QUEENSBURY- The search to find office space for newly elected State Supreme Court Justice and Glens Falls Attorney Robert Muller has taken yet another turn this week.
County officials announced Monday that the previously bypassed office space at the former CNA building in Glens Falls may be a short-term saving grace, as a proposed space at the municipal center will require months of renovations.
According to Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe, the 1,500 square foot CNA office space recently under consideration recently for Muller's office is now available for $500 per month for the first three months and $15 per square foot from then on. Furthermore, the building's owner will now accept a one- year lease as opposed to the previous five-year proposal, Monroe said on Monday.
Although already a sitting justice, Muller is still without office space as the county has struggled with providing him headquarters and how to secure funding for office construction or rental.
"It is not fair to Judge Muller not to have a place to sit," Monroe said. "The judge is very concerned that he has no private place to work when he is in Warren County."
New York State Law mandates that the home county of a Supreme Court Justice pay for his private, Class-A office space.
Recently, Monroe and other county officials decided, in concert with State Administrative Judge Vito Caruso, to house Muller in the county municipal center in order to save money and provide reasonable security.
"Adequate security was Judge Caruso's main concern," Monroe said. "But Supreme Court Justices Ferradino and Williams in Saratoga County have no security."
Supervisors voiced their support of the CNA plan as a temporary fix as the search for long-term office space continues.
"Conceptually, this seems to be the best way out-we need to keep this moving forward," said Queensbury Supervisor-at-Large Fred Champagne. "This at least buys us some time."
Monday, the county facilities committee voted unanimously to pass a resolution accepting the reduced bid.
The decision requires the approval of Caruso, which Monroe said he anticipated.
"It is likely that Judge Caruso will support a resolution as a short term fix," Monroe said.