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A corrupt and anti-gay former City Councilman who managed to win a Civil Court seat two years after embarrassed Democratic party officials backed him so that he would stop running for public office, has actually been promoted.
Not only that, but Civil Court Judge Noach Dear even got a raise.
Court officials confirmed on Thursday that Dear was made an Acting Supreme Court Judge, a move that includes an $11,000 boost to the $125,600 he was already getting in civil court.
Dear was one of eight jurists elevated to the Supreme Court to help tackle the glut of foreclosure cases, spokesman David Bookstaver explained.
Supporters of Dear say that his promotion was earned because of his work on consumer debt on the civil court.
But if Dear did a good job on debt cases, there’s a reason: the Borough Park jurist was self taught.
Let’s look at Dear’s own case file:
• In the early 1980s, then-Attorney General Robert Abrams accused Dear of “breaking laws governing charities” after he allegedly used money from a private foundation to pay for his car phone and a plane ticket for his wife. Dear was never convicted of any wrongdoing.
• During a failed 1997 run for Congress, Dear was accused of accepting $564,000 in contributions — a number that far exceeded federal limits. He agreed to pay $300,000 back, but a follow-up audit showed that the refunds were never made. The case was ultimately closed in August, 2004, after his campaign refunded the donors and paid $45,000 in penalties, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
Dear was term-limited out of the Council in 2000. After four failed attempts for Congress and state Senate, he was elected to the bench in 2007, thanks mostly to the support of Brooklyn Democratic Boss Vito Lopez and Borough President Markowitz, who many believe wanted Dear out of the election game for awhile.
But, for Dear, even the usually quick and easy road to a Civil Court seat was cratered with controversy, the biggest being the Brooklyn Bar Association and the New York Bar Association who both said he was unqualified.
Brooklyn’s Lesbian and Gay community was also enraged, recalling how Dear fought a gay rights bill in 1986 and often compared homosexuals to criminals and deviants during his tenure at City Hall.
“The judiciary should never be a dumping ground for failed politicians, especially those who have had such notable and ethical problems of their own,” the Lambda Independent Democrats, the borough’s leading gay political group, wrote after Dear’s victory.
Calls to Dear’s chambers for comment were not returned. But that’s not a surprise. Over the years, Dear has done whatever he could to avoid the press. so much so that during his race for Civil Court, he was actually videotaped backing down a one-way street to avoid a Channel 2 reporter. All the public got to see was the candidate’s SUV — going in reverse.
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©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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