The Ithaca Voice is publishing in full Ithaca City Court Judge Seth Peacock’s response to news that he was reprimanded for botched court appearances.
Peacock wrote the following in an email, and it is reproduced without alteration:
“These allegations by Atty. Bill Furniss who is officemates with candidate Kristine Shaw —on the eve of the election— were designed to cause the most embarrassment to me, and it worked—I am embarrassed.
I was one on the most requested assigned counsel attorneys and I had a very large assigned counsel caseload. I was one of the main attorneys that the assigned counsel program looked to when they needed an experienced attorney for a high profile felony case like the attempted murder case I was appointed to just months before becoming judge.
As a solo attorney with no support staff I tried my best to mange an often hectic caseload. I was in very high demand and sometimes struggled to meet all of my obligations. I handled cases from Syracuse to Elmira and the 20 local courts in our immediate area. I was stretched very thin with my obligations as a school board member, and parent of three. I took my obligation as an attorney seriously and but sometimes failed meet those obligations fully. At times I underestimated the amount of time an appearance would take, other times I found myself double booked and sometimes I just made calendaring error.
I can assure you as Ithaca City Court Judge my past issues will not be a problem. I now have a full support staff and need only appear on one location. As judge I will be sensitive to the time pressures imposed upon attorneys who, like me, are often called upon to be in multiple courts at similar times throughout the County. In this regard, litigants and lawyers appearing before me can be assured that I will uphold the impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary, tempered by the lessons of my own experience.