With Spring Valley Village Justice David Fried's decision to step down from the bench so he can run for Rockland County executive, the county is seeking a new judge to lead its misdemeanor drug court program.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said Fried made his intentions known to County Court Judge Charles Apotheker before his announcement so the transition process could get started.
"We have been working together to find the right judge to continue this vital and very specialized court," Zugibe said. "We expect to have this matter resolved quickly without any disruption."
Fried, based at his court in Spring Valley, oversaw the special drug court program that was launched recently to put focus on misdemeanor-level drug crimes. The program provides Rocklanders who have been accused of drug crimes an alternative to standard courts for participate in drug and substance abuse programs — if they are admitted to the program.
Although the court is based in Spring Valley, the court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor drug crimes committed throughout Rockland County. The program is designed to resolve substance abuse programs that are the root cause of other criminal activity.
The program is similar to the program that is run at the County Court level and supervised by Apotheker, but that program focuses on cases involving residents who have been accused of felonies.
On Sunday, Fried plans to formally announce his bid for the county executive's post. Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef has announced he does not plan to seek re-election to the county's top governmental job.