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Cuomo nominates prosecutor to preside at top NY court

December 1, 2015 Associated Press
In this May 31, 2012 file photo, Janet DiFiore, chairman of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, presides over a meeting in Albany. DiFiore, the Westchester County district attorney, was nominated Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. AP Photo/Mike Groll, File
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has nominated Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to be New York’s chief judge, responsible for administering the state court system and presiding at the Court of Appeals, its top court.

DiFiore, Westchester’s top prosecutor for nearly a decade, would replace Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. Now 70, he’s required to retire after this year.

Cuomo says the 60-year-old DiFiore has been a judge, involved in judicial reforms and is “tremendously qualified.”

Appointments to the top court are for 14 years and subject to Senate confirmation. DiFiore would have to retire before that.

Cuomo chose her from seven lawyers advanced by a nominating commission as well qualified among 33 applicants.

DiFiore resigned in 2013 as Cuomo’s first appointee to head state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

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