Keppler resigns as town justice following complaint over inappropriate Facebook posts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2022 at 10:24 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dawn Keppler is shown in this photo from April 28, addressing the Orleans County Legislature. She shared her concerns about a district court in the county.

SHELBY – Dawn Keppler, a Shelby town justice since 1999, has resigned her position, as well as the associate town judge for Ridgeway and Yates while being investigating by the State of New York Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Keppler’s resignation resolved the matter before the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The Commission notified Keppler in April it was investigating a complaint that she improperly promoted prejudicial and inflammatory content on Facebook, and that she inappropriately lent the prestige of her judicial office to advance the private interests of others.

Judge Keppler resigned from judicial office on Dec. 2, and agreed never to seek or accept judicial office at any time in the future.

“It has been a privilege to serve our community as Town Justice for the last twenty-three years, but I am resigning my position effective at the close of business on Friday, December 2, 2022,” Keppler wrote in a Nov. 21 letter to Steven Seitz, the acting town supervisor for Shelby.

She also sent letters on Nov. 21 to Brian Napoli, Ridgeway town supervisor, and Jim Simon, Yates town supervisor, announcing her resignations as the associate town justices in those towns, and said she appreciated the opportunity to serve the community.

Keppler served as president of the Orleans County Magistrates Association and also was on the board of directors for the NYS Magistrates Association, serving as treasurer.

Robert H. Tembeckjian, administrator for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, issued this statement on Dec. 20 following Keppler’s resignation:

“Judges must approach social media with caution,” he said. “Public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the courts is shaken whenever a judge originates or republishes social media posts that are insulting to particular individuals or groups, stridently political, or otherwise brash and indiscreet.”