- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - Criminal cases in a northern New York county are being reassigned after a judge recused himself from hearing cases involving the district attorney.

St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome Richards recused himself from all court matters handled by District Attorney Mary Rain and cancelled the court calendar for the remainder of this week.

The Watertown Daily Times reports (https://bit.ly/1VppGVa ) that Richards recused himself due a conflict created when he wrote a letter to state court officials about the district attorney allowing a staffer who had yet to pass the bar exam to prosecute a case.

Franklin County Family Court Judge Derek Champagne was announced as Richards’s replacement Thursday by the state Unified Court System. Surrogate Court Judge John Richey is scheduled to cover the criminal calendar next week.

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