Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan was tapped late Monday for a judgeship on the state Court of Claims.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Hogan late last week, and Hogan was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate late Monday afternoon as her family looked on in the Senate chambers.
She was sworn in Monday night and was required to resign as district attorney as a result. Hogan said the appointment will take effect Tuesday, when her oath of office is filed.
State Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, spoke on her behalf during the Senate hearing, calling her a “great community person.”
“It is a nomination he (Cuomo) will never regret, I can guarantee that,” Little told her fellow senators.
State Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Albany, praised her as well for her work ethic and accomplishments during her years as a prosecutor in Warren County.
Hogan, a Republican, said late Monday that she would have a statement on the appointment Tuesday.
Hogan was one of nine new Court of Claims judges named to the court on Monday. State Sen. John Bonacic, R-Middletown, praised Cuomo for an “impressive” slate of nominees.
Hogan’s statewide stature has grown in recent years, as she sat on the Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption, was leader of the state district attorneys association and sat on numerous statewide legal task forces.
She is coming off a highly publicized trial in which she secured convictions in the Lake George boating fatality case, a trial she prosecuted personally.
She was reportedly considered for U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York earlier this year, and has been wooed by state Republicans to run for a number of posts over the years.
Her departure as district attorney would mean Queensbury resident and native Jason Carusone, Hogan’s longtime first assistant district attorney, would become district attorney, with an election for the post this fall. Carusone, a Republican, assisted Hogan with the Lake George boat case and headed the office’s drug prosecutions for years.
Hogan would have been up for re-election as district attorney this fall.
The Court of Claims was established to hear lawsuits that are filed against the state, but the judges also hear some Supreme Court-level civil cases.
There are six Court of Claims judges in Albany, and others based in cities across the state.
They are appointed to nine-year terms, but she could step down to run for Warren County judge or other positions locally if she so desired in the future. She has long been rumored as the likely successor to Warren County Judge John Hall when Hall retires in the coming years.
Court of Claims judges were paid $193,000 annually as of last year. Hogan’s salary as district attorney was $152,000 last year.
Hogan, a Glens Falls resident and a Hudson Falls native, has been Warren County district attorney since 2002. She was an assistant district attorney in Warren County and Kings County before she was elected, and also spent a number of years in private practice between prosecutorial stints.
She has not had a challenger for district attorney since the mid-2000s, winning re-election unopposed.
Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said Hogan’s departure was a “loss” for the local legal community, but a gain for the state.
Few realize the statewide impact she has had with criminal justice issues over the years through the District Attorney’s Association and her other statewide efforts. For instance, she was instrumental in the state’s Leandra’s Law legislation that made drunken driving with a child in the vehicle a felony.
“She has been able to affect the decision-making on a lot of important issues,” Jordan said.
He said Carusone and the team that Hogan put in place in her office will be up to the challenge of carrying on her legacy. On a personal level, he said he will miss having Hogan available as a sounding board for decisions.
“She was a big reason I ran (for district attorney). We always have been able to reach out to each other,” he said.
Warren County Sheriff Bud York said Hogan will certainly be missed by police in the county.
“We have always had a great working relationship with her,” he said. “It’s great when police and prosecutors work together.”
York recalled a state Sheriff’s Association conference where Hogan spoke several years ago, and the reaction of many of the sheriffs who were in attendance.
“A bunch of them came up to me and said, ‘Man, I wish we had a district attorney like her so we could have that sort of working relationship,’ “ he said.