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Outburst between Cayuga County District Attorney and a defense attorney results in financial sanction in courtroom

An argument in Cayuga County Court last week caused the judge to impose financial sanctions on the district attorney and defense attorney. He then changed his mind.

The verbal dispute was between Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann and defense attorney Rome Canzano on Aug. 19. The dispute happened during a conference for a criminal case.

The judge present was Judge Thomas Leone.


The argument was over Canzano’s client, who Budelmann was saying was not expressing remorse, but Canzano said he had accepted responsibility and knew what he was doing was wrong.

The two began bickering over what Canzano described as Budelmann’s high expectations for remorse, and Judge Leone swiftly put a stop to it, frustrated, saying he would start sanctioning people if they kept this up when the two were together in the court room.

Canzano took his turn to finish speaking and Budelmann began after, before another argument broke out.

Budelmann accused Canzano of personally attacking him before words were exchanged that were too much to transcribe.


Following the outburst Leone enforced a financial sanction on them both.

Budelmann then asked if he could address the personal comments that were made, believing he did not deserve the financial sanction, and Leone said they could go fight it out in the parking lot because they weren’t going to in his courtroom.

Leone adjourned the case then took back the sanction he had imposed on the men.

Budelmann is running for the vacant Cayuga County surrogate judge seat and Canzano is working on his opponent’s campaign, Ben Susman.



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