Judge Thomas J. Sheeran announced this week he would seek a seventh four-year term of office as Lewiston town justice. Sheeran is completing his sixth term this year. In the previous four election cycles, the Democrat, Republican, Independence and Conservative parties endorsed Sheeran.
A graduate of Ithaca College, Sheeran earned master's degrees from Ithaca College and from Niagara University, and a doctorate from SUNY at Buffalo. Furthermore, Sheeran has completed 24 years of advanced judicial training conducted by the New York State Office of Court Administration. Additionally, Sheeran is a member of the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, a committee that provides guidance to judges at all levels of New York's judiciary on the rules that govern judicial behavior.
Sheeran is the author of more than 90 scholarly articles, monographs and a book. In addition, he has presented dozens of papers and workshops at conferences across the U.S., Canada and Asia.
Sheeran has been the judge of record in well over 100,000 cases and has conducted over 500 trials. In addition, he has shared his expertise and experiences with numerous community groups, including the Lewiston seniors, high school classes at Lew-Port and Niagara-Wheatfield and with faculty, staff and students at Niagara University, Niagara County Community College, UB, Buffalo State College, D'Youville and Union colleges. As a member of the faculty of the Judicial Institute, Sheeran has taught judicial ethics to judges across New York. He is a long-time faculty member at Niagara University.
When asked why he wants to continue to serve as town justice, Sheeran said, "This is an opportunity to extend my professional life as a teacher into the community; there is no better forum for making change in people's lives then in our local courts."
Sheeran regularly sentences young offenders to write papers or to perform community service "as a means to reflect on the circumstances that got them in trouble in the first place," he said.
Sheeran was responsible for implementing a countywide system, in conjunction with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, on setting pre-arraignment bail that has saved county taxpayers thousands of dollars. Additionally, this pre-arraignment system was expanded into both Lewiston and the Town of Niagara police departments, resulting in significantly increased efficiency and financial savings.
Over the past eight years, Sheeran and his colleague, Judge Hugh C. Gee, have professionalized the Town of Lewiston courts. They are widely recognized as models of efficiency and effectiveness. In the most recent data from the New York state comptroller's office, Lewiston's courts rank 65 out of 1,300 across New York state's town and village courts in the amount of activity adjudicated, and sixth in Western New York in court activity.
A highly respected person within the Lewiston community, Sheeran is a member of the National Judges Association, the New York State Magistrates Association and past-president of the Niagara County Magistrates Association. Recently, he was elected a director of the New York State Magistrates Association. Sheeran has been listed in "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who in American Education," "Men of Distinction" and "Who's Who of Emerging Leaders of America."
Over the past 38 years, Sheeran has served the Lewiston community as a member of the town's planning and zoning boards, as a member of the Lewiston Business and Professional Association, a Cub Scout leader and as a coach in the Niagara Pioneer Soccer League. In addition, Sheeran served as swimming coach at Niagara University for 12 years and initiated the women's competitive swimming program. His accomplishments as Niagara's swimming coach earned Sheeran election to the Niagara University Hall of Fame.
He has been married to the former Maureen Flynn for 44 years and has two children, Meaghan, a graduate of Syracuse University, and Brendan, a graduate of Niagara University.