On Friday, Administrative Judge of the Seventh Judicial District, Craig Doran has released a statement /apology concerning an unfortunate incident back in 1988, and has stepped back from his administrative duties, although he remains a State Supreme Court Justice.
“It has come to my attention that a photograph taken of me at a Halloween party in 1988 in which I appear as a well-known public figure of color has been circulated. I am deeply sorry for my decision to appear in this manner. I did not comprehend at the time the hurtful nature of my actions. I know now that an act of this nature is considered to be racist. I can assure you that this event in 1988 in no way reflects my beliefs and principles.”
“I ask for forgiveness from those who have been hurt by this, those I may have embarrassed, and from the people who have taken time in their lives to educate me about the hurt my actions caused.”
Judge Doran went on to say that “... in accordance with the Chief Judge’s zero tolerance policy on matters of racial bias and insensitivity, I will no longer be exercising my responsibilities as Administrative Judge of the Seventh Judicial District. I plan to continue my service to the District as an elected Supreme Court Justice. I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue the work I have devoted my 30-year career to, bringing justice to all, particularly those who have been and arethe victims of ignorance, bias, racism, or injustice. I pledge to make the transition to a new administrative judge seamless.”
In response to Judge Doran’s statement, Tina Monshipour Foster, Esq., an Iranian-American human rights attorney and the Executive Director of JustCause in Rochester responded: “I have known Judge Doran since 2017, when I became the director of a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance to low income community members - disproportionately black and brown people. He is our strongest ally in the court system, and has done more to address racism and inequality in our local courts than anyone else I know. On an individual level, Judge Doran has actively supported and promoted people of color (including myself) to leadership positions. I have several colleagues who are African-American that he specifically recruited to lead important court initiatives. I remain grateful for his support, and look forward to continuing to work with him to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community.”