Orange County Executive Diana Responds to Court AdministrationJun 29th, 2012 | By HV Insider | Category: Lead Article
In response to the June 6 letter from Office of Court Administration representative Ronald Younkins, Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana sent a letter this week to the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge, New York State Unified Court System, Office of Court Administration.
County Executive Diana expressed grave concern that Mr. Younkins was threatening the County with sanctions for failing to provide adequate court facilities and was dismayed that the Office of Court Administration representative was using the local media to force negotiations and strong-arm the County.
“We relocated the entire family law division of our County Attorney’s office to accommodate the New York State judges and staff. Renovating additional space for them following the closure of the Government Center took precedence over other relocation projects in order to keep disruption to the courts minimal. The space was completed and turned over to the Office of Court Administration on January 31, 2012,” said County Executive Diana. “I was shocked to receive Mr. Younkins’ letter some five months later stating that the space was inadequate. Even more so to find the contents of the letter on the cover of a local newspaper less than 24 hours after I’d received it.”
In his letter to Judge Prudenti, the County Executive clarified confusion about the County’s on-going negotiations with FEMA, the current state of the Government Center, and the six alternative locations that were offered to the Courts. Mr. Diana invited Judge Prudenti to meet with the County so that they could move forward to meet the needs of the Office of Court Administration in a mutually agreeable manner.
“We have no desire to be sanctioned by the courts or engage in costly litigation over sanctions. I believe these issues can be amicably resolved with a court representative who is willing to work collaboratively. It is my hope that we can agree on a realistic timeline and project plan that will meet the courts’ requirements for space and recognizes the realities of a public works project,” added County Executive Diana.