Manhattan judge who had been on sick leave for 3 years retires




A Manhattan judge who’d been out on sick leave for more than three years retired last month after state ethics officials slapped him with administrative charges.


Former Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel McCullough had been under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct when he put in retirement papers and swore to never seek a spot on the bench again.


McCullough, 65, opted to settle the matter rather than fight to try to keep his no-show gig.


He has been collecting his $193,000 salary since stepping aside for what was supposed to be a temporary sick leave.

Manhattan judge out sick for nearly three years may come back


Sick time for judges is not capped, but the commission found he “failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary by failing to maintain high standards of conduct,” in his handling of the situation, the agency found.


“While the commission has authority to retire a judge for disability, it would allow any seriously ill judge the opportunity to recover and return to work,” said commission administrator Robert Tembeckjian.


“By any reasonable standard, however, three years is too long for a judge to be out of work, with no end in sight, while others absorb his caseload.”


McCullough’s maladies included “severe anemia, a degenerative spinal condition, spinal surgery, (and) paralysis of the lower extremities.”

‘Sick’ Manhattan judge may finally step down


The Daily News first exposed McCullough’s abuse of the unlimited sick leave policy in December.


His attorney, Roger Adler, called the matter a “personal tragedy” for McCullough, who has been in a residential rehab facility since September.


“This has been a nightmare period since his health began to fail in 2014,” Adler said.


“It’s a sad day on both a personal and professional basis for him because it brings his active career as a practicing lawyer effectively to a close,” he added.

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