New York State Supreme Court Justice Kathie Davidson credited Scarpino with charting a course for the court and the district attorney’s office to navigate forced closures caused by the pandemic in April.
By Tom McParland | February 11, 2021 at 05:53 PM
A panel of state judges, elected officials and local leaders on Thursday honored former Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino’s more-than 40-year career in public service, as he and his former deputy, Paul Noto, transition into private practice at the firm Dorf & Nelson.
Among the speakers during the 40-minute virtual event was state Supreme Court Justice Kathie Davidson, the district administrative judge for the 9th Judicial District, who credited Scarpino with charting a course for the court and the district attorney’s office to navigate forced closures caused by the pandemic in April.
“We had to reconfigure the building, we had to determine how we were going to have grand juries,” Davidson said in her remarks.
“Those are the times when either the relationships, professional relationships with colleagues can either breach or we can come together. And that really for me made a difference in understanding the character of Judge Scarpino. We just stuck it out,” she said.
The accolades, which also included messages from Westchester County Executive George Lattimer and state Sen. Pete Harckham, D-Westchester, came as Scarpino and Noto begin their tenure with Dorf & Nelson, a boutique firm with an entrepreneurial streak and plans for expansion.
The firm announced in January that it had landed Scarpino after the incumbent district attorney lost his re-election bid to former Manhattan federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah last July. Scarpino, now a partner focused on strategic planning and civil litigation, plans to focus his work in part on business development and counseling clients, while Noto will serve as a partner in Dorf & Nelson’s litigation and commercial real estate departments.
During his time as Westchester County DA, Scarpino was known for enacting a slate of criminal justice reforms, including an end to cash bail in cases that did not seek jail time and declining to prosecute offenses for possession of small amounts of marijuana. He also implemented a new case management system, which allowed prosecutors to proactively share information from police departments with criminal defense attorneys before the state’s new discovery laws took effect last year.
Speakers on Thursday praised Scarpino’s vision and as a public servant, as well as Noto’s drive and dedication to the work of the various offices he served.
“The remarkable thing about everywhere that you’ve been in your public service career is marked by two things,” Harckham, who found time during a budget hearing to join the event, said of Scarpino.
“It’s marked by leadership. You have always been a leader in whatever organization you are in, where your peers looked up to you. And just impeccable integrity, which is so essential to keeping trust in government,” Harckham said.
In his own remarks, Latimer recalled personal experiences working with both men, whom he regarded as “senior and extremely capable lawyers in the community that we love.”
“Even though life brings us together, takes us apart, puts us on opposite sides, puts us together, we realize as we age we have much more in common,” he said. “These are two outstanding gentlemen. They’re good men and even on a given day where we disagree, the respect in their direction in tremendous. We all respect them.”
The call, which was organized by Dorf & Nelson founders Jon Dorf and Jon Nelson, was attended by more than 70 guests.
Addressing the audience, Scarpino said that public life had taught him that there is a “price to pay” for service.
“There’s no holidays. There are no weekends,” he said.
But, he added: “I’ve loved all my jobs and because of that, I’ve never felt I’ve worked a day in my life.”
This article is also on Law.com: Scarpino and Noto Honored for Public Service in Transition to Private Practice at Dorf & Nelson