BUFFALO, NY, (WIVB) – There have been no findings of any judicial misconduct regarding Town Justice Dennis Delano’s two-and-a-half month absence from the bench, according to Cheektowaga Town Board member Diane Benczkowski.
The lawmaker tells News 4 that she had personally asked the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission to investigate. She says she has now received a letter from the commission saying there were no findings of any misconduct.
Judge Delano, who was scheduled to return to the bench Monday, has been granted additional leave by Administrative Judge Paula Feroleto. His scheduled return is now June 2.
Judge Delano, according to reports, had suddenly left the bench on February 25, shutting down his courtroom with people waiting to appear before him. He has not returned to work since that time.
Sources say he had just engaged in a verbal confrontation with lawmaker Benczkowski on the issue downsizing the court’s clerical staff. The Town Board had voted for the court reorganization. Delano had reportedly lost one of his clerks
Delano is also said to be dealing with serious health issues.
Depew Town Justice Timothy Dwan has been appointed by Administrative Judge Feroleto to help take some of the case load off of Justice Paul Piotrowski, whose duties also include running the Drug court, Domestic Violence Court, Housing Court, Traffic Court, and Small Claims Court in Cheektowaga. Judge Dwan will work two days every other week, and also help with Sunday arraignments. Judge Dwan has reportedly said he would take on additional duties at no cost. However, Cheektowaga lawmakers are discussing paying him $100 a day for the extra duty.
Delano, who received much notoriety for his cold case investigations as a Buffalo Police investigator, is still being paid his annual salary of more than $74,000.
He has not returned calls regarding his absence from the bench.