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Council

Auburn city councilors Debra McCormick and James Giannettino attend a council meeting in January. 

AUBURN — The Auburn City Council on Thursday appointed the city's first female judge — naming Auburn attorney Kristin Garland as the city's new part-time associate judge.

In Auburn's 226 years as a municipality, Garland is now the city's first female judge. She was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Councilor Debra McCormick casting the only "no." Despite her vote, McCormick said she thought it was a great thing that the city selected a woman. 

In a four-hour executive session last week and another hour-long session Thursday, the council interviewed a total of five candidates — each were asked the same 14 questions in 45-minute interviews. Besides Garland, the candidates were not named.

Councilor James Giannettino said Garland's appointment is supported by her wide range of law experience including family law, private law and municipal law. 

"There were multiple qualified female candidates," Giannettino said before the council's vote. "I'm happy about that."

Garland is an 11-year veteran in family court and criminal court at both local and state levels. Previously an assistant district attorney in Cayuga County, she has also represented New Yorkers in criminal matters, according to a resume given to the council.

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Garland is married to Nate Garland, assistant corporation counsel for Auburn. Together, the two are partners in a firm, but according to Kristin's cover letter to the council, she plans to dissolve the partnership immediately.

Giannettino said the relationship was "irrelevant" to the council's decision. 

"I don't think it's fair to deny someone a job based on their spouse's job," he said.  

Granted the approval for a six-year term, Kristin Garland may be assigned judicial work of many sorts including small claims, commercial claims, parking ticket appeals and dangerous dog hearings. She will soon briefly attend a judiciary school in preparation for the job.  

The part-time position has a current salary of $90,000 plus pension, medical, dental and eye care coverage.

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Staff writer Dan Orzechowski can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or dan.orzechowski@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @OrzechowskiDan.

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