ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Former Chemung County Public Defender and longtime local attorney Peter Finnerty has been appointed as Acting Elmira City Court Judge effective January 1, 2021. The appointment was made by Mayor Dan Mandell after former City Court Judge Otto Campanella vacated the office upon being elected to Chemung County Court.
“I’m honored and humbled to have earned this appointment to serve the people of Elmira as City Court Judge,” said Judge Finnerty. “Throughout my 20+ year career as an attorney, I’ve strived to serve with the highest ethical standards, ensuring that the law is applied evenly and fairly to all parties. I will bring this same high standard to the bench as your new City Court Judge.”
“There is no one more qualified that Peter Finnerty to preside over the cases that are heard in City Court,” said Mayor Mandell. “It was a no-brainer to appoint him to fill this vacancy, and he has my full support as he seeks election to a full term as City Court Judge.”
A full 10-year term for this Elmira City Court Judge position will be on the ballot for City voters in this November’s election. Judge Finnerty affirmed that he will be seeking election to a full term.
“Important cases are heard in City Court every day, and the individuals who appear there deserve a Judge who is experienced, honest, compassionate and fair,” said Finnerty. “I’m asking the voters for a full term as City Court Judge because my extensive professional track record exemplifies these characteristics.”
Since 2016, Judge Finnerty has served in the Chemung County Public Defender’s Office, including the last two years in the lead role as Public Defender. In this position, he has handled countless cases in criminal court in misdemeanor and felony matters, including cases in Elmira City Court, Domestic Violence Court and various local Town and Village courts.
Prior to his service as Public Defender, Judge Finnerty worked in private legal practice for 16 years. He also previously served as Law Clerk for former State Supreme Court Justice Judith O’Shea, as an Assistant District Attorney, and as a Staff Attorney representing children in Family Court.
Finnerty, 46, is a Republican. He lives in Elmira with his wife, Amy, and their children, Andrew, Patrick and Ally. He is a graduate of LeMoyne College and Albany Law School.
This year’s election will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021