Nassau County District Court Judge Angelo Delligatti, 66, has four more years before the New York State constitution forces him to retire. County Court is where he wants to end his career.
“I’ve been a criminal attorney for basically my entire life,” Delligatti said. “I spent seven years as an assistant district attorney. I defended criminal cases as an attorney in private practice, and it’s always been a desire of mine to sit in the County Court.”
Delligatti is the Republican candidate for County Court, a higher court than his current Nassau County District Court, 2nd District, where he hears cases that carry a penalty of less than one-year incarceration.
Although he said he enjoys the cases he hears now, as County Court judge he would hear felony criminal cases, up to and including life in prison.
Delligatti is running on the Republican, Conservative, and Independence lines.
Married 40 years, he has two sons and two grandchildren. He was born in Queens and has lived in Massapequa Park for 55 years.
He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1967 with a B.A., and from St. John’s University in 1970 with a law degree. He spent four years as the Town of Oyster Bay supervisor, and 15 years as a town councilman. He took a seat in the District Court in 2009.
“I think it was perfect training for what lies ahead, if I would be lucky enough to get elected,” Delligatti said.
He said the most important qualification for a judge are knowledge of the law and temperament.
“I think it is important or the judge to treat everyone with respect,” he said. “You need to be judicial, but you need to temper justice with mercy when necessary, as a criminal judge. Judges who scream and yell and bang their gavel, I’m not saying there’s never a time to do that, but I don’t think that’s really a necessary way to preside over a courtroom.”
His desire to become a judge “came much later in life.”
“It came after I had been practicing law for 20 years, I kind of set my eye on that possibility somewhere down the road,” he said. “I’m very happy that it happened. It’s been a great experience and I’m happy to continue doing it, at least for another four years anyway.”
Although he said some judges might disagree, he believes “it’s good to let new blood come in.”
“When they wrote the constitution, 70 was very old,” he said. “When you get old, you get set in your ways.”