Nicholas Garaufis

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Nicholas Garaufis
Nicholas Garaufis.jpg
Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #7
Station:   Brooklyn, NY
Service:
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   5/25/2000-9/30/2014
Senior:   10/1/2014-Present
Preceded by:   Charles Sifton
Personal History
Born:   1948
Hometown:   Paterson, NJ
Undergraduate:   Columbia College, 1969
Law School:   Columbia Law School, 1974

Nicholas Garaufis is a federal judge on senior status for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Garaufis joined the court in May 2000 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. He assumed senior status on October 1, 2014.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Garaufis graduated from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree in 1969 and later from Columbia University Law School with his Juris Doctor in 1974.[1]

Professional career

Garaufis was a private practice attorney in New York State from 1973 to 1975 before serving as an Assistant State Attorney General in the New York Attorney General's Office from 1975 to 1978. Garaufis resumed private practice from 1978 to 1986 before serving as Chief Legal Counsel for the Office of the President of the Borough of Queens, New York from 1986 to 1995. Garaufis was Chief Counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration from 1995 to 2000.[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of New York

On the recommendation of U.S. Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Chuck Schumer, Garaufis was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York by President Bill Clinton on February 28, 2000, to a seat vacated by Charles Sifton. Garaufis was confirmed by the Senate on May 24, 2000, on a Senate voice vote and received his commission on May 25, 2000.[2] Garaufis assumed senior status on October 1, 2014.

Notable cases

FDNY discrimination case (2010-2011)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (US and The Vulcan Society, Inc v. The City of New York, et al, No. 07-cv-2067 (NGG)(RLM))

On July 22, 2009, Judge Garufis ruled against the City of New York for using selection tests that discriminated against black and Hispanic applicants to the Fire Department.[3]

The U.S. Department of Justice sued New York City after the Vulcan Society, a black fire fighters advocacy group, filed a complaint over the department's hiring practices.[3]

In another ruling involving the same plaintiffs, the Vulcan Society, the judge issued a ruling on January 13, 2010, that the City of New York engaged in widespread discriminatory hiring practices of its firefighters. Garafuis wrote in his ruling that the discriminatory hiring practices stems back all the way to the 1960's and described it as "a persistent stain on the Fire Department’s record."[4]

In November, 2011, Judge Garaufis appointed Mark S. Cohen, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to serve as a special bias monitor for the FDNY to ensure fair treatment for minorities in the department. The appointment came after Judge Garaufis ruled that judicial oversight of the FDNY was necessary because of the, in his words, "pattern and practice of discrimination against black firefighter candidates."[5]

NY mental disabilities case (2010)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Disability Advocates, Inc v Paterson, et al, No. 03-CV-3209 (NGG))

On September 8, 2009, Judge Garafuis ruled that New York State had to find new housing for 4,000 mentally handicapped citizens. The judge found that the State of New York put these citizens in what he called "poorly-run, seedy homes". The 210-page ruling issued by Garafuis found the state committed numerous violations under The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and gave health officials six weeks to come up with a plan for new housing.[6]

Later, Judge Garafuis ruled on March 2, 2010, that the State of New York must create 1,500 units of housing for the mentally handicapped every year until 2013. Officials overseeing housing for the mentally handicapped in New York State questioned the judge's ruling at a time when the state's resources were stretched thin due to a budget crisis.[7]

The New York Post in its March 8, 2010, edition criticized Judge Garaufis over what the newspaper reported was an apparent conflict of interest. This came from the judge's wife serving on the Board of Directors for The Fountain House which advocates for people with mental disabilities in the New York City area. The newspaper also reported that the New York Attorney General's office raised issue over his wife's affiliation when the case was first brought to the court in 2006, but did not ask the judge to recuse from the case.[8]

Bonanno crime family murder and racketeering case (2009)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (US v. Basciano, No. 05-CR-060 (NGG))

Judge Garufis presided in the murder and racketeering trial of Vincent Basciano, formerly acting boss of the Bonanno crime family. Basciano was convicted of the murder of a mob associate and attempting to kill federal prosecutor Greg Andres.[9] As a result of the conviction, Basciano was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[10]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Charles Sifton
Eastern District of New York
2000–2014
Succeeded by:
NA


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