The Court of Appeals has upheld a decision to remove Leticia Astacio as a judge.

The decision follows a ruling by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct that recommended Astacio’s removal.

The now former Rochester City Court judge has faced scrutiny the past couple of years, starting with her arrest for drunk driving in February 2016. Since then, Astacio hasn’t heard a case and has served jail time, but still collected a six-figure salary.

Commission on Judicial Conduct Administrator Robert Temmbeckjian said in reaction: “It is never a pleasant duty to remove a judge from office. Where the misconduct is egregious, there is little choice, if public confidence in the administration of justice is to be preserved. The Commission respects and appreciates that the Court of Appeals has affirmed its determination that Judge Astacio was unfit to remain on the bench.”

Astacio’s removal now takes effect immediately, meaning she will finally lose her $187,000 salary.

Statement from Judge Craig Doran

For more than 2.5 years, one matter has dominated much of the public’s attention and conversation regarding our court system. During this time, hundreds of judges and staff have come to work each day, ready to deliver justice in thousands of cases involving many of the most challenging issues facing our neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

This unfortunate distraction has not hindered the critically important work done on a daily basis, by the highly competent and caring judges, and dedicated court staff serving the people of this community.

We are grateful for the honor to serve the Judiciary, and we invite the public to continue their interest in the courts and focus upon the extraordinary work done in our courthouses every day – upholding the law and assuring that justice prevails.

Read the full decision


February 13, 2016: Judge Leticia Astacio is arrested for drunk driving after a trooper spots her vehicle on the side of 490. According to court papers, troopers say Astacio’s car was damaged and she had a blood-alcohol level of .19. Shortly after, she is assigned to chamber work at the Hall of Justice.

August 22, 2016: Astacio is convicted of drunk driving. She is sentenced to a conditional discharge which outlines certain terms Astacio must adhere to as part of her sentence including not drinking alcohol.

October-November 2016: Astacio is accused of violating the conditions of her sentence on multiple occasions including drinking at Papaya Asian Kitchen & Bar in Marketplace Mall and days later at a Thanksgiving party.

March 2017: Astacio is cleared of the violations after Judge Aronson rules there’s not enough evidence to prove she was drinking.

April-May 2017: Astacio is accused of another bad blow on her interlock device. After Astacio fails to provide a court-mandated urine test, her attorney says the judge is in Thailand living with monks. On May 30, after Astacio misses another court appearance, a bench warrant is issued for her arrest.

June 5, 2017: Judge Astacio returns from Thailand and meets with her supervisors. She is also arrested for the bench warrant. After turning down a plea deal, Astacio is sent to jail. While in jail she fires her attorney Ed Fiandach and hires new representation.

June 15, 2017: In an interview with News 8, Astacio’s daughter defends her mom and takes the blame for the interlock violation in April.

July 13, 2017: Judge Astacio is released from jail.

August 2017: Judge Astacio is accused of violating her probation. She claims a foot cream set off a false positive result for alcohol on her ankle bracelet. Judge Astacio stops showing up for work in August, citing health concerns.

September 2017: Speaking in an exclusive interview with Adam Chodak, Astacio says she won’t step down as a city court judge.

October 3, 2017: Astacio is again accused of a probation violation for an unapproved trip to del Lago Casino in Seneca County.

October 8, 2017: A woman is arrested after police say she harassed and grabbed Judge Astacio at Rochester bowling alley/bar Radio Social.

October 17, 2017: Judge Astacio is accused of violating her probation again after officers say she made a trip to the Syracuse-area, but never submitted paperwork detailing the trip. Officers say her interlock device recorded a stop at the del Lago Casino again.

October 23, 2017: Judge Astacio is sent back to jail again, and is held until a court appearance on November 3.

November 9, 2017: Judge Astacio is again ordered back to jail by Judge Aronson after refusing a judge’s order to wear her ankle bracelet. Astacio argued that, under law, she shouldn’t be required to pay for the device.

February 2018: The Commission on Judicial Conduct, while arguing for more funding from the state, says a lack of stenographers is holding up its decision on Judge Leticia Astacio.

February 27, 2018: After being ordered back to work, Judge Astacio returns to the Hall of Justice for a day.

April 2, 2018: Judge Astacio gets a pay raise granted to city court judges across New York state.

April 3, 2018: Deputies investigate after Judge Astacio is denied a gun sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

April 10, 2018: Judge Astacio is arrested for the attempted gun purchase. Under the conditions of her probation, she is restricted from owning a gun.

April 11, 2018: After being accused of a felony, the Court of Appeals suspends Judge Astacio with pay — changing little for the judge who hadn’t been showing up for work anyway. A week later she would be charged with new probation violations related to her attempted gun purchase along with an additional violation saying she ended treatment too soon.

April 16, 2018: In an interview with News 8, an administrator for the Commission on Judicial Conduct says the commission won’t be swayed by public outrage surrounding Astacio’s case.

April 24, 2018: The commission rules Astacio should be removed a judge.

May 17, 2018: Judge Astacio files an appeal to fight the commissions decision.

July 18, 2018: Prosecutors drop probation violations against Judge Astacio related to her gun arrest.

September 5, 2018: Attorneys present oral arguments to Court of Appeals on the judicial commission’s recommendation.

September 11, 2018: Judge Astacio is indicted on weapon charges, related to the attempted purchase of a shotgun at Dick’s Sporting Goods earlier in the year.

October 16, 2018: The Commission on Judicial Conduct rules Leticia Astacio be removed from her judgeship.