LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The late Judge Ronald Cicoria’s portrait joined the ranks of Livingston County’s greatest judges on the wall of the county courthouse at a special ceremony Wednesday night. The Cicoria family greeted members of the local legal community and law enforcement who packed the courtroom to give their regards for ‘the Judge’ and gather in memory of his life and legacy one last time, in the very courtroom over which he presided for 30 years.
Sitting County Court Judges Robert Wiggins and Dennis Cohen were joined at the bench by Judge Richard Wesley of the United States Court of Appeals, Justice Thomas Moran of New York State’s Seventh Judicial District, and Judge Gerard Alonzo, who served as Livingston County Court Judge from 1996 to 2005, to say some words and share their personal memories about ‘Judge Ron.’
“I miss him,” said Justice Moran. “It was 41 years ago this week I think that I started next door at the Sheriff’s Office. Ron was already DA. I had the privilege of being able to go and see him, and absorb his wisdom. I have to tell you, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t say to myself, ‘what would Ron do?’ You couldn’t be blessed with a better mentor.”
Judge Wiggins said that he hopes the Cicoria family comes to the courthouse to visit the portrait in the ‘hall of judges,’ which connects the grand main courtroom to the judges’ chambers.
“For 30 years he presided over justice in this county, and that is an amazing record,” said Judge Wiggins. “The portrait is a happy reminder of when you had a wonderful judge in Ron Cicoria, and we are all beneficiaries of that.”
Judge Cohen said that his legal career actually began with a conversation with a young lawyer, Ronald Cicoria, at a little restaurant in Caledonia.
“He was a wonderful and important influence in my life, and I like to think my legal career began with a conversation with Ron at the Hole-in-the-Wall in Caledonia,” said Judge Cohen. “He first encouraged me to go to law school and become a lawyer. We are so lucky to have had him as our judge for so long.”
Judge Alonzo fondly recounted Judge Cicoria’s profound passion for the work that happens at the county courthouse.
“One thing we had in common was our appreciation for the work that goes on in this building,” said Judge Alonzo. “We shared an appreciation for justice, and as Ron would have said, to ‘just get it right.'”
Judge Wesley remembered that from the beginning, Judge Ron was a straight shooter, a capable attorney, and a dignified man.
“He represented this one young lady for a child support case in Genesee County, and we’re waiting in court in Batavia for her to show up,” said Judge Wesley. “She comes wearing hot pants and a halter top. Ron thought that attire was not appropriate for asking for more child support. Fortunately she lived in Caledonia and was able to go home and change. She looked much more in need when she came back, and Ron was quite able in getting her justice that day.”
Judge Ron’s brother, Livingston County Sheriff’s Sergeant Gary Cicoria, closed the ceremony with thanks to the congregation for coming and showing their love and support for the family.
“This is a great honor for Ron. Ron loved the law, the attorneys, the fellowship,” said Sergeant Ciroria. “Ron loved everyone in this room, just so you know, and the thing he was proudest of was his family. It’s a picture he would have picked out himself, by the way, because he looks terrific.”