New York Judge Jenny Rivera could be booted for denying COVID-Vax

One of New York State’s top judges could get the boot for not getting the shot.

Jenny Rivera, an associate judge at the Court of Appeals, is one of four lawyers who could be referred to the Commission on Judicial Conduct for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We made it clear from the outset that any judge who is and continues to be non-compliant will be referred to the Judicial Conduct Commission for a decision,” said Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the State Office of Court Administration, in an email on Wednesday.

The Commission can investigate complaints and, depending on the findings, impose sanctions up to and including removal from the bank.

Proceedings for the Commission are confidential until the case is closed.

“If the commission finds that disciplinary action is warranted, it may make a public decision to admonish or censure the judge, remove the judge from office, or retire the judge for disability,” reads its site. “The Commission may also issue a confidential letter of resignation and warning to a judge if it determines that the circumstances warrant it.”

Rivera, one of seven justices on the state’s highest court, has been forced to work remotely since October.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (left) presents Jenny Rivera with a gavel during a news conference.
Rivera, who is married to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013, has been working remotely since October.
AP/Mike Groll

“All four judges who failed to comply with the vaccination mandate, two in New York City and two outside of New York City, remain so and remain prohibited from entering courthouses and are required to work from home,” Chalfen said.

When asked if Rivera was complying, he replied, “She’s been working remotely since October.”

ex-reg. Andrew Cuomo appointed Rivera to a 14-year term in 2013.

A spokesman for the appeals court declined to comment.

Court of Appeals nominee Jenny Rivera arrives at court for Chief Judiciary Jonathan Lippman's State of Justice speech.
The Court of Appeal told court officials two weeks ago that they needed to be vaccinated.
AP/Mike Groll

Some 156 court employees were notified two weeks ago that they could be fired if they don’t get vaccinated. Of those, 103 termination letters will be sent out on Thursday, Chalfen said. One employee chose to quit and 11 notified the State Comptroller’s Office that they were retiring.

The remaining 41 employees opted for the vaccine, Chalfen said.

The court system’s vaccination mandate went into effect last year. New York Judge Jenny Rivera could be booted for denying COVID-Vax


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