Sean Walter takes the oath of office as Riverhead Town Justice, administered by his father, Michael Walter, an attorney, with his wife Cathleen by his side. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Former town supervisor Sean Walter was sworn into office as town justice this afternoon in Riverhead Town Hall.

Walter, 54, of Wading River, was elected to the bench Nov. 3 to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime Justice Allen Smith in July.

Walter’s father Michael, an attorney, administered the oath of office. He placed his hand on his Bible, held by his wife Cathleen.

Riverhead Town Justice Sean Walter signs the town clerk’s book acknowledging his oath of office. Photo: Denise Civiletti

After he was sworn in, Walter spoke about his relationship with his predecessor, whom he said was a mentor. He thanked his father “for being such a true inspiration” and his wife “for putting up with me.”

Walter said he never thought he’d be a judge. “I never thought that was something that would be in the cards for me,” he said. 
“But when you listen to God call you — faintly and sometimes not so faintly — you’re drawn to do things that you might not normally be drawn to do,” he said.

Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar attended the swearing-in, along with Councilman Frank Beyrodt. “You have big shoes to fill,” Aguiar said. “We wish you well.”

Walter served four terms as Riverhead Town supervisor, 2010-2017. He previously served as deputy town attorney.

Walter is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from SUNY Binghamton. He maintains a private law practice in Wading River. He is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Riverhead. He and his wife of 30 years have three grown sons.

Town Justice

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.