Oneonta City Court Judge Lucy Bernier announced in a Sunday media release she will seek re-election in November.

Bernier, who was first elected in 2004, explained her decision by saying: “By improving the fairness of our legal system, we help improve the strength and safety of our neighborhoods, and the quality of life for everyone in our community. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Oneonta, and I hope to continue my service."

Bernier has instituted changes at City Court to better assure that individuals are accorded their legal and constitutional rights, the release said. She has implemented improvements in court efficiency and made small claims court more user friendly. Under her initiative, the Oneonta City Court now offers an internship program for local college students to introduce them to various facets of the justice system.

Bernier has more than 34 years of legal experience. Her public service includes serving as Oneonta city prosecutor from 1998 to 2003 and as Otsego County assistant district attorney from 1992 to 1997 and coordinated the Child Sexual Abuse Task Force under the direction of then-District Attorney Michael V. Coccoma.

Her law practice has included residential real estate, assigned counsel work in Family Court, wills and estates, and adoptions.

She is a graduate of Albany Law School, where she was an editor on the Albany Law Review. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English with honors from State University of New York at Oneonta and is a graduate of Oneonta High School where she was an Oneonta Rotary Club exchange student to Japan.

She has been married to Joseph Bernier, a retired Oneonta community development director, since 1983. They have two daughters, Genevieve and Emily.

“I grew up in Oneonta, met and married my husband here, and raised our family here,” she said. “It is a great place to live, and a diverse community where the rights of all should be respected. As City Court Judge, I am deeply committed to applying the law fairly and impartially,” she said.

County election officials said petition filings doesn’t start until July and they did not know of anyone who has declared their intention to run for the position.

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