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Five Questions for Justice Candidate De Chiaro

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Republican John De Chiaro is running for town justice in Pelham in the November election. Born in Ponza, Italy, the Pelham Manor resident now works at a law firm in Larchmont.

Question: How did you get involved in the town justice race this year?

Answer: I ran in 2007 against the two sitting judges in the primary and lost. Ever since that point in time, I was ready to go again. I didn’t wait for anybody to make their decision. I made my decision. I challenged in the Republican primary. I took one of the spots.

Q: What do you think are some of the important issues in Pelham?

A: There are no issues for judges. We don’t make policy. The most important three things…for a judge to have are scholarship, you have to be honest, and you have to have the judicial temperament for the job. I think I possess all three of those because I was a law clerk when I was younger. I’ve practiced in the trenches in criminal law. I think you have to have a fairly good understanding of criminal law because that’s what the justice court entails. I’ve had three criminal trials (in Pelham) and I’ve gotten three acquittals.

Q: How would your experience as a lawyer help you serve as town justice?

A: For me, it’s second nature. This is what we do. There’s no comparison. I have hands-on courtroom experience. My other two opponents, I don’t think, have that depth of knowledge that’s required for a trial judge. You need that hands-on courtroom experience, which I possess.

Q: What was your family’s reaction when you decided to run?

A: (laughs) My mother-in law, the first thing she said was, “You’re going to lose.” My good friend Judge Giamboi, I asked him and he said “You’re going to lose.” When Judge (Anthony) Pasquantonio dropped out, they said, “Maybe you have a chance now.” My wife is gung-ho. My mother is 96-years-old, so she doesn’t have much of an opinion on it.

Q: What has the reaction been from Pelham residents to your candidacy?

A: It’s been very positive. I’ve had one Democrat tell me to scram and get off his property. Another one told me not to get on his lawn and a third one told me just yesterday we’re not voting for you. Other than that, all of Pelham has been supportive. I’ve literally been to every corner of Pelham. I think I’ve lost about 10 pounds doing that.

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