NY Judge Escorted Out in Handcuffs, Smiles During Arrest

A New York judge is facing jail time for missing a court appearance related to an August drunk driving arrest, and she’s apparently happy about it.

The judge, Leticia Astacio, was beaming as she happily greeted reporters waiting for her at the fifth floor elevator bank of the Monroe County Hall of Justice as officers led her to be at the nearby Rochester Public Safety Building.

The past year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Astacio, who was arrested in Feb. 2016 for suspicion of drunk driving, and in August was sentenced to conditional discharge until Feb. 2018 after she admitted to violating the no drinking and driving conditions of her discharge.

Thus, when she texted her lawyer that she was unable to make her Tuesday court date because she was living in a temple with monks in Thailand, the judge assigned to her case, Stephen Aronson of Canandaigua City Court, was not amused.

“You’re doing everything to show you don’t care what happens to your public trust,” Aronson said.

Astacio declined Aronson’s offer of a guilty plea to the original drunk driving incident: 45 days in jail, two years probation and six months on an ankle monitor.

Aronson was not having any of Astacio’s arrogance, stating before he left the courtroom, “You are self-sabotaging any chance you have to return to the bench.”

Astacio, a Democrat who was elected to a 10-year term in 2014, also was in court in March when she beat four allegations that she violated the conditions of her sentence. One alleged that she twice drank alcohol, and three others were related to the use and maintenance of her ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if a driver has had too much to drink.

Read more at USA Today