Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: May 1, 2001

Seal of the Unified Court System
Law Day 2001-Four Court Employees Honored for Heroism, Public Service and Professional Excellence
ALBANY - As part of today's Law Day celebration at the Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman presented four court employees with Merit Performance Awards in the categories of heroism, superior work performance, community service and humanitarian pursuits. Also on hand to commemorate Law Day were Lieutenant Governor Mary O. Donohue, Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer and New York State Bar Association President Paul Michael Hassett.

Recipients of this year's awards include a court officer who while commuting home on the train last year saved the life of a fellow passenger in cardiac arrest by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation; a judges' secretary who generously gives of her time to improve the quality of education and increase voter participation in her community; an office worker whose professionalism and efficiency helps bring calm and order to the often harried environment of the Family Court where she reports; and a court officer who for the past two decades has served as a volunteer for the local fire department and now heads a group of 100 volunteer firefighters as chief.

Chief Judge Kaye said, "The individuals we are honoring today with this special award have distinguished themselves by generously giving of their time and energy to their neighbors, co-workers and the community at large. Their selfless acts and adherence to high standards of professionalism and excellence - throughout the workday and long after it ends - have garnered them recognition and praise by their colleagues and the public. These four award recipients embody the true spirit of public service and serve as an inspiration to us all."

Judge Lippman stated, "We in the Judiciary are very proud to have among our workforce dedicated, community-minded employees, such as today's Merit Performance Award recipients. These four individuals have made laudable contributions in both the workplace and their communities, setting sterling examples of professional and civic responsibility for all of us. I am delighted to join with the Chief Judge in presenting them this special award today."

The 2001 Merit Performance Award recipients are

  • Shawn A. Fagan: Buffalo City Court; Judge's Secretary 
  • Jacqueline Green: Westchester County Family Court; Principal Office Assistant 
  • Gary V. Mazur: Nassau County District Court; Court Officer 
  • Mitchel S. Wallace: New York City Family Court; Court Officer 
Earlier this year, a call for nominations of non-judicial Unified Court System employees for the Merit Performance Award Program was announced statewide. Nominations were accepted from court system employees, members of the bar, community and civic groups, and members of the public.

Detailed descriptions of the specific contributions of the award recipients can be obtained by calling the court system's Communications Office at (212) 428-2500.