ALBANY -- A downtown Albany lawyer was named by the city commission to serve as an assistant Municipal Court Judge on an "as needed" basis, Tuesday.
Assistant Municipal Court Judge Ralph Scoccimaro has been serving as the primary judge since Chief Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver was placed on paid leave by the commission following his arrest on domestic violence charges.
Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell originally made a motion that Steven Cannon be named assistant municipal court judge and when corrected by Mayor Pro Tem Roger Marietta, Postell said, "Oh, well all white people look alike anyway."
The comment prompted visual reactions from many on the commission, including Ward II Commissioner Dorothy Hubbard who later called his comment, "inappropriate."
After the body adjourned, Postell said his comment was made in jest and that he didn't believe it was inherently racist.
"That's the way I see everyone," Postell said. "Color isn't a thing to me."
The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Jon Howard voting against the appointment. Albany Mayor Willie Adams, who was attending a meeting in Camilla, and Commissioner Bob Langstaff were absent.
The vote came following a closed-door session to discuss personnel matters.
City Manager James Taylor said following Tuesday's meeting that there is the possibility during the October trial calendar, that Scoccimaro may have to miss municipal court, which prompted the commission to consider using an as-needed assistant.
As an assistant municipal court judge, Cannon will receive $350 each time he has to sit in on court.
Cannon is president of the downtown merchant's association and is a board member of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority.