Stuffed Bear Is Banished from Courthouse Lobby
A stuffed bear dubbed “Smokey” made only a limited appearance in the lobby of the Sullivan County courthouse in Monticello, N.Y.
Smoky was placed in the lobby on Sept. 2 after a hunter who shot and stuffed the bear offered it to Judge Frank LaBuda, report the New York Law Journal and the Middletown Times Herald-Record. LaBuda tells the New York Law Journal that the bear is “beautiful” and “magnificent.”
Judge Michael Coccoma, the deputy chief administrator for courts outside of New York City, didn’t share LaBuda’s enthusiasm for the display. He ordered the bear removed, and it now sits in LaBuda’s private chambers.
“My position was it takes away from the decorum of the facility,” Coccoma told the New York Law Journal. “It’s not that I have anything against taxidermy. But given the seriousness of the business we do in our courts, I felt it was a distraction.”