The Kiwanis Club of Batavia hosted its annual Law Day Dinner and honored six individuals for their outstanding career achievements in law and law enforcement.
Family Court Judge Eric Adams, above, was the keynote speaker.
Here are the honorees and information about their accomplishments as provided by the Kiwanis Club.
Gary A. Graber - Town Justice, Darien, New York
Judge Graber has been the Town Justice of Darien for the past 33 years, the longest presently sitting Justice in Genesee County. He has been a life member of the Darien Center Chemical Fire Department for 38 years, 10 years on the Board of Directors including two years as chairman. He also served as Darien Town constable prior to being elected town justice. Judge Graber has been an outstanding and recognized leader in the area of criminal justice in Genesee County, New York State and nationally. He most recently was elected as president of the New York State Magistrates Association for 2012-2013 and has been a member of several committees and associations. Judge Graber was nominated for this award by retired Town of Bethany Justice Edgar J. Hollwedel.
Nicole Desmond – Treatment Court Coordinator, Batavia City Court
Nicole Desmond has had a substantial and significant impact on the criminal justice system in Genesee County. She was hired in June of 2004 as a therapist with the Genesee County Mental Health Clinic and was assigned responsibility for Court Evaluations and the mental health needs of the inmates housed in the Genesee County Jail. In 2008, Ms. Desmond became the Drug Court coordinator, working out of Batavia City Court. She established weekend DWI testing protocols and worked along with several professionals and organizations to establish the Mental Health Court and the Veterans Track. Ms. Desmond has distinguished herself as a knowledgeable, passionate and hard-working professional dedicated to identifying gaps in systems and helping to facilitate humanistic programs to effect positive change. She was nominated for this award by Genesee County Jail Superintendent Ed Minardo.
Eugene A. Jankowski – Retired Lieutenant, City of Batavia Police Department
Eugene A. Jankowski served as the commander of the Batavia Police Department’s Emergency Response Team since its inception in 1994 until his retirement in 2013. He oversaw and organized the establishment of the team, sought out experts in the field, fostered relationships and arranged for the team’s training. Mr. Jankowski has dedicated an extraordinary amount of time and devotion to ensure that the team receives the proper training in up-to-date tactics and the best equipment, ensuring the safety of the team’s members and the success of the missions performed. Mr. Jankowski also was instrumental in the transition of the team from being solely a Batavia Police Department team to one that also incorporates members from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, enabling the team to provide services to all of Genesee County. Mr. Jankowski was nominated for this award by Batavia Police Detective Sergeant Patrick J. Corona.
Robert C. Noonan – Genesee County Judge, Genesee County Court
Robert C. Noonan is currently Genesee County Judge and has been since first elected in 1997. He also serves as an acting Justice of the Genesee County Supreme Court. Judge Noonan served as Genesee County District Attorney from 1988 to 1996 and served as First Assistant District Attorney from 1980 to 1987. He attended St. Lawrence University and obtained a law degree from Fordham University Law School in 1975. Judge Noonan is former chair of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Procedures for Judicial Discipline and is past president of the County Court Judges’ Association of the State of New York. Judge Noonan has been a leader in criminal justice for several years and is well respected by his peers and members of the criminal justice system. Judge Noonan was nominated for this award by Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha.
Sandy Wojtaszczyk – Child Protective Services Supervisor, Genesee County Department of Social Services
Sandy Wojtaszczyk began her employment with the Genesee County Department of Social Services in 1998 as an aide for Adult Services, was promoted in 2000 to caseworker and then to supervisor in 2009. She supervises a staff of eight full-time caseworkers who oversee 1,000 suspected cases of child abuse, neglect and/or maltreatment each year in the Genesee County area. Sandy is also responsible for the on-call system 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. She volunteers to supervise student interns from various local colleges that wish to obtain practical experience in the field of child welfare. Sandy has served on several teams and panels in the community and continuously volunteers at the Salvation Army during the holidays and for the women’s auxiliary at the Elba Fire Department. Ms. Wojtaszczyk is an efficient, effective, and respected supervisor that has served her community and county in many capacities in a humble, modest and respectful manner. Ms. Wojtaszczyk was nominated for this award by New York State Police Investigator Andre Dunlap.
Thomas A. Graham – Town Justice, Oakfield, New York
Judge Graham has been the Town Justice for Oakfield since 2006. He is the treasurer for the Genesee County Magistrates’ Association and is also responsible for coordinating training for the group. Previously, Judge Graham was employed as a sargeant with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and after serving 20 years, retired in 2005. During his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office, Judge Graham oversaw the Dispatch Center and its transition to the 800-megahertz radio system. Judge Graham is involved in educating the youth in Oakfield by allowing Boy Scout Troops and students to attend his court sessions and then stays after to answer questions and explain court procedures. In his role as Town Justice, Judge Graham has earned the respect of other judges and attorneys in the County by portraying a professional and fair attitude. Judge Graham was nominated for this award by fellow Oakfield Town Justice and Retired Batavia Police Chief Randy Baker.
CHARLES L. MANCUSO AWARD
The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Batavia High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2013 GLOWS (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming and Steuben counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament. The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen”, Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death seven years ago. The Batavia High School team members honored at the dinner include: Attorneys: Kaitlin Logsdon, Trey Abdella, McKenzie Stevens, Matthew Gabriele, Bryce Rogers, Beth Bennion, Rebecca Canale, Danielle Quinn. Witnesses: Brandon Smart,
Dylan Beckman, Samir Jain, Eric DiLaura, Katie Kesler, Cara Ranalli, Alex Mott, Adam Weaver, Chelsea Jensen.
Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, who serves as coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, and Genesee County Bar Association President Mary Kay Yanik presented the award.
Sheriff Gary Maha and Judge Robert C. Noonan
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