“As you know, last month our village justice John P. O’Shea passed away surrounded by his friends and family after battling a long illness,” Strauss said. “Judge O’Shea was a true professional. He had a great temperament sitting on the bench. He was understanding and compassionate and he had a great sense of humor. We were extremely lucky to have him as our village justice for the last 23 years. His passing saddened all of us.”
Barnwell, who was the associate village justice, served the village for more than two years, working side-by-side with O’Shea. Barnwell began his career as a New York State court officer in 1983. During his time as a court officer, he attended law school.
In 1991, he left one area of the courts for another when he left his court officer roles and became an assistant district attorney in Nassau County. He handled prosecutions for corruption, white- collar crimes, insurance fraud and conducted joint investigations with federal and state entities. He held that position for eight years before opening up his own practice, which he still has in Mineola.
For many years, Barnwell also worked in the county’s parking and traffic violations bureau where he held trials and dispositions of traffic violations.
“His extensive work experience and command presence in a courtroom made it an easy decision for me to appoint him in 2017 as our associate village justice and although it’s bittersweet, an easy decision again to appoint him as our village justice,” Strauss said. “Judge Barnwell has big shoes to fill in taking this position running our court system and there is no doubt he will fill that role with the same compassion and temperament we are accustomed to.”