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      Court of Appeals upholds dismissal of former Family Court Judge Bryan Hedges

      The New York State Court of Appeals said Thursday that it has upheld the Commission on Judicial Conductâ??s removal of former Family Court Judge Bryan R. Hedges for allegedly engaging in a sexual encounter with his 5-year old niece, in 1972, before he was a judge.

      The Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded last August that the alleged incident, predating his 27 years as an Onondaga County Family Court judge, constitutes misconduct that disqualifies Hedges from ever again being a judge. The commission recommended permanent removal of Hedges, who resigned in April after learning he was under investigation for the 1972 incident. The lengthy report is available in its entirety here.

      "It is never easy or pleasant to remove a judge from office, but sometimes it is necessary in order to protect the public and the integrity of the judiciary," the Commission said in a statement. "The Commission appreciates that on the facts of this very sad and troubling case, the Court affirmed the Commission's determination that removal was required."