There are 11 members of the Commission on Judicial Conduct.  Each serves a renewable four-year term.  Four members are appointed by the Governor, three by the Chief Judge, and one each by the Speaker of the Assembly, the Minority Leader of the Assembly, the Temporary President of the Senate (Majority Leader) and the Minority Leader of the Senate.

Of the four members appointed by the Governor, one shall be a judge, one shall be a member of the New York State bar but not a judge, and two shall not be members of the bar, judges or retired judges.  Of the three members appointed by the Chief Judge, one shall be a justice of the Appellate Division, one shall be a judge of a court other than the Court of Appeals or Appellate Division, and one shall be a justice of a town or village court.  None of the four members appointed by the legislative leaders shall be judges or retired judges.

The Commission elects a Chair and a Vice Chair from among its members for renewable two-year terms, and appoints an Administrator who shall be a member of the New York State bar who is not a judge or retired judge.  The Administrator appoints and directs the agency staff.  The Commission also has a Clerk who plays no role in the investigation or litigation of complaints but assists the Commission in its consideration of formal charges, preparation of determinations and related matters. 

The current members of the Commission and their terms of office are listed below. Asterisk (*) indicates that the appointing authority no longer holds that office.

Commission Member
Appointing Authority
First Appointed
Expiration of Term

Joseph W. Belluck, Chair

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

2008

3/31/2020

Paul B. Harding, Vice Chair

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb
2006
3/31/2021

Rolando T. Acosta

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman*
2010
3/31/2018

Joel Cohen

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver*
2010
3/31/2018

Jodie Corngold

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
2013
3/31/2019

John A. Falk

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

2017

3/31/2021

Taa Grays

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

2017

3/31/2020

Leslie G. Leach

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

2016

3/31/2020

Senate President Pro Tem Dean Skelos*

2011

3/31/2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

2012

3/31/2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

2016

3/31/2021

COMMISSION MEMBERS

Joseph W. Belluck, Esq.,Chair of the Commission, graduated magna cum laude from the SUNY-Buffalo School of Law in 1994, where he served as Articles Editor of the Buffalo Law Review and where he is an adjunct lecturer on mass torts.  He is a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, which focuses on asbestos and serious injury litigation.  Mr. Belluck previously served as counsel to the New York State Attorney General, representing the State of New York in its litigation against the tobacco industry, as a judicial law clerk for Justice Lloyd Doggett of the Texas Supreme Court, as staff attorney for Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., and as Director of Attorney Services for Trial Lawyers Care, an organization dedicated to providing free legal assistance to victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  Mr. Belluck has lectured frequently on asbestos, product liability, tort law and tobacco control policy.  He is an active member of several bar associations, including the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and was a recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Award. He is also a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees and sits on the board of several not-for-profit organizations.

Paul B. Harding, Esq., Vice Chair of the Commission, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego and the Albany Law School at Union University.  He is the Managing Partner in the law firm of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP in Albany, New York. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the Marketing and Client Services Committee for the American Association for Justice. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Albany County Bar Association. He is currently on the Steering Committee for the Legal Project, which was established by the Capital District Women's Bar Association to provide a variety of free and low cost legal services to the working poor, victims of domestic violence and other underserved individuals in the Capital District of New York State.

