Judge Cleared in $250K Campaign-Cash Case Goes Back to Work - NBC New York

Judge Cleared in $250K Campaign-Cash Case Goes Back to Work



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    A New York City judge has started work after being cleared of charges she violated campaign-finance laws. The charges kept her from the bench for over a year.

            Manhattan Surrogate's Court judge Nora Anderson was at her new office Tuesday. A jury acquitted her last week of skirting campaign-contribution limits by reporting that $250,000 in gifts and loans came from her own money instead of a contributor's.
    Anderson didn't immediately return a telephone call Tuesday.
    The Democrat won her 2008 race but was indicted and suspended shortly before she was due to start her duties. The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, formally lifted her suspension Monday.
    Her judgeship entails overseeing wills and trusts -- her specialty as an attorney before being elected.

    Prosecutors said she and her chief contributor and former boss, estates lawyer Seth Rubenstein, had cloaked campaign gifts and loans from him as coming from her own money so they could evade contribution limits. Anderson and Rubenstein said the money was indeed Anderson's and denied misleading anyone about it.

    Defense lawyers said the money became Anderson's when it was given and loaned to her, though they acknowledged Rubenstein expected she would use it for her judicial race. The defense attorneys also said that campaign workers were in charge of deciding how to report the money, and that election officials' guidance on the subject was murky.