Town justice named ‘Judge of the Year’

Allen Smith

Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith has been chosen 2010 Judge of the Year by the Suffolk County Criminal Bar Association.

“It’s a distinct honor to receive this, because a town justice has never gotten this before and they’ve done this for more than 30 years,” Mr. Smith said Thursday.

Mr. Smith has been a town justice since 2000. He served previously as Riverhead Town Supervisor, Town Attorney, deputy Suffolk County Attorney and Riverhead school board member. He also maintained his own law practice in Riverhead. He’s been re-elected three times as judge, and he’s also been instrumental in establishing the East End Regional Intervention Court, commonly called “drug court,” with Southampton Town Justice Deborah Kooperstein.

“The Suffolk County Criminal Bar Association is unique in the state of New York in that it’s composed of the defense bar, the prosecutors and the judges,” Mr. Smith said. “The competition was between all the county court judges, all the district court judges, all the town judges and it’s been my good fortune to be selected as judge of the year.”

Mr. Smith, a Republican, has been a member of the Riverhead Fire Department for more than 30 years and is currently a second lieutenant in the Red Bird Hook and Ladder Company.

“We are truly honored to have a man of Judge Smith’s wisdom, integrity and knowledge serving the people of Suffolk County,” said Mary Elizabeth Abbate, association president. “He is a great asset to both our organization and the judiciary of the county.”