Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig appointed Oneonta Attorney Donald J. Schwartz to the position of part-time city judge Monday, July 8, according to a media release.

Schwartz fills the position of Judge Richard McVinney. McVinney retired June 3, Herzig said Monday. Schwartz will preside at the City Court along with Judge Lucy Bernier, who is in her second term as the city's elected judge. He was sworn in Monday afternoon at City Hall by Herzig.

"I'm honored to be able to appoint Don Schwartz as our new part-time city judge," Herzig said. "I think he has extensive experience in the type of cases that come to city court, and I think ... that he has worked hard throughout his career to ensure that there is equal justice for all. I'm proud to have him join Judge Lucy Bernier on the bench at city court. We now have two city judges for the city of Oneonta court, who we can feel confident in their dealing with everybody who comes before them."

Schwartz has served as past president of the Otsego County Bar Association, according to the release. He has closed out more than 300 criminal cases since 1999 and has extensive civil experience. Schwartz has served as a public defender, acting prosecutor, private defense attorney, managing attorney for the local Legal Aid Society and a Supreme Court Small Claims Assessment Review hearing officer.

“Thank you to Mayor Herzig," said Schwartz in the release. "Good luck to Judge McVinney. I look forward to serving our community by joining Judge Bernier, Prosecutor Getman, Court Clerk Tisenchek and the hard working staff at Oneonta City Court.”

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.