Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Daniel McCullough has not shown up for work since April 2014, after specifying an unidentified illness as the cause of his absence. Nevertheless, McCullough continues to receive his full-time annual salary of $193,000, courtesy of New York taxpayers.
The 65-year-old jurist has taken full advantage of the benefits of New York’s unlimited sick-time policy for judges, having garnered $482,500 while on leave. The New York Daily news reported that McCullough will see a physician today for a post-op examination. His attorney, Roger Adler, defended the judge’s behavior by saying that the judge is a “proud man” who insists on completing his judicial appointment.
McCullough’s staff and caseload have been reassigned. However, because he refuses to resign or retire, he continues to receive a fully salary. There is a chance that this situation may continue: he was appointed in 2010 to a nine-year term on the bench by then-Gov. David Paterson.
While McCullough may continue to rely on the payment of his salary, whether he will return to the bench remains unknown. The Manhattan Supreme Court has sent letters repeatedly to McCullough asking for updates.
Neighbors of the judge, who resides in Queens, continue to claim that McCullough remains ill and is confined to a wheelchair. Attorney Adler claimed that McCullough is now at a rehabilitation facility in Nassau County, New York.
According to his bio at the New York State Senate website, McCullough is considered an accomplished attorney:
"Mr. Daniel McCullough began his career as a corrections officer for the State Department of Corrections, and a parole officer in the State Division of Parole, from 1978 to 1996. After graduating from St. John’s University School of Law, he became an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Parole, the position he currently holds. An accomplished attorney and experienced judge with a strong background in criminal and civil litigation, Mr. McCullough also serves as the Program Director for the New York City Mission Society, and is a member of the New York Civil Court Volunteer Lawyers. He is also a noted community lecturer, specifically on the topic of “How to Live On and Successfully Complete Parole.”