Judge Orders Senate Foes Back to the Table

ALBANY—Justice Thomas McNamara, anticlimactically, ordered the warring parties in a leadership struggle for the State Senate to continue negotiating.

"As a matter of public policy, you guys should work this out so I'm directing you to go across the street and do that and report back to me at 1 o'clock," he said. "There are 64 (sic) members over there, who are, in my opinion, hopefully, capable of getting together and working through what I have every understanding and appreciation are very serious and difficult matters, but which can be resolved and can be worked through in a way to be beneficial to the citizens of this state."

He said he is prepared to rule on a lawsuit filed by Democrats last week, but reiterated a belief expressed Friday that the matter should be worked out legislatively. The session lasted less than 10 minutes.

Appearing for State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and the Republicans were John Ciampoli and David Lewis. The Democrats once again showed up in court with enough attorneys to field a baseball team, led by Richard Emery and Andrew Celli.

McNamara retreated with attorneys for both sides at the request of Celli, who noted "there have been some developments on the ground" since an appearance Friday.

Leaving court, Emery was asked about the possibility of a power-sharing agreement. "There must be a power sharing agreement for the Senate to operate," he said. Negotiations are ongoing.

"We hope that will be successful." Judge Orders Senate Foes Back to the Table