A Jamestown attorney for more than 37 years has accepted a new challenge.
On Monday, Jamestown native Fred Larson was appointed to be the second full-time city judge. Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, nominated Larson for the position and City Council approved the appointment. In March, it was announced the state had determined the city needed a second full-time judge. Prior to this decision, the city had one full-time judge, John LaMancuso, and a second part-time judge, George Panebianco. Panebianco had the option to assume the new full-time role, but declined to do so in order to continue his law practice.
In order to take the judge position, Larson will be stepping away from his law practice. Also, he will have to resign from public positions he currently holds such as representing Jamestown for District 12 in the Chautauqua County Legislature and being a board member for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, Chautauqua County Airport Commission and Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation.
''I'm humbled by the opportunity the mayor and City Council have given me to serve my hometown as a City Court judge,'' he said. ''After 37 years as an attorney, I look forward to this new chapter in my professional life. My pledge is that I will work hard and always seek to provide impartial justice for all who come before the Court.''
Larson said despite having to leave his private law practice, being elected last fall to the county legislature, which he had also previously done from 1985 to 1993, and holding several community positions, he said he has always been interested in being a judge.
''While the private practice has been a good experience, after 37 years of that experience, I was ready for a new challenge,'' he said.
"I look forward to this new chapter in my professional life."
Larson is a graduate of Jamestown High School, Princeton University and the Yale Law School. He is a member of the Jamestown Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
He has served as an at-large City Council member from 1979 to 1982. Larson served as county attorney from 1998 through 2005. He served on the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities from 1979 to 1989 and from 2008 to present. For the past seven years, Larson has been an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Fredonia where he teaches business law. He previously taught at JCC. Larson lives in Jamestown with his wife, Wendy. They have two sons, Eric and Peter.
Larson will have a 10-year term. At the end of the term, the mayor will either reappoint the judge to the position or appoint a new candidate. The position is not currently an elected position like LaMancuso's, who was elected to his third 10-year term last fall. The new second court would be held in Jamestown City Council's chambers on the second floor of the city's municipal building, located at 200 E. Third St.