Suffolk Judge To Resign After Admitting To Driving Drunk

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Judge William B. Rebolini

Longtime Suffolk County Court Judge William B. Rebolini will resign this month after admitting to driving drunk and trying to use his title to avoid arrest, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct said Monday.

Judge Rebolini had pleaded guilty on in January 2019 to driving while ability impaired by alcohol. He was sentenced to a one year conditional discharge, 40 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $260 surcharge. He later agreed to resign following a disciplinary action from the commission. 

“Judges are obliged to respect and comply with the law,” Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in a statement. “Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious violation of law that threatens the safety and lives of pedestrians, passengers and other motorists, as well as the offending driver. It is made worse when a judge asserts the prestige of judicial office to evade the consequences of having been caught.”

The judge was charged with drunken driving in Riverhead on Sept. 30, 2018. He pleaded guilty the following January. The commission served him with a complaint earlier this year, he agreed March 12 to resign effective May 28, and has agreed never to seek or accept judicial office ever again. The proceeding was resolved on April 30.

He first served as a Suffolk County District Court judge for a decade starting in 1993. He became a state Supreme Court justice in 2004. His current term expires in 2027.

“I enthusiastically look forward to a new chapter in my life with new opportunities and new beginnings as I retire from the courts,” Rebolini wrote March 12 in his resignation letter to  State Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. “In resigning I hope to be judged by my record of 32 years of public service and hope that with the help of so many people, I have been able to make our community a better place.”

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