Aquino runs for Lancaster Town Justice
BY: Metro Source Staff | October 30, 2013
I was raised in this community and have lived here my entire life and have a unique and intimate knowledge of this town and its residents. I am running for Town Justice because I see the position as the ultimate public servant. I have been in the Executive branch of government as a village clerk-treasurer the legislative branch as a town council member and now would like to add my expertise to the Judicial Branch of government.
The position of Town Justice demands someone who is a hard worker, an excellent listener and fair and impartial. You must have both compassion for the victims and an understanding that the individual that ends up before you did not usually plan on being there. They are usually there because of an unfortunate incident, a lapse in judgment or some other negative action. The court is there to try and ensure that justice is served for all parties. The court is the trier of fact and the dispenser of justice. A judge has to strike a balance to ensure that victimís rights are protected while also ensuring that defendants are given the rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.
I enjoy interaction and helping people. Lawyers are generally problem solvers and are usually called upon in times of crisis. Courtrooms and the judges are ultimately the last resort for parties when things canít be resolved. I see the court as the final resting place where things are finally resolved in a civil way. It is what separates our society from less advanced civilizations. Being a judge would be an honor and one that I would cherish and work extremely hard at.
My experience as a defense attorney, village prosecutor, municipal attorney, and judicial hearing officer makes me the best candidate for town judge. I have literally sat in almost every court in New York State at the justice/city court level. This gives me a distinct advantage over my opponent who has no prosecution, judicial or municipal experience. I was a prosecutor and municipal attorney for longer than my opponent has been practicing law. This is not a position where you want to learn on the job and it is one that demands experience.
I know what it is like to sit in a courtroom as a Judge and have to make decisions based on the testimony of people. You have to weigh the truthfulness and credibility of people and render decisions. You must have good judgment, sound listening skills and the ability to decide issues. I have sat in that chair and had to make those types of decisions as a judicial hearing officer.
I also know what it is like to be a prosecutor and have to prove your case based on the evidence. You have to make many decisions as a prosecutor and some may not sit well with all parties. Youíre nonetheless sworn to that oath a defender of the people. On the other side, I have also defended many people accused of violations and crimes and know the valuable role attorneys play in making sure defendantís rights are protected according to the Constitution. The playing field should be level and one of the key roles a judge plays is to ensure it stays like that.
Throughout my 22 years as an attorney, I have experience in all the roles that would be present in the courtroom, namely as a prosecutor, defense attorney and judge. I believe I am uniquely qualified to be the next Town Justice to try and fill the large shoes of Michael Kelleher.
My wife Julianne and I have been married for 23 years and are the proud parents of four daughters. I am a lifelong Town of Lancaster resident who grew up in the Village of Depew, resided in the Village of Lancaster for seven years and now for the past 14 years has lived in the Town of Lancaster.
I believe that people who have had experience with me as an attorney know that I come from a middle class background where my father was a postal worker and my mother ran a dental office. I have two brothers who are doctors, another brother who is a physical therapist and my sister became a high ranking hospital administrator at Womenís and Childrenís Hospital. None of us were both with a silver spoon in our mouth and we all worked very hard to become successful professionals. We also have never forgotten where we came from, namely a middle class neighborhood in the Village of Depew.
I graduated from the University of Buffalo School Of Management with an accounting degree and an MBA and from the University of Buffalo Law School. I have been a practicing attorney for 22 years and maintain my practice here in Lancaster.
My volunteer activities include board member and past president of the Boys and Girls Club, Redskins Junior Football and Cheerleading, volunteer youth sports coach at St. Maryís Elementary, Lancaster High School Academy of Finance mentor and member of the Sertoma, the Moose and the Elks.
If elected I would like to expand the drug/problem solving court in the Town of Lancaster that has been so successful under the guidance of Judge Montour. I have had three of my own young clients graduate from this program and literally save their lives. I would also like to establish a Housing Court in the Town of Lancaster to help ensure that homes that are abandoned, neglected or foreclosed on are not allowed to become eyesores on the community and have negative effects on neighborhoods. I have extensive experience in this area and would use this knowledge and experience to insure our neighborhoods are protected.