Thursday 27 January 2022
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Mayor Warren Appoints Melissa Barrett to City Court to fill Former Judge Astacio’s Seat

Melissa Barrett

By staff –

Mayor Lovely Warren appointed attorney Melissa Barrett as Rochester City Court Judge to replace the seat left vacant after embattled Judge Leticia Astacio’s removal earlier this year.

Barrett who currently serves as principal court attorney for Rochester City Court, will begin her term immediately once the Mayor’s designation is filed with the Office of Court Administration.

“Rochester’s City Court is the court with jurisdiction closest to our citizens and Melissa Barrett has the right experience and temperament to ensure that justice is served for all of our citizens, residents and visitors who are touched by this important court,” Warren said. “I know Judge Barrett will serve in her new role as a judge at the highest caliber and with the highest regard for both the law and the citizens it protects.”

Under the City Charter and New York State law, the Mayor of Rochester has the power to appoint a new City Court Judge when a vacancy occurs on that court.

Barrett was selected after she was recommended by the City’s Judicial Screening Committee. The Committee sought resumes and conducted interviews of local attorneys interested in the City Court appointment. It then forwarded three names to Mayor Warren for her consideration. Mayor Warren selected Barrett from that list.

She holds a Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York at Albany.

She previously served as an assistant public defender for the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, and as an Assistant District Counsel for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Former city court judge Astacio, remains on probation from her drunken driving conviction, and is facing felony gun charges stemming from an incident in April when she attempted to purchase a shotgun from a Dicks Sporting Goods store in Henrietta.

In April the Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended that Astacio be stripped of her judgeship. That decision was upheld in October by the Court of Appeals.

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