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Suffolk judge resigns after burglary conviction

Former Suffolk County District Court Judge Robert Cicale

Former Suffolk County District Court Judge Robert Cicale is escorted out of Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip in 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

ALBANY — After being convicted on burglary charges, a Suffolk County District Court judge has resigned and agreed never to seek a judicial office again, a state commission announced Friday.

The action formally clears the way for Robert Cicale to be replaced, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct said. 

Cicale, 51, had served as district judge since being elected in 2015 and previously had served as Islip town attorney. In 2018, he was arrested for breaking in an East Islip woman’s home and stealing her underwear from a hamper.

He pleaded guilty in September 2019 to second-degree attempted burglary, a felony, and was sentenced to probation.

However, he had retained his judgeship, as his elected term didn’t expire until Dec. 31. The commission initially suspended him without pay pending further discipline. And in February, it began proceedings to remove him from the bench. Cicale’s resignation closed this chapter of the case, officials said.

“The public cannot respect and the electorate cannot replace a judge who pleads guilty to a felony but holds on to office, despite being suspended without pay,” Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the commission, said in a statement. “Therefore, the Commission acted to rectify this regrettable situation.”

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