Retired county judge says Bourke has proven integrity and professionalism

Posted 4 June 2019 at 7:11 am


On Jan. 1, 1986, I began my first day as Orleans County District Attorney, and Christopher Bourke began his first day on road patrol as an Orleans County Sheriff’s Deputy. In the ensuing years, I watched Chris rise through the ranks of the department up to his current position as undersheriff.

I worked with him during my 5 years as district attorney, as well as my 28 years as county judge.  He proved himself, time after time, to be a dedicated, honest and reliable officer. He demonstrated great integrity and consistent professionalism. I don’t think anyone knows this county and law enforcement here better than Chris does. I was extremely happy to see that he is running for sheriff.

Some people run for office to boost their ego or status. Chris simply wants to serve the people of this county. Arrogance tends to inhibit the learning process. Chris has proceeded though his career without arrogance, and with his eyes wide open. As a result, he has learned and developed every step of the way. He has a rare combination of humility and reliable competence.

I have nothing negative to say about his opponent because I don’t know him. In fact, despite my having been involved in the Orleans County criminal justice system since 1981, I have never heard his name until he announced he was running for sheriff here.

We are fortunate to have Christopher Bourke, who has dedicated his entire career to our county, and who is so well qualified to serve as our sheriff. It makes good sense to support a known quantity, especially when the individual is more than capable.

Chris has a personal decency and civility that make me proud to call him a friend. He has been a great asset to this county his whole life, and he will continue to be as your sheriff.

James Punch