CONGRESSMAN MAJOR OWENS
CALLS ON NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL APPOINTMENT OF FRANK SEDDIO AS
BROOKLYN SURROGATE JUDGE
Owens Requests an Election for that Office in 2006 Democratic Primary
and General Elections
Brooklyn, NY – December 13,
2005 – Congressman Major R. Owens (11th District, NY) is calling for
legislative action in New York to repeal the appointment of Assemblymember Frank
Seddio as Surrogate Judge here, and the scheduling of new elections for that
office at the time of the 2006 Democratic Primary and General Election.
In a letter sent to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congressman
Owens expressed his “dismay and outrage at the legislature’s installation
of a second surrogate court judge without a lawful contested election”.
“On behalf of concerned Brooklyn Democrats in particular and all Brooklyn
citizens generally, I am respectively requesting that the appointment of
Assemblymember Frank Seddio be nullified; and an election be ordered in the year
2006 at the time of the scheduled Democratic Primary and General election.”
The Congressman also sent copies of the letter to all Kings County Legislators
and District Leaders.
Last September, Clarence Norman, then Chair of the Kings County Democratic
Party, held a meeting at which party officials rejected Diana Johnson as a
possible Surrogate Judge and instead nominated Assemblymember Seddio for the
newly created 14 year term judgeship. Before the November elections, the Puerto
Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) asked a federal court judge to
stop New York State officials from installing a new surrogate judge on the
ballot in Brooklyn on Election Day, charging it violated provisions of the
Voting Rights Act which covers Brooklyn.
A hearing is set for December 15, 2005 at 10am before Judge Sandra Townes at the
Federal Court In Brooklyn for arguments on the PRLDEF suit. In addition to
Congressman Owens and the Brooklyn Court reformers, the Fund for Modern Courts
and the Citizen’s Union in Brooklyn are also supporting the legal challenge.
Click here to see a copy of the letter to Speaker Silver.