Honorable Rolando T. Acosta is a graduate of Columbia College and the Columbia University School of Law.  He served as a Judge of the New York City Civil Court from 1997 to 2002, as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court from 2001 to 2002, and as an elected Justice of the Supreme Court from 2003 to present.  He presently serves as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, having been appointed in January 2008.  Prior to his judicial career, Judge Acosta served in various capacities with the Legal Aid Society, including Director of Government Practice and Attorney in Charge of the civil branch of the Brooklyn office.  He also served as Deputy Commissioner and First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Joel Cohen, Esq., is a graduate of Brooklyn College and New York University Law School, where he earned a J.D. and an LL.M.  He is Of Counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in Manhattan, which he joined in 1985.  Mr. Cohen previously served as a prosecutor for ten years, first with the New York State Special Prosecutor's Office and then as Assistant Attorney-in-Charge with the US Justice Department's Organized Crime & Racketeering Section in the Eastern District of New York.  He is a member of the Federal Bar Council and is an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Professional Responsibility and a course named “How Judges Decide” at Fordham Law School.  He widely lectures on Professional Responsibility. Mr. Cohen is the author of three books dealing with religion -- Moses: A Memoir (Paulist Press 2003), Moses and Jesus: A Conversation (Dorrance Publishing, 2006) and David and Bathsheba: Through Nathan's Eyes (Paulist Press, 2007). He also authored Truth Be Veiled: A Justin Steele Murder Case (Coffeetown Press, 2010), a novel on legal ethics and truth, and "Blindfolds Off: How Judges Decide" (ABA Publishing, 2014). Mr. Cohen has authored over 350 articles and columns for the New York Law Journal, Huffington Post and The Hill.

Jodie Corngold graduated from Swarthmore College. She oversees communications for Kolot Chayeinu, a synagogue in Brooklyn, and previously served as Director of Communications for the Berkeley Carroll School, a college preparatory school in Brooklyn. She sits on the Board of the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, is a marathon runner, and is engaged in a variety of activities associated with her alma mater.

Honorable John A. Falk is a graduate of LeMoyne College and the University of Dayton School of Law.  He is a partner with the firm Faraci Lange, LLP, in Rochester, where he focuses on personal injury litigation.  He previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County prosecuting violent felony offenses.  He has served as a Justice of the Brighton Town Court since 2008.  Justice Falk is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Association for Justice, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Monroe County Bar Association, the Genesee Valley Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Magistrates Association, and the Monroe County Magistrates Association. He has been a lecturer for the Monroe County Bar Association and the Monroe Community College Police Academy and is active in the greater Rochester community, having served on such boards as the Western New York Chapter of the American Liver Foundation, the Town of Brighton Planning Board and the Parks and Recreation Citizens’ Advisory Committee.

Taa Grays, Esq., is a graduate of Harvard University, cum laude, and Georgetown University Law Center.  She is Vice President & Associate General Counsel for Information Governance at MetLife, Inc., having served in other senior positions at MetLife since 2003. She previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx.  Ms. Grays is 1st Judicial District Vice President of the New York State Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, where she previously served as president.  She has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership in bar and diversity endeavors.

Honorable Leslie G. Leach, is a graduate of Queens College, CUNY, the University of Massachusetts, with an MS in labor studies, and Columbia Law School. He presently serves as an elected Justice of the Supreme Court, Queens County. Justice Leach was appointed to the NYC Criminal Court first by Mayor David N. Dinkins in 1993 and then by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He was an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court from 1995 to 2003. He was then elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2004 to 2007, and served as the Administrative Judge of the Eleventh Judicial District, Queens County. In 2007, Justice Leach left the bench to serve as Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Deputy Attorney General of the Division of State Counsel and, from 2011-2012, as Governor Cuomo’s Appointments Secretary. Thereafter, he taught as Distinguished Lecturer at Queens College until his return to the bench in 2015. Justice Leach began his legal career at the labor law firm Jackson Lewis, and then served as a law clerk in the Criminal Court, Supreme Court, and with the Hon. Fritz W. Alexander II in the Appellate Division, First Department, and the NYS Court of Appeals. Between 1985 and 1993, he was a staff attorney in the Departmental Disciplinary Committee and court attorney in the First Department. He taught as an adjunct at York College, CUNY for some 30 years. Justice Leach was a Director of the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, chaired the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, and was a member of that bar’s Council on Judicial Administration.

