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Judge disciplined for writing letter on behalf of man sentenced in deadly drunken boating accident

A high-level judge has been sanctioned for using her position in an attempt to have a man responsible for killing two people in a drunken boating accident released from prison.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A high-level judge has been sanctioned for using her position in an attempt to have a man responsible for killing two people in a drunken boating accident released from prison.

The State Judicial Commission admonished Nancy Smith, a senior associate justice for the Appellate Court in Rochester, saying she violated ethical standards by writing a letter to a parole board on behalf of Craig Cordes.

The 38-year-old was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2008 and sentenced to three and a half to 10 years behind bars.

The incident occurred on Skaneateles Lake.

According to the commission’s report, Smith’s letter did not disclose that she had never met Cordes and that the letter was written at the request of the man’s mother.

Cordes’ parole was denied.

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