The Spoils of Court
One of the most unthinkable evils is that
judges in America are on the take. While unofficial, it has been estimated that
approximately 30% of the cases are fixed somehow, and not necessarily by cash
bribes. Bribes come in many forms, including vacationing judges by lawfirms
and parties to a case, gifts, and campaign donations, etc.
Below is an account fingering a New York
Supreme Court Justice for accepting bribes to fix cases. Would it shock you to
know that the identifed and exposed bribery in our judicial system
covers but the tip of the iceberg?
How would JAIL4Judges cure this problem? It
is not necessary to catch every instance of bribery involving judges to cut this
activity short. J.A.I.L. does not concern itself with bribery, but rather acting
on the bribery. For instance, if a judge is offered a bribe, and he accepts it,
the enity or person offering the bribe will expect performance by the judge for
the bribe. But when the judge goes to pervert justice by denying due process, or
refusing to acknowledge the applicable law or constitutional principle, he runs
the high risk that the case will be appealled to its last resort within the
State, qualifying the party to bring the questions of lack of due process or
willful violations of law before the J.A.I.L. Special Grand Jury.
In such case, the question of the judicial
bribery is not at issue, but rather the action of the judge regardless of the
bribe. When judges no longer will risk their career and their retirement
for a bribe, they will no longer act on the bribe. And when judges no longer act
on bribes, those who bribe them will cut off the spigot. JAIL4Judges
is the only answer! -Ron Branson
Brooklyn Corruption Figure Admits He Arranged
By MICHAEL BRICK
The central figure in the
wide-ranging investigation of judicial and political
corruption in Brooklyn,
a man accused of arranging bribes in divorce and
child custody cases for
people in the borough's Orthodox Jewish communities, pleaded guilty yesterday to
13 counts of bribery and conspiracy.
The man, an electronics dealer named
Nissim Elmann, admitted passing
thousands of dollars to a lawyer to arrange
preferential treatment in cases
before a State Supreme Court justice, Gerald
P. Garson. Justice Garson has
been suspended from the bench and is awaiting
trial on bribery charges.
The investigation into dealings by Justice
Garson, a former treasurer of the
Brooklyn Democratic organization, has
spilled over into a conspiracy inquiry involving the judicial nominating system
and taking aim at, among others, the Brooklyn Democratic Party leader, State
Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr.
Prosecutors portrayed Mr. Elmann as a
fixer, a known figure in Orthodox
communities who accepted cash through the
window of his car or inside a
warehouse and passed it to a former lawyer who
had an advantage in Justice
The former lawyer,
Paul Siminovsky, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of giving unlawful
gratuities last year, after wearing a hidden microphone at the direction of the
office of Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney.
selection had been scheduled to begin yesterday in the case against
Elmann, and his guilty plea came as a surprise to prosecutors, who
requested electronic gear for the courtroom to play tapes of 110
calls and dozens of other conversations.
"He is not
cooperating, nor have we asked him to cooperate with us,"
Attorney Noel Downey said. "The D.A.'s office came to
play ball, and he
In State Supreme Court in Brooklyn yesterday, Justice
Jeffrey C. Berry read
through the counts aloud in a meticulous monotone,
noting the legal language and asking in plain terms if Mr. Elmann understood the
charges. "You knew this conduct was illegal?" Justice Berry asked repeatedly,
and repeatedly Mr. Elmann replied that he had.
In all, Mr. Elmann agreed
to guilty pleas to seven felonies and six
misdemeanors. Justice Berry ordered
a presentence investigation and
indicated that the sentence would probably
amount to between one and a half and seven years in prison.
the Brooklyn prosecutor, described the guilty pleas as "a
because it supports the massive investigation undertaken by
Hynes and the Rackets Division in uncovering the vast
corruption scheme that
was unleashed on the matrimonial courts of Brooklyn."
Gerald J. McMahon,
a lawyer for Mr. Elmann, said that his client chose to
plead guilty in part
to spare his family the stress of a trial (Mr. Elmann
did not appear to have
any family members in the courtroom) and in the hope that Justice Berry would
hand out sentences "in a proportional way."
His comment was a sidelong
reference to the open cases against several other people, including Justice
Garson. Justice Berry has set a status hearing for May 26 involving several of
the defendants in the intertwined
described Mr. Elmann as someone pressured by his community to gain access to the
spoils of corruption.
"He tried to help people, and he was pushed by
people in his shul,
especially David Cohen," Mr. McMahon said, referring to a
rabbi in Midwood. "It was almost a religious obligation, and Mr. Elmann was a
seriously religious person."
Reached by telephone, Rabbi Cohen, who Mr.
McMahon said had been on his witness list, declined to comment.
Mr. Elmann passed up an opportunity to blame his rabbi or his
After he finished pleading to the charges, Justice Berry asked
threatened, forced or coerced you to do these acts?"
"No," Mr. Elmann