by Susan Mikula Campbell
A hearing in the case against Town of Niagara Supervisor Steve Richards has been delayed until next month due to a change in judges.
Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. has stepped down from the case and will be replaced by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns of Buffalo. This is expected to move pre-trial actions in the case from Lockport to Buffalo. If the charges against Richards do come to trial, it is expected to take place in Niagara County.
Formal charges of unlawfully taking town property and using town equipment were brought against Richards by the state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last year, and Richards pleaded not guilty in October. Richards, who has been instructed by his lawyer Rodney Personius not to comment on the case, did lose his temper at one Town Board work session last year and said the case was brought by his political enemies and he was looking forward to proving the charges false.
Even Kloch commented at one point that some of the claims against Richards dated back too many years (to 2002).
Currently, no one involved in the case is making public comments.