Benjamin J. Bonarigo Sr., a City of Batavia attorney, has announced his candidacy for Batavia City Court Judge. A lifelong resident of Batavia, Bonarigo is seeking to be elected to the position being vacated at the end of 2019 by the retirement of the Hon. Robert J. Balbick, who reaches mandatory retirement age.
Bonarigo and his wife, Diane, a retired City of Batavia elementary school principal, have made the City their home, where they raised three children, two of whom continue to reside within the City with their families.
A 1975 graduate of Batavia High School, Bonarigo attended Genesee Community College, while working in his family’s restaurant, attaining an AS Degree in General Studies in 1977 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1979. He furthered his education by attaining his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1982 and was admitted to the practice law in New York State in 1983.
During his practice, Bonarigo has acted as the attorney for: the City of Batavia, the Town of Batavia, the Village of Oakfield and the Village of Oakfield Central School District.
At the start of his career, Bonarigo worked in the Genesee County Public Defender’s Office where he worked part-time while at the same time establishing, over the next 37 years, a flourishing legal practice, which is now known as Bonarigo & McCutcheon. He has practiced in all areas of civil and criminal law all over Western New York and beyond.
While practicing law, Bonarigo has been very committed to his profession, having been appointed to the Appellate Division 4th Department Grievance Committee for six years, during which time he, along with others, sat to review the ethical behavior of attorneys from all over Western New York.
He was also appointed to the Independent Judicial Qualification Commission for the 8th Judicial District on which he participated in the review, and rating, of candidates for judicial offices in all of Western New York courts. He is a longtime member of the New York State Bar Association to which he was a delegate representing the attorneys of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties during State meetings.
He has been a member in good standing with the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Bar associations, serving as president of the Genesee County Bar. During his tenure as president of the Bar Association, Bonarigo implemented an attorney-reading-with-students program in the elementary school in the Batavia City School District.
In addition to his commitment to the legal profession, Bonarigo has been highly involved in civic matters in the City of Batavia. He has been: a coach and been a member of the Board of Batavia Youth Football; a client tutor and member of the Board of Literacy Genesee/Orleans; a member of the Notre Dame High School Foundation Board; a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees; a member of the Board of the Holland Land Office Museum; and a Mock Trial judge for many years.
Bonarigo is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Genesee Community College, having been appointed by the Governor in 2011. He, along with his co-board members have overseen a significant expansion of the campus facilities. He is also a member of the Twenty-Five Neediest Children’s Fund Inc., which financially assists students and families within the Batavia City School District.
For his civic efforts, Bonarigo was been inducted in 2011 to the Genesee Community College Hall of Fame; granted an honorary diploma from Notre Dame High School in 2010; and was recognized as a Friend of the ARC in 2013.
“With my breadth of professional experience, love and commitment for the City of Batavia, its residents, including my family, neighbors and friends, I feel that I am uniquely qualified and I am the best-suited candidate to be elected to the City Court bench," Bonarigo said.
"It will be with great pride, impartiality, humility, and compassion that I will sit daily making judgments that continue to better our community. I look forward to the challenges ahead in this election process and look forward in the next several months as I reconnect with old acquaintances and, making new ones, as I seek your support for this position.”