NORFOLK -- Town Justice Donald G. Lustyik has been admonished by a state commission for acting on behalf of a town resident in a dispute.
The state Commission on Judicial Conduct said that Lustyik had put himself “in the middle of a serious situation” and “allowed his judicial status to be used to advance private interests as a favor to an acquaintance in a matter where, as he should have recognized, the potential for serious impropriety and significant legal consequences was considerable.”
In 2011 Judge Lustyik, at the request of an acquaintance the commission did not name, witnessed and signed a written statement by the acquaintance’s step-daughter indicating that she would not make any further accusatory statements about her stepfather, whom she had previously accused of molestation, the commission’s statement said.
Before witnessing the statement, the commission said, Lustyik had before never met the woman, “and he made no inquiry into the meaning or purpose of the statement, or the fact that it referred to a possible crime. The judge witnessed the statement at the town hall, where his court is located, and signed it as ‘Hon. Donald G. Lustyik.’”
Lustyik agreed to the admonition, according to the commission.
Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said in a statement on the case that while Lustyik “played a role in the relationship between the signers of this unsettling statement, or that he was involved in any wrongdoing by others, Judge Lustyik has appropriately acknowledged that it was wrong for him to casually witness this statement and to involve his office even tangentially in this matter.”
Lustyik told the commission he would not challenge their admonition.
Lustyik has been a justice for the Norfolk Town Court since 1986. His current term expires Dec. 31, 2017.