NY court officer union chief hates state chief judge Janet DiFiore so much, he’ll spite her by keeping union job two more years
SEP 17, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: SEP 21, 2021
The longtime head of the New York State Court Officers union is retiring from his state court job — but said in a profanity-laced interview he’ll stay on as a labor boss until 2023 to spite the state’s chief judge.
There’s no love between union chief Dennis Quirk and the chief judge, Janet DiFiore.
“Right now, I can call her up on the phone and tell her, ‘F—k you.’ And she can’t do a thing about it,”
Quirk, 71, told the Daily News on Friday.
DiFiore last month suspended Quirk from his state job for 30 days after he posted to social media the addresses of her home in Westchester County and vacation home on Long Island.
As part of the suspension, DiFiore ordered Quirk to give up his firearm.
“They can’t touch me,”
Quirk told The News.
“And believe me, I am determined. She has been the worst, miserable b—h, OK, ever.”
“While clearly not a Renaissance man, it is troubling that the president of a public sector union, whose membership has a large and growing number of female Court Officers, is nothing more than a misogynistic hypocrite,” said the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen.
“In spite of his purported reason for retiring, in reality, the seriousness of the administrative charges he was facing evidently made him not want to face the fact that all bullies eventually meet their match, in this case, the Chief Judge, who to his chagrin, is a woman.”
Quirk has been president of the New York Court Officers Association for 47 years.
He says the 1,400-member union represents officers in civil, family, criminal and Supreme courts in the five boroughs.
His suspension was another escalation in an ongoing dispute between the union and DiFiore over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for court staff. Quirk is no anti-vaxxer — he’s received a third booster shot — but he is adamant that court officials must negotiate any vaccine mandate with the unions.
It was not immediately clear whether Quirk would get his firearm back as a retired law enforcement officer.
Quirk became president of the union in 1974. Critics say he’s held the job so long because he wrote bylaws that ensure the union’s members can never dethrone him, though Quirk denies this.
Charles Compton, a former president of the State Supreme Court Officers Association — which represents 2,600 Supreme Court officers in the five boroughs and Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties — called Quirk “the Fat Man” in a recent Daily News Voice of the People letter.
“Quirk’s problems with DiFiore have very little to do with her vaccination policies or any other policies,” Compton said in an interview.
The problem, Compton said, is that
“Quirk lost the internal clout and power he had for decades when she took over”
from former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, a childhood friend of ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is imprisoned on federal corruption charges.
“He was left out in the cold,”
Compton said of Quirk.
“He’s like a petulant child throwing a tantrum because he lost his power, and she won’t give it back to him. He used to be king of the courts. Now he just sits on the throne.”
Quirk insists he has the backing of his members and that his dedication to them fueled the chaotic end to his long career in law enforcement.
He says leaving his state job removes “the muzzle” that barred him from criticizing DiFiore.
“I have freedom of speech, and I am determined to expose her for the corrupt, unethical individual she is,”