ALBANY — New York State on Monday formally suspended a Suffolk County judge who was arrested last week after allegedly burglarizing a neighbor’s home and stealing women’s underwear.
New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore signed a decision ordering District Court Judge Robert L. Cicale suspended with pay, effective immediately. Cicale was placed on temporary leave last week after his arrest. Suspension was the next formal step while Cicale’s case moves forward.
“This court was notified of a complaint charging you with committing a felony crime in New York State,” the Court of Appeals wrote Cicale, who has until April 12 to respond, a court spokesman said.
Cicale, 49, was arrested and charged with burglary Thursday after police said he broke into a neighbor’s home in East Islip. He ran away when he realized someone was home, but was apprehended a short while later when a patrol officer saw him knocking on another neighbor’s door, police said. He possessed female underwear taken from the first home when he was arrested, authorities said.
In a later court hearing, prosecutors said Cicale wrote out a confession. According to a court complaint, Cicale told authorities: “I went into the house to take the panties again but left when I heard someone home. The panties I had on me are from the other times I went into the house.”
Cicale was released on bail Friday. He had been elected to the judgeship in 2015 on the Republican line and had served previously as town attorney in Islip.
Cicale’s attorney didn’t comment Monday.