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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: April 25, 2019

Mayor Brown Pays Tribute to Retiring Chief Judge Amodeo During a Special Ceremony at City Hall


Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown honored retiring Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Thomas P. Amodeo today during a special ceremony, where he also announced the appointment of Judge Craig D. Hannah to fill the vacancy. At the same time, Mayor Brown announced the appointment of Peter J. Savage III to the position of Buffalo City Court Judge. “It is my great pleasure to appoint Judge Craig D. Hannah as Chief Judge of Buffalo City Court and Peter J. Savage III as a City Court Judge. These two outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to our community and I’m grateful for their dedication and continued commitment to the legal profession and the residents of Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “On the other side of this appointment, we are saying farewell to a compassionate and understanding Judge, Thomas Amodeo, who is an individual with wisdom, decency, impartiality and respect for persons on both sides of the bench. We wish him the best of luck and much success, and thank him for a lifetime of service to our City.” During his tenure as Buffalo City Court Judge since 2006, Judge Hannah has made an impact on the lives of thousands of city residents and their families. He currently presides over an innovative Opiate Crisis Intervention Court program, a one-of-a-kind program and our country’s first such court. The pilot program is the only one in the country to receive a grant from the U. S. Department of Justice and is becoming a potential model solution to the epidemic of heroin and opioid overdoses that continue to devastate families and communities across America. Judge Hannah began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. He then served with distinction in the City of Buffalo Law Department as one of the city’s chief litigators in the Corporation Counsel’s Office. He later served as legal counsel on Mayor Brown’s staff in the New York State Senate. In addition, Judge Hannah previously served in private practice, with close to 10 years of experience as a trial lawyer in City, State and Federal Courts. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Medaille College, where he lectured in Criminal Justice and Criminal Procedure. 

Peter J. Savage III is an attorney and a lifelong resident of Buffalo. He is a 1999 Cum Laude Graduate of SUNY Brockport (Criminal Justice Major, Political Science Minor) and earned Academic and Athletic Honors. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University at Buffalo Law School in 2003. Mr. Savage has over 15 years of legal experience as an attorney who worked in both the private and public sector. He is currently an attorney at Block, Longo, LaMarca & Brzezinski, PC. Savage also has over 24 years in public service, including 19 years for the City of Buffalo - ten years as a City attorney. He handled thousands of cases in Buffalo City Court during his tenure as Assistant Corporation Counsel. A longstanding public servant and community volunteer, Savage was elected and re-elected 3 times to the Erie County Legislature since 2014, where he has served as Chair of the Erie County Legislature since 2018 to present. Mayor Brown said, “Mr. Savage will bring to the bench keen intellect and legal experience and is well versed in the rules of Civil and Criminal Law. Throughout his career, he has shown himself to possess the character and temperament necessary in managing a courtroom and varied caseload. We are very fortunate he has accepted the position, and know he will serve the City and its residents well.” With today’s judicial appointments, Mayor Brown continues on his promise to create a diverse, progressive and effective government, as well as increased opportunity, for all Buffalo residents. Since 2006, he has appointed seven individuals to the bench, including three minority Buffalo City Court judges and four female judges. Those judges include: Craig D. Hannah, Betty Calvo Torres, Susan Eagan, Amy Martoche, JaHarr Pridgen, Shannon Heneghan, Peter Savage.

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