One Suffolk judge sentenced another judge's daughter Friday to drug treatment in prison for giving a marijuana-laced brownie to her 4-year-old son.
Sydney Marquez, 29, of Port Jefferson, the daughter of Suffolk County Court Judge Jeffrey Arlen Spinner, was sentenced to 4 years and must go to the Willard Drug Treatment Campus upstate. If she successfully completes the intensive program, she can leave prison in less than 6 months and serve the rest of her time on parole.
Spinner was present in state Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen's courtroom. Marquez did not acknowledge her father. Spinner declined to comment after the sentencing.
Marquez pleaded guilty in July to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and other charges. She lived with her father, who had custody of the boy.
As a result of the arrest, Child Protective Services removed the boy from Spinner's custody and he was reassigned from Family Court, where he ruled on child custody and related issues.
At the time, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Administrative Judge C. Randall Hinrichs said that Spinner was moved because “we wanted the avoid the appearance of impropriety,” given that Child Protective Services brought a neglect proceeding after the incident and frequently is party in Family Court cases. Spinner's term expires at the end of this year.
The Suffolk district attorney's office, which publicized Marquez's arrest on April 20, opposed the sentence imposed by state Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen. Assistant District Attorney Emma Pearce urged Cohen to give Marquez 5 years in prison. Police and prosecutors has said she was selling various drugs on Facebook.
Marquez's attorney, Robert Macedonio of Islip Terrace, said she has taken responsibility for her actions and "hopes to regain control of her life and regain custody of her son." The boy now lives with Spinner's estranged wife in Rochester, Macedonio said later.
"I just want to thank you for giving me the chance to go to the program, and I hope to get a lot of out it," Marquez said to Cohen.
Cohen replied that the best way to thank him was to turn her life around and be a productive citizen.
"You have made a decision that this is not how you want to live your life," Cohen said, urging her to stay out of trouble. "Most respectfully, don't come back here."
Macedonio said Marquez is doing better now. "She's looking forward to getting the help she needs," he said.