Judge Stephen W. Herrick will take on the position of County Public Defender after serving the Albany County Court for 14 years. Facing the state-mandated retirement age of 70, Judge Herrick will remain on the bench until his appointment is confirmed by the Albany County Legislature in October.
As County Public Defender, Judge Herrick will deal with matters concerning the defense of individuals in the county of Albany who have been charged with crimes. It will not be the first time Herrick finds himself in this position.
After graduating from Albany Law School in 1972, he was appointed Assistant Public Defender of Albany County as a felony trial attorney. From there he moved on to serve as chief counsel for the Albany City School District, where he worked for 18 years.
“I never thought that I would have an opportunity to once again be a part of the Albany County public defender's office,” Judge Herrick said at an Aug. 29 press conference, according to the Times Union.
Judge Herrick presided in the Albany County City Court from 1995 to 2001. He also worked for two years, in 2000 and 2001, as the Albany Regional Drug Treatment Court judge. Judge Herrick continued this line of work as he began to serve on the Albany County Drug Treatment Court, which provides an alternative solution to non-violent substance abusers, who receive court-supervised treatment and tools for a chance at recovery.
Along with his immersion in drug courts, Judge Herrick joined the Albany County Court in 2002, the role he held for 14 years. He became a member and chair of the New York State Best Practices Committee for Drug Courts in 2002 and remains active in that role.
Judge Herrick was appointed the head of the Public Defender’s Office by County Executive Daniel McCoy. McCoy previously appointed Terence L. Kindlon ’73, a longtime criminal defense attorney, to the position of Senior Counsel and Director of Training for the Public Defender’s Office. It is expected that Kindlon, the acting public defender, and Judge Herrick may collaborate on improvements to the office.