A town justice in Genesee County accused earlier this year of obstructing a state comptroller’s audit into court financial records has resigned.
Pembroke Town Justice Robert E. Alexander submitted his resignation to the Town Board as part of an agreement with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which had charged him in September with judicial misconduct related to his accounting of Corfu Village Court funds and his supervision of Corfu’s court clerk, Brandi A. Watts, from 2009 to 2011.
The resignation is effective Nov. 15. His suspension with pay, which began in July, will continue until then, so he will not preside in court again.
The resignation wraps up the commission’s investigation into Alexander’s alleged ethical misconduct. The judge still faces criminal charges in the case.
Alexander was justice of Corfu Village Court from 1989 until April 1 of this year. He has been a Pembroke town justice since 2006.
Watts, who is Alexander’s daughter, was charged with grand larceny, tampering with public records and falsifying time sheets to be paid for more hours than she worked, after a state audit revealed that $10,000 was missing from Village Court.
The state commission filed its three charges in a formal complaint Sept. 12, alleging that Alexander failed to supervise Watts properly, which resulted in missing court funds; failed to provide receipts for monies received in more than 370 traffic cases; and failed to report cases and hand over funds to the State Comptroller’s Office in a timely manner.
He also was charged with routinely granting reductions in traffic cases to steer more fine revenues to Village Court in Corfu, rather than the state treasury, and with failing to get approval from the chief administrator of the court system, as required by law, prior to hiring his daughter as village court clerk in 2008.
“The charges were serious and taken very seriously by the commission,” said administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian. “The circumstances that the commission found were of great concern.”
Alexander denied any misconduct, but he agreed not to contest the charges, Tembeckjian said. He also agreed not to seek or accept any judicial office in the future.
State Police arrested Alexander and Watts in July.
Alexander, who is charged criminally with two counts of second-degree coercion and one count of official misconduct, has a hearing in Genesee County Court on Nov. 18. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors.
Wyoming County District Attorney Donald G. O’Geen was appointed as special prosecutor in the case.