This story has been updated from an earlier version to correct John Mangialardi's service affiliation. He is a member of the New York Guard, which augments and supports the National Guard in New York.
OSSINING, N.Y. For John Mangialardi, the highest level of achievement for a lawyer is to become a judge and that is why he is running for Ossining Town Justice.
"I think as a judge you have the greatest chance of doing what you think is the right thing for people," Mangialardi said.
Mangialardi lives in Briarcliff and runs a private law practice out of Hartsdale that deals with criminal, small claims, civil litigation, landlord/tenant issues and other cases.
Before going into private practice, Mangialardi served for four years as Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, where he grew up. As Assistant DA, he worked in the sex crime unit and dealt with many homicide cases.
Mangialardi said he has always believed in the justice system and feels that as a judge in a town court, he would have the greatest legal interaction with local residents.
"Fortunately, most of us are not in Supreme Court facing felony cases," he said. "The majority of people deal with justice courts."
Most of the cases that go to Ossining town court involve misdemeanors such as DWI, narcotics, domestic violence or shoplifting, Mangialardi said.
Aside from working as a private attorney, Mangialardi is also a commanding officer in the New York Guard and an advisor for the Mock Trial club at Ossining High School. He has two daughters in Ossining schools Katie, 17, who is in high school, and Linlee, 8, who attends St. Augustine's elementary school.
As part of his work with the New York Guard, Mangialardi does legal work for soldiers before they are deployed overseas.
"The military wants to make sure soldiers know that they are entitled to things like wills, powers of attorneys and health care proxies," Mangialardi explained. "A military person is not allowed to be penalized because they are deployed in losing their job seniority or losing their house because they didn't make payments."
Mangialardi is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party tickets for one of two town justice seats. A new justice position was created with the merging of the Ossining town and village courts.
Mangialardi's opponents are Michael Tawil, another attorney who is running on the Democratic line for town justice, and current Town Justice John Fried, who has been endorsed by the Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines.
Mangialardi said he is not allowed to talk about political issues as a candidate for town justice because it could prejudice him for issues that come before the court in the future.
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