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Reports: White Plains judge appointed despite health issuesPosted: Updated:
Reports allege that a White Plains judge was appointed to her six-figure position because of her ties to Mayor Thomas Roach, despite being too sick to work.
Judge Elizabeth Shollenberger, who was Roach's campaign treasurer, was voted city judge by the all-Democratic City Council last year, but she's missed a lot of court time due to health issues.
Shollenberger has not worked since May 2, when the state Office of Court Administration determined she was unable to do the job. She missed six weeks since Jan. 1.
City Council member Milagros Lecuona, who is running for mayor against Roach and voted for Shollenberger, says she feels she was misled during the whole voting process.
"I wasn't aware that she had all these illnesses and would not be able to perform," she says. "This is a burden the taxpayers have inherited."
"At best, the Shollenberger appointment was a reckless misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars and was contemptuous of a well-functioning judiciary," adds Judicial Screening Committee member Mark Elliot via email.
The mayor's office also responded with a statement saying, "Judge Shollenberger was rated 'qualified' by the Judicial Screening Committee, based on her long legal career, and Mayor Roach recused himself from voting on her nomination. We hope she makes a speedy recovery, and is able to return to the bench."
Shollenberger's husband says it was well known in political circles that she had health problems and that she plans to be back in city court when her health improves.
The case is still under review by the state Office of Court Administration.