Rochester, NY – Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio reported to work for the first time in six months on Feb. 27, but her stay at the office was brief, her supervisor said.
According to WHEC, Supervising Judge Craig Doran sent Astacio a letter on Feb. 23, and directed her to come to work at the Hall of Justice at 9 a.m. on Feb 26.
Doran declined to release a copy of the letter, which he said was marked as a confidential document.
Astacio failed to comply with Doran’s directive, but did come to the office on Feb. 27. She left after several hours, however, and never returned, Doran told Spectrum News.
Astacio has been in and out of court – as a defendant – since her Feb. 13, 2016 drunk driving arrest.
That incident occurred about 8 am, after the judge’s car was involved in a single-vehicle wreck.
Her defiant antics, smug demeanor, and arrogant outbursts were commonplace during her multiple appearances in relation to violations of her sentence.
On Aug 22, 2016, Astacio was sentenced to a “one-year conditional discharge” that was continued until March, after she admitted to two violations of the discharge after drinking alcohol and driving under the influence.
She was back in court in March of 2017, when she beat four allegations that she had violated the conditions of her sentence: one that she drank alcohol on two separate occasions, and three regarding her ignition interlock, which will only start if the driver’s alcohol levels are below 0.03%.
Judge Stephen Aronson ordered her to take a urine test to determine if there were byproducts of alcohol, but she didn’t take the test, because she claimed that she was in Thailand living with monks.
Aronson then sentenced Astacio to the maximum jail sentence of 60 days, plus three years of probation, and a skin alcohol monitoring device for six months at her expense.
Astacio’s attorney told Aronson that Astacio wanted straight jail time, and didn’t want probation.
“What she wants, Mr. Young, is irrelevant,” Aronson responded. “She will be sentenced to probation. She will be having someone monitor her in the future.”
Her attorney then told Aronson that Astacio was going to refuse to comply with her probation. He said she would violate probation immediately, and that the matter would just be back before the court.
“Then we will come back,” Aronson concluded.
Astacio was back before the court on Oct. 23, 2017 for a multitude of probation violations, all of which Astacio’s attorney asked the court to dismiss immediately.
Aronson promptly denied the request, and remanded Astacio to jail without bond.
Astacio was released from jail on Nov, 3, 2017, because she was not given the terms of her probation until one week after she was sentenced. The court should have given her those terms at the time she was sentenced, WHEC reported.
Just one week after being released, Astacio was back in jail after the alcohol monitoring device dispute with Aronson.
As a judge, Astacio has been banned from the courtroom and the secure area of the Hall of Justice since mid-July of 2017, WHEC reported. Since that time, Doran had instructed her to work inside the law library on the Hall of Justice’s fifth floor.
According to Spectrum News, Doran said that Astacio was scheduled to review landlord-tenant matters, conduct legal research, and to perform office duties from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Astacio then provided a doctor’s note, which excused her from having to report to work due to the negative impact her work conditions were having on her health.
Doran said that the letter he sent to Astacio “appropriately addressed ongoing issues in order that she continues to be held accountable as a public servant,” and that now, he will explore administrative options, WHEC reported.
Astacio has continued to collect her salary since her drunk driving arrest, and is currently making $175,500 per year, according to Spectrum News.
Her salary is expected to increase at the start of the new budget year, which begins on Apr. 1.