Former Fulton County Court judge and district attorney Louise Sira of Northville died Friday after a long illness. She was 52.
Sira was hired as an assistant district attorney in 1994 when Sheriff Richard A. Giardino was then district attorney. She later became district attorney and filled Giardino’s spot when he moved on to county court judge. She later succeeded him in that spot when he ran for sheriff.
“She was a very hardworking, very compassionate great team player,” Giardino wrote on Facebook. “She loved Fulton County and as Fulton County residents grew to know Louise they loved her back. They rewarded her hard work and dedication by electing her as Fulton County District Attorney.”
Sira was elected to the judgeship in 2015. She took a leave of absence for medical reasons in 2018, and officially retired from the position last April.
During the last 18 months, personnel in the Fourth Judicial District helped provide meals two days a week to Sira and her family. She and her husband, retired Gloversville police captain John Sira, have two sons, said Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy III.
Murphy said he knew Sira from when both were district attorneys and then judges. Murphy and district supervising Judge Kate Hogan were among those cooking or arranging meals for the family, he said.
“It was easy to get people to do that,” Murphy said. “The line of people who lined up to help Louise was remarkable. She was a remarkable person.
“She was a lovely person, she was smart, she was dedicated, she was a hard worker. She was very patient. When she was DA she knew her cases, she went to court and tried her own cases,” Murphy recalled on Saturday. “Everyone said she was a pleasure to work with. I think it’s a huge loss for the legal community, for the judiciary, and for her family. We knew it was coming, but it’s still a shock.”
Giardino’s Facebook post generated more than 300 comments through the day on Saturday, including some from crime victims recalling her understanding of their needs during a prosecution.
“Her and her family made Northampton their home and she was actively involved with all her son’s activities,” Giardino wrote on Facebook. “She loved her ‘boy’s’ [sic]. We became fast friends, as all her friends know she was fiercely loyal. She fought the insidious disease with every fibre of her body and mind. We love you Louise and we will miss you. God Bless you and RIP.”
Sira became district attorney in early 2002, when she was appointed by then-Gov. George Pataki to replace Polly Hoye, who had successfully run for County Court judge. At the time, she was one of the youngest district attorneys in the state. She would serve 13 years in that post, becoming the longest-serving district attorney in Fulton County history.
Sira held a law degree from Albany Law School. She was first appointed an assistant Fulton County district attorney shortly after completing law school.
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