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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2005
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marsha Borenstein at (718) 773-3100

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.

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