Richard A. Stoloff, Esq., graduated from the CUNY College of the City of New York, and Brooklyn Law School. He maintains a law practice, Richard A. Stoloff PLLC, in Monticello, New York. He also served for 19 years as Town Attorney for the Town of Mamakating. Mr. Stoloff is a past President of the Sullivan County Bar Association and has chaired its Grievance Committee since 1994. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and has served on its House of Delegates. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

Honorable David A. Weinstein is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School, where he was Notes Editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal.  He is a Judge of the Court of Claims, having been appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011 for a term ending in 2018.  Judge Weinstein served previously as Assistant Counsel and First Assistant Counsel to Governors Cuomo, David A. Paterson and Eliot L. Spitzer, as a New York State Assistant Attorney General, as an Associate in the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, as Law Clerk to United States District Court Judge Charles S. Haight (SDNY) and as Pro Se Law Clerk to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at New York Law School and has written numerous articles for legal and other publications.

Akosua Garcia Yeboah received her B.A. from the State University of New York at New Paltz and her M.S. in Urban Planning and Environmental Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is the Senior Information Technology Project Manager for the City of Albany, Office of the Mayor.  She previously worked for IBM.  Since 2011, Ms. Yeboah has served on the Attorney Grievance Committee of the Appellate Division, Third Department.  She also served as a member of the Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline in 2015.  Ms. Yeboah served as a member and secretary of the Albany Citizen’s Police Review Board from 2010 to 2015.  Previously, she served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the New York State Office of the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities. 

 

RECENT MEMBERS

Richard D. Emery, Esq., is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School (cum laude), where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He is a founding partner of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, civil rights, election law and litigation challenging governmental actions. Mr. Emery enjoys a national reputation as a litigator, trying and handling cases at all levels, from the U.S. Supreme Court to federal and state appellate and trial courts in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Washington state, and others. While a partner at Lankenau Kovner & Bickford, he successfully challenged the structure of the New York City Board of Estimate under the one-person, one-vote doctrine, resulting in the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous invalidation of the Board on constitutional grounds. Before then, he was a staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union and director of the Institutional Legal Services Project in Washington state, which represented persons held in juvenile, prison, and mental health facilities. He was also a law clerk for the Honorable Gus J. Solomon of the U.S. District Court for the district of Washington. He has taught as an adjunct at the New York University and University of Washington schools of law. Mr. Emery was a member of Governor Cuomo's Commission on Integrity in Government and sat on Governor Eliot Spitzer's Transition Committee for Government Reform Issues. He was appointed to the New York State Commissions on Judicial Conduct and Public Integrity and was appointed chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board. He is a founding member of the City Club, which addresses New York City preservation issues. He also is a founder and president of the West End Preservation Society, which has achieved the landmarked West End-Riverside Historic District. His honors include Landmark West’s 2013 Unsung Heroes Award for his preservation work; the 2008 Children’s Rights Champion Award for his civil rights work and support of children’s rights; the Common Cause/NY, October 2000, "I Love an Ethical New York" Award for recognition of successful challenges to New York's unconstitutionally burdensome ballot access laws and overall work to promote a more open democracy; the Park River Democrats Public Service Award, June 1989; and the David S. Michaels Memorial Award, January 1987, for Courageous Effort in Promotion of Integrity in the Criminal Justice System from the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Honorable Thomas A. Klonick, is a graduate of Lehigh University and the Detroit College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review.  He maintains a law practice in Fairport, New York, with a concentration in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, corporate and business law, criminal law and personal injury.  He was a Monroe County Assistant Public Defender from 1980 to 1983.  Since 1995 he has served as Town Justice for the Town of Perinton, New York, and has also served as an Acting Rochester City Court Judge, a Fairport Village Court Justice and as a Hearing Examiner for the City of Rochester.  From 1985 to 1987 he served as a Town Justice for the Town of Macedon, New York.  He has also been active in the Monroe County Bar Association as a member of the Ethics Committee.  Judge Klonick is the former Chairman of the Prosecuting Committee for the Presbytery of Genesee Valley and is an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church, Pittsford, New York.  He has also served as legal counsel to the New York State Council on Problem Gambling, and on the boards of St. John’s Home and Main West Attorneys, a provider of legal services for the working poor.  He is a member of the New York State Magistrates Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Monroe County Bar Association.  Judge Klonick is a former lecturer for the Office of Court Administration's continuing Judicial Education Programs for Town and Village Justices. Judge Klonick chaired the Commission for eight years, 2008-2016.