Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has appointed a new city court judge.
Melissa Barrett will fill the spot left vacant after Leticia Astacio was removed from the bench in October by the New York State Court of Appeals.
Barrett currently serves as principal court attorney for Rochester City Court. She has also been an assistant public defender for Monroe County and an Assistant District Counsel for the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Warren selected Barrett after she was recommended by the city’s Judicial Screening Committee.
Warren said in a statement that City Court, “…is the court with jurisdiction closest to our citizens and Melissa Barrett has the right experience and temperament to ensure that justice is served for all of our citizens, residents and visitors who are touched by this important court. I know Judge Barrett will serve in her new role as a judge at the highest caliber and with the highest regard for both the law and the citizens it protects.”
Barrett said that “Having worked in City Court as both principal court attorney and as a defense lawyer, I know just how important this Court is to the citizens it serves. Ensuring that all citizens in every instance have a voice in City Court and that justice is fairly and equally balanced between defense and prosecution, as well as between victims and defendants, will now be my solemn duty and I am committed to upholding that balance."
Under the City Charter and New York State law, the Mayor of Rochester has the power to appoint a new city court judge when there is a vacancy.