BY JOEL GROSSBARTH
Judge Alan Simon has been removed as a judge by the New York Court of Appeals.
Simon has been a judge in the Town of Ramapo since 2011, Village of Spring Valley since 2005 and acting judge in the Village of Hillburn since 2016. The Court of Appeals confirmed the decision issued earlier this year by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeals noted that Simon conceded his misconduct but claimed that removal from office was too harsh of a penalty. The court found that the misconduct that Simon conceded included unnecessarily sanctioning legal services organizations, bullying and intimidating litigants and attorneys, ethnic smearing and name-calling and repeatedly displaying poor temperament.
The court also found that Simon engaged in a physical altercation with a student worker and repeatedly threatened to hold village officials and employees in contempt without cause or due process. The totality of these actions by a judge reached a level that the Court noted was “truly egregious circumstances” that required the severe sanction of removal.
Simon earlier appealed the decision from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and has been receiving his salary from all three municipalities while the appeal was pending.
Simon is no stranger to controversy. He previously served as a planning and zoning coordinator for the Town of Ramapo and was involved in many disputes with town officials and applicants. Allegations of improper conduct were levied against Simon during his tenure with the Town of Ramapo.
The Ramapo Town Board may appoint someone to fill the vacancy left by Simon’s removal or may leave the position vacant until a special election can be held. The Mayors of Spring Valley and Hillburn have the same options as to whether to fill the vacancies.