YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the editor:
Before I retired, I spent my entire career in New York City as a social worker and administrator at New York Foundling and Jewish Board of Family and Children Services. The clients were people of all ages who live with mental illness, family violence and addiction. I encountered many judges and saw firsthand the extent of their influence beyond the law; many good, some less good.
A dear friend of mine came before the Yorktown Town Court and Judge Gary Raniolo three times. Each time, I drove from my home in Delaware to Yorktown to show support. As we waited our turn, I heard stories of serious mistakes and corresponding remorse as well as cases of those still not getting the seriousness of what they did. I am writing to convey to your readers how positively impressed I was with Judge Raniolo. He was calm, focused and even-handed as he listened to all those stories and heard the differing perspectives from the DA and the defendants’ lawyers. He was firm as needed and quite kind and supportive to those who were trying to put their lives back together. He was also quick and efficient, qualities that everyone appreciated!
As I watched, I came to appreciate his remarkable ability to be clear, fair and helpful, especially to one defendant whose family he gave the hope they couldn’t find on their own. I came to admire how Judge Raniolo interacted with others. He had a rapport with his court staff; he looked at individuals when he spoke to them; he praised; he showed understanding and respect; he used humor; and he was tough when toughness was needed. Overall, that’s a great deal of talent and wisdom!
While I wish my friend did not have to appear in court, Judge Raniolo made the experience as good as it could be. I am grateful my friend was in Judge Raniolo’s capable hands. I have no doubt there are countless families whose lives he has influenced in a positive way during life’s low points.
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