Acting North Tonawanda City Court Judge Shawn P. Nickerson formally announced his candidacy for chief judge of North Tonawanda City Court.
The upcoming November election for this full-time position is a result of the impending retirement of current City Court Chief Judge William R. Lewis.
Nickerson was sworn in as the part-time, acting North Tonawanda City Court judge Jan. 1 by Mayor Arthur G. Pappas. Nickerson is currently serving a six-year term in this position.
Prior to his appointment, he served 10 years as North Tonawanda's city attorney. He was first elected to in 2005 and, subsequently, won re-election in 2009 and 2013. He served as North Tonawanda assistant city attorney from 2000-05.
Before accepting a position with the city attorney's office, Nickerson worked as a public defender in Buffalo City Court, where he handled thousands of criminal cases. He has maintained a private law practice for over 20 years, handling myriad criminal and civil matters.
In addition to being admitted to the New York State Bar, he holds licenses to practice law in Florida and Washington, D.C.
Nickerson said, "My success has been the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance. My philosophy is to always be prepared. In addition to a firm grasp of the legal issues from many years of varied legal experience, I have an excellent working relationship with the court personnel and city employees, who I interact with on a daily basis.
"Beyond my experience, I have a strong commitment to my fellow residents of this city as they are my friends and neighbors.
"I have always strived to be honest, straightforward, open-minded and just with all those I come in contact with. I assure you that I will continue to bring each of these qualities to the bench. All judgments I render will be rational, impartial, evenhanded and fair to all. I have always had the utmost respect for the electorate of the City of North Tonawanda and it is with great honor that I announce my candidacy for chief judge of North Tonawanda City Court."
In addition to his professional career, Nickerson is a lifelong resident of North Tonawanda and is very involved in the community. In 1984, he graduated from North Tonawanda High School. He is also a Class of 1988 St. Bonaventure University graduate. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1992, after graduating from the University of Dayton Law School.
As a former Eagle Scout, Nickerson serves on the executive board for the Greater Niagara Frontier Council. He formerly served as Polaris District chairman from 2012-14.
He is also an active volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 184, located at 453 Old Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.
Nickerson and his family are parishioners of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church. They are also members of Gratwick Hose Volunteer Fire Co.
Nickerson is a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus Madonna Council and he has served as the attorney for the Third Warder's Social Club for over 15 years.