Connect with us

News

New York judge commits suicide weeks after FBI raided his home

New York judge commits suicide weeks after FBI raided his home

A New York State judge committed suicide on Tuesday, April 5, less than two weeks after his home was searched by law enforcement authorities.

Advertisement

 

Judge John L. Michalski, an acting justice of the State Supreme Court, was found dead at his home in Amherst, N.Y., shortly before noon, one of his lawyers, Terrence Connors, said.

Advertisement

 

“It’s difficult to explain what a tragedy this is,” said Mr. Connors, a longtime friend of Justice Michalski’s, adding that “it would be difficult to find a judge who was more respected” in the Western New York legal community.

Advertisement

 

Federal and state law enforcement officers had executed a search warrant at Justice Michalski’s home 12 days before his death, against the backdrop of the federal prosecution of one of his former clients.

Advertisement

 

Michalski, 61, had been eyed by investigators for years, but no criminal charges were ever filed against him. His looming legal woes seemed to be “manageable,” Connors said.

Advertisement

 

Justice Michalski’s death, at 61, came a little more than a year after another apparent suicide attempt in which, according to police records, he was struck by a freight train after lying on the tracks in a rail yard near Buffalo in the middle of the day. He sustained a serious leg injury but was otherwise unhurt, Mr. Connors said.

Advertisement

 

Days after the February 2021 incident, Michalski was questioned by federal agents about his friendship with Peter Gerace Jr., the owner of a strip club in Cheektowaga and a former client, the Buffalo News reported.

Advertisement

 

Michalski was injured by the freight train on the same day Gerace was charged with several felonies, including drug and sex trafficking, as well as bribing a federal agent. Gerace denies the allegations, according to the newspaper.

Advertisement

 

The episode prompted him to take a leave from his $210,900-a-year seat on the bench. He returned to work in January after meeting every requirement for doing so and had begun taking on a full caseload, Mr. Connors said.

Advertisement

 

But last month, Justice Michalski came under renewed scrutiny, and his cases were once again reassigned, after federal and state investigators raided his home. He had not been charged with any crime, but he had drawn the authorities’ attention because of his ties to Peter Gerace Jr., the owner of a strip club in Cheektowaga, another Buffalo suburb.

Advertisement

 

Mr. Gerace was charged in federal court in Florida last year with sex trafficking, drug distribution and bribery of a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent. He denies the charges, and the case has since been transferred to the Western District of New York.

Advertisement

 

The former agent, Joseph Bongiovanni, has been charged with bribery, obstruction and conspiracy. An indictment detailing the charges against the two men says that Mr. Bongiovanni’s associates included people “he believed to be members of, connected to or associated with” organized crime.

Advertisement

 

Another man identified in the indictment as having links to organized crime is Michael Masecchia, a longtime Buffalo schoolteacher now facing up to life in prison after pleading guilty to gun and drug charges.

Advertisement

 

The relationship between Justice Michalski and Mr. Gerace went back decades, to when the judge was in private practice and did legal work for Mr. Gerace’s club, the lawyer, Anthony J. Lana, told The News.

Advertisement

 

In 2006, The News reported, Justice Michalski wrote a letter to a federal judge seeking a lenient sentence for Mr. Gerace, who had been convicted of wire fraud in connection with a sweepstakes telemarketing business. In the letter, The News reported, the judge said he and Mr. Gerace had been friends for a decade.

Advertisement

 

Mr. Connors said on Tuesday that Justice Michalski, a town prosecutor in Amherst and an assistant district attorney in Erie County earlier in his career, had “conveyed to the authorities repeatedly that he had no knowledge of any of Mr. Gerace’s allegedly illegal activities.”

Advertisement

 

“He was a client,” Mr. Connors said of the men’s relationship. Based on the information in the search warrants executed on Justice Michalski’s home last month, he added, the investigators appeared to be focused on an online business the judge’s wife ran from home selling clothes on consignment.

Advertisement

 

Mr Connors said: “If they would have called me and asked for what they were looking for, we would have given it to them. We would have cooperated the same way we have cooperated all along.”

Advertisement

Advertisement
UNBELIEVABLE Married woman caught with another man by in-laws
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Entertainment

Singer Sina Rambo And Wife Welcome A Baby Girl In Atlanta, USA

Advertisement
Nigerian singer, Sina Adeleke, popularly known as Sina Rambo, has welcomed a baby girl with his wife.

Sina Rambo, who is also a cousin to popular musician, Davido, made the announcement on the gram and he looked joyful. Sharing a picture of himself and the child, Sina Rambo also revealed the name of his newborn.
READ ALSO: I’m Kairo’s Dad Now – Sina Rambo Calls Out Brother-In-Law For Domestic Violence, Takes Custody of His Nephew
The announcement read, “Baby Lola is here. Join me and welcome our sweet little angel, Adelola Yohanna Merlyn Esther Adeleke. She is so beautiful.”
READ ALSO: Let’s Be Objective, EFCC Invited Obi Cubana For Spending Millions During His Mother’s Burial. If EFCC Don’t Invite Any APC Govt Official That Pays The 100 Million APC Presidential Nomination Form For Questioning, Then They Are Biased – Reno Omokri
Earlier, the singer revealed the sex of his baby alongside his wife. In the snaps, that he posted, the baby was seen holding his hand and it was such a cute sight to behold. See snaps below;

Trending video of the day;

Photo Credit: Getty

. Singer Sina Rambo And Wife Welcome A Baby Girl In Atlanta, USA Follow Gossip Naija.

Advertisement
UNBELIEVABLE Married woman caught with another man by in-laws
Continue Reading

News

Lagos demolitions : Six more buildings to go down in renewed crackdown

Advertisement

Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

Six highly distressed buildings on Lagos Island have been marked by the State Building Control Agency for demolition as part of its ongoing campaign against building collapse,

A statement by LASBCA, signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Adetayo Akitoye-Asagba, disclosed that occupants of illegal attachments to buildings in the area had been ordered to quit.

Advertisement

According to the statement, the General Manager of LASBCA, Arc. Gbolahan Oki, while supervising the special enforcement exercise, said that the agency was acting on the mandate to identify and remove distressed and non-conforming buildings within the metropolis to forestall needless tragedies.

While giving a seven-day vacation ultimatum to occupants of illegal attachments, he stated that buildings in the axis were notorious for illegally adding attachments to their frontages, thereby obstructing the layout and making the approach less visible.

Advertisement

“Some of the distressed buildings are quite difficult to