yet she remains silent when her supporters and an editorial she specifically endorses attack the District Attorney for doing just that.

"I cannot remain silent any longer.

"FACT: Cynthia Dolan has never tried a criminal case in Sullivan County Court and has appeared before that Court just once on an appeal of a justice court DEC ticket.  

"FACT: Cynthia Dolan claims, by her own literature, to be a 'Professional Not A Politician,' again, through innuendo, attempting to discredit me, yet has taken weeks off from presiding over the Town of Mamakating Justice Court to campaign for County Court Judge.

"FACT: Cynthia Dolan first registered to vote in Sullivan County in 2012; she moved here from Westchester County, where she lived for many years. She did not graduate from a Sullivan County high school and is not a lifelong resident of Sullivan County, as she has previously claimed in speeches.  Cynthia Dolan endorses Restorative Justice, a program rooted in Socialism, which requires that a crime victim engage in a form of counseling session with the very defendant who offended against them in order to attempt to avoid incarceration, and is running on the far-left liberal Working Families line.

"FACT: Cynthia Dolan has embraced the endorsement of the Libertarian party, whose platform supports the wholesale legalization of all drugs, including heroin and opiates.

"I have not publicly responded to the false and malicious claims against me over the last several months, but enough is enough.  Sullivan County voters deserve the facts. "


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