Candidate Profile: Hughes Wants Night Court, Better Security As Town Justice

Seasoned lawyer and registered Republican Brian Hughes is running on the Democratic ticket to challenge incumbent town judge Rudy Bruer, who has run unopposed for 12 years.

To Brian Hughes, experience and fear of error are key elements for anyone working in the legal field.

And with over 25 years of trial and litigation work in courthouses in New York City and all over Long Island under his belt — and not one case overturned — Hughes said he believes he is the best candidate for

“There’s an old saying in our practice: ‘Good attorneys carry with them the fear of error,'” Hughes said during an interview Friday morning at his Southold home. “Because if an attorney or a judge makes a mistake, someone will pay for it, big time.”

, Hughes, 62, is a registered Republican who recently He said he was a bit disappointed with the loss but not surprised due to the fact that Judge Bruer has not run unopposed in 12 years.

Though Hughes, a Queens native who has practiced law in Southold for 13 years, said he never had grand aspirations to round-out his career in law sitting on the bench, his frustration with the “same old slate” the Republicans put on the table for this election made up his mind to run.

“It had to be done,” he said of his decision. “Instead of looking for the best, most qualified people, Republicans went again with an incumbent who has never tried a case.”

With volume of cases increasing at Southold Town Justice Court, Hughes said that court security and scheduling need to be seriously addressed. He said he is frustrated that security recommendations from a 2007 audit by the New York State Office of Court Administration were not implemented. Southold Town Justice Court is in session on Fridays in a room that doubles as the Town Hall’s meeting room. There is one armed security guard while court proceedings take place.

“I want to go back to that security report and see what can be done,” he said. “The people of Southold want to feel safe in court — especially in the light of these times.”

Hughes also wants to see the creation of a night court for the convenience of the working person.

“Currently there is no option for working people who need to take a day off just to pay a ticket,” he said.

Hughes said that his affection for Southold Town and support from Democrat and Republican colleagues alike are also motivating factors in his decision to run for Town Justice.

“For 40 years, I’ve defended people’s lives, property and rights,” he said. “It does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat — Southold is a great town and its people deserve someone experienced and qualified on the bench. This is the opportunity.”

The Equalizer October 21, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Night court and better security! You have my vote, sir.
joey whoever October 21, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Mr Hughes taking ur quote “Currently there is no option for working people who need to take a day off just to pay a ticket", maybe if the person wasn't in a hurry or paying attention maybe they wouldn't have gotten a ticket in the first place. Maybe the ticket and taking a day off from work is a penalty for them and they just might think twice about doing it again. saying hey this ticket just cost me about 300 bucks maybe i should really watch myself instead of making it a convience to the law offender. PS night court is just gonna cost more in the long run... You are gonna have to either hire more people in justice court or pay the clerks overtime plus a court officer. Just saying, just some thought there
James Dinizio Jr October 22, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Judging from his letter in the local paper maybe pay back should be added to Mr Hughes list of promised goals if elected..
dan stasiukiewicz October 22, 2011 at 06:57 PM
@ Joey whoever: Your statement does not make any sense. Everyone needs to be in court at some point or another and its not just for speeding tickets. There are a lot of single parents out there and people working multiple jobs. A night court is a great idea even if it only pans out to be part time. @ James: Mr Hughes is not attacking anyone personally just merely stating facts. Judge Bruer does not have near the track record trying cases as Mr. Hughes does, in fact he has no track record. Stop with the small town politics and elect the better candidate. If you were running a business would be more inclined to hire someone that is qualified or your cousins, golf partners nephew? Hopefully once Brian is in office politics in a larger arena will start to follow suit.
joey whoever October 22, 2011 at 07:49 PM
@ dan what doesnt make any sense??
Mike Wilson October 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM
A formal complaint has been filed with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct against Mr. Hughes, based upon his campaign tactics against Mr. Bruer. There are certain things that you just can not do, say, and print as a judicial candidate. Mr. Hughes should maintain the decorum of the position for which he is running, and not allow other issues to cloud his judgment.
James Dinizio Jr October 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Dan I certainly would not want someone with seemly no principals at all.Mr Hughes is a republican ( they have a certain set of principals) running as a democrat ( they have a certain set of principals) who also wanted Conservative endorsement ( they have a set of principals) and Independence endorsement ( they have a certain set of principals) To me, who you choose to stand with says a lot about your character. Mr Hughes chose to use one of his own cases to tell 1 side of a story that Judge Bruer can not, by law, discuss. To me that is sleazy even for a Democrat.
Gary M Charters October 23, 2011 at 12:06 PM
Unless there's something going on that I'm not aware of the Primary Day Vote said it all.
Tim McCarthy October 26, 2011 at 05:18 AM
I moved away from 'Republican-ville' years ago. Twenty years on Long Island watching the white shoes and white belt elite of that party sending congratulation memos to each other when not at the country club finally wore thin. I've inquired about Brian Hughes. He IS the real thing. Small wonder his unrelenting activities at 'Ground Zero' earned him admiration and respect. He is well regarded as a lawyer, a NY Fire Fighter, and a gentleman. I'll return to LI when qualified men and women like Hughes are chosen over 'empty suit' stodgy old party favorites. Tim McCarthy Grangeville, Idaho
fishing fool October 28, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I know neither one personaly. That being said its time for the judge to step down. We need a younger clearer voice who wants to change the courts in this town for the better. Theres something to be said for going out while your on top. Enjoy your golden years sir, you earned them.
Joanna Lane October 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Since honesty in a Judge is a quality to be valued by the electorate, then reasonable people could agree that Mr. Hughes must answer truthfully when asked by a voter why they ought to vote for him and not vote for Judge Breur. Since Judge Breur's track record is a factor in why Mr. Hughes is running, I'm rather confused why anyone would say Mr. Hughes can only maintain the decorum of the position by being less than truthful with the electorate as to why he is running.
Benja Schwartz October 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Some call it the good ole' boys. Others point to NYS Law which limits the facts a judicial candidate can present. Do such laws violate democracy? Some would say YES!


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