Assembly Candidate ‘Judge’ Morinello pledges Reform, Integrity

Hon. Angelo J. Morinello

Hon. Angelo J. Morinello

In this year’s Assembly race, retired City Court Judge Angelo Morinello is challenging incumbent Assemblyman John Ceretto.

We spoke with Judge Morinello on the phone yesterday to find out some of his policy positions.

Judge Morinello stated that the primary reason he wanted to be elected to the 145th district Assembly seat and represent the people of Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Grand Island and parts of North Tonawanda, is to reform Albany.

“They talk a good game, but have little follow-through,” he said, “They are not working in the interests of the people.”

“Judge Morinello is ready to address the culture of corruption that is Albany and understands the need for change. Throughout his legal and judicial career, he has been guided by the strictest ethical standards and is ready to question the lack of structured standards in the legislature,” according to his web site.

The retired judge articulated three priorities he would pursue in formulating public policy as a state legislator.

First was term limits. Judge Morinello indicated that he would self-term limit himself to six years (three terms) since he retired six years before the mandatory New York State retirement for judges, and he feels that “he owes that time in public service, and has great respect for the people and the voters who have supported him.”

Second was the controversial pay raise that Albany legislators voted themselves recently.

“The (pay raise) Commission was simply cover for what they were going to do anyway,” he said, vowing that, should a pay raise come his way, he will donate it to charity.

Third was to sponsor legislation stripping convicted felons, of whom there have been many lately at the statehouse it seems, of their pensions.

“If you’re a convicted felon,” the challenger stated, “you should not be collecting a pension and benefiting from your ill deeds.”

We contacted Assemblyman Ceretto’s office, which had not responded by deadline.

“The Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to Mr. Ceretto in an attempt to set up a debate,” related the retired judge, “but so far his team hasn’t gotten back to them.”

A combat veteran of Vietnam, Morinello also addressed jobs in terms of “implementing workforce development programs to prepare our youth for those head-of-household positions,” and how his experience on the bench will assist him in passing effective legislation in battling the “terrible impact” of drugs and family violence on the community.

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