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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Village Attorney Linked to Controversial Judge

By Cindy Goldstein -

Opposition is mounting to stop the endorsement of NY Supreme Court Judge Charles Wood to run as a Democrat in November. Wood, first elected to a 14 year term in 2009 as a Republican, switched parties in 2019 to Democrat. As Westchester County continues to trend Democratic, Wood isn’t the first elected official to switch from Republican to Democrat.

Project Veritas Decision

Wood is taking heat for his controversial ruling in favor of Project Veritas against The New York Times (NYT) that blocked the NYT from publishing documents they obtained in the course of their reporting. Many journalists (and others) found the decision to be an egregious violation of the First Amendment. Wood’s decision was appealed, and the Appellate Court put enforcement on hold pending a formal appeal from the NYT.

Intersection with the Village Attorney

As previously reported in The Mamaroneck Observer See HERE, Mamaroneck Village Attorney, Robert Spolzino, is a lawyer for Project Veritas. Recently, a report from the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion (WCLA) identified numerous intersections between Judge Wood and Spolzino. Some argue that the consistent overlap in their careers constitutes an “appearance of impropriety” that would have required Judge Wood to recuse himself on this case where Spolzino represents Project Veritas.

Appearance of Impropriety

Attorneys must avoid even the “appearance of impropriety.” Evidently Wood worked for Spolzino’s law firm from 1994-2005. His wife worked for Spolzino when he was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division from 2004-2009. Spolzino and Wood also worked (at different times) for former NYS Republican Senator Nick Spano. (Like many other former Republicans, Nick Spano switched from Republican to Democrat.)

In 2004, Spolzino was an Appellate Court judge and ruled in favor of Spano with Wood on Spano’s legal team. The case involved a vote counting challenge against Andrea Stewart-Cousins for a State Senate seat.

Role Reversal

The tables turned when Judge Wood (elected to the Supreme Court in 2009) presided and ruled in favor of Project Veritas where Spolzino was their lawyer.

Where will all this end? We’ll have to see if the grassroots effort to dump Wood from the Democratic ballot will succeed.

Note: The Mamaroneck Observer has not independently confirmed reports from WCLA and others.


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