Retired county judge says Sandy Church has experience, integrity to do daunting job

Posted 11 October 2017 at 7:45 am


I wholeheartedly recommend Sanford Church as my successor as Orleans County Judge.

The County Judge in Orleans must be familiar with Family, Civil, and Criminal law. A lack of experience in any of these areas can result in reversals on appeal, which are costly and heartbreaking for victims of crimes and litigants who thought their case was over, only to find they may have to start again from the beginning.

Our judge has to understand and protect the constitutional rights of all, including the rights of law abiding citizens. He must protect abused and neglected children, resolve custody disputes, will contests, civil lawsuits, pistol permits issues – the list goes on. A judge who lacks the expertise to carry out these functions can have a detrimental effect on our way of life.

Sandy’s experience in all these areas of law is extensive and substantial. He has both prosecuted and defended hundreds of serious criminal cases. He has handled thousands of Family Court cases, often representing the interests of neglected and abused children. He has handled serious civil lawsuits, will contests, and just about any other legal matter that could arise here. I know of no one, in this or any other county, who is better prepared to take this job.

His resume, strong as it is, is not the primary reason for my confidence in him. The primary reason can be summed up in one word: integrity. In my 27 years as a judge, he never once misled me, he always did what he said he would do, he was always reliable and his advocacy was zealous, especially when protecting the interests of the children who needed his help the most. This integrity is the reason he has the support of the entire Orleans County legal community – men and women who have spent their careers and, in most cases, their lives, in this county and who have a stake in maintaining the quality of life we enjoy in these small towns and rural countrysides.

We are lucky to have someone with this lifelong dedication to the community. Sandy has lived in this community his entire life. He has  been involved as a leader in Orleans County in many ways. He has quietly helped many people as a youth sports coach, a Hospice and School Board member and as a member of service organizations among many other areas. He and his wife Diane raised their children here. We know him and we can trust him.

If someone of Sandy’s caliber was not willing to succeed me, I would not have felt right about retiring. We are lucky we can look to him to do this often daunting job.

James Punch