Head East Hampton Justice Clerk Retires

T. E. McMorrow
Betsy Martin, in the red vest, was given a celebratory sendoff last week by those whose lives she has touched over the decades.

After almost 32 years in the East Hampton Town Justice Court, clerk Betsy Martin now has a lot of time on her hands. She retired Friday, February 28, in front of a group of former and current clerks, court officers, judges, and friends that gathered in the clerk’s office to send her off.

Martin joined the office as a clerk typist after graduating from East Hampton High School. Back then, during the time of George Bush’s presidency, the courthouse was part of the Town Hall building, and the courtroom was the same room where town board meetings were held. Vehicle and traffic violations were also scheduled the same day as criminal proceedings, Martin recalled Sunday. The courthouse opened in late 2007. The judges serving at the time Martine began her career were James Ketchum and Edward Horne. The assistant district attorney handling criminal cases was Catherine Cahill.

Cahill went on to replace Horne for justice, and Ketchum was followed by Roger Walker, who was followed by Lisa Rana. When Cahill retired after 20 years, Steven Tekulsky replaced her.

Martin became the senior clerk typist, then justice court clerk, and senior justice court clerk before earning the title of justice court director, a role she filled for almost 10 years.

At the impromptu party Friday, Martin said, “I will miss being part of everybody’s day-to-day life. That is fun.”

She received many flowers, and a couple of gift baskets. Martin pulled out one, a cooler for a bottle of wine, and read the wording on it: “I can wine all I want because I’m retired.”

When asked where she’s off to next, she replied, “I have to go to the IGA,” meaning Cirillo’s Market in Amagansett. She recalled the time when the IGA was in the space now occupied by Innersleeve Records on Main Street.

The most important change in her routine is being able to spend more time with family.

“On Monday, I’m going to go see my granddaughter with my daughter,” Martin said.

She is not gone for good, however, Rana reminded her: another clerk in the office, Katelyn Davis, is expecting, and Martin will fill in for a few weeks while Davis is out.

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