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Nassau’s supervising judge stepping down, court officials say

Recently re-elected Nassau County Court Judge Christopher

Recently re-elected Nassau County Court Judge Christopher Quinn is stepping down as the court's supervisory judge, according to a letter he sent to New York's Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Credit: James Escher

Recently re-elected Nassau County Court Judge Christopher Quinn is stepping down as the court’s supervisory judge, court officials said Thursday.

Quinn, who began the supervisory role in 2013, made his intentions known in a letter to New York’s Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, records show.

“As you may know I have served as supervising judge for a number of years, and after winning a hard fought re-election, I believe it is in the best interest of the court to return to serving the people of Nassau County as a trial judge,” Quinn, 62, wrote in the letter.

Sources said Quinn offered his resignation after getting a request to do so from a high-ranking state court official.

Quinn provided a copy of his resignation letter Thursday, but declined to comment further.

State court system spokesman Lucian Chalfen released a statement Thursday saying Quinn had indicated he had “chosen to step down” . . . “to focus fully” on his role as a judge in the county’s criminal court. Chalfen’s statement didn’t address a question about whether Quinn was asked to resign and if so, the reason for any such request.

The court administration will make an announcement when a new supervisory judge has been picked, Chalfen said.

Quinn, a Republican from Wantagh, has been a county court judge and acting state Supreme Court justice since 2008. He served as a Nassau district court judge from 1998 to 2007.

In his letter, Quinn referenced DiFiore’s “Excellence Initiative” — an effort involving evaluating current court processes and procedures to see what needs improvement. Quinn said he enjoyed the challenge of the initiative and hoped he was “able to have a positive impact in the delivery of justice to the litigants.”

Nassau County Administrative Judge Thomas Adams said Thursday in a statement that the county’s court system is “indebted to Judge Quinn for his outstanding leadership, innovation and service as supervising judge.”

Adams added that Quinn “has tirelessly navigated the Nassau County Court through unprecedented staffing and budgetary constraints. As a result of his guidance and leadership, he has created an environment of transparency and fairness for all litigants, attorneys and residents of Nassau County.”

Michael Elbert, president of the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County, called Quinn a “very effective” and “very fair” supervisory judge, adding: “I hate to see him go.”

In a statement, Brendan Brosh, a spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said: “We thank Judge Quinn for his service as supervising judge.”

Before his time on the bench, Quinn was the deputy attorney general who headed the criminal division of the state attorney general’s office. He got his law degree in 1980 from Albany Law School of Union University.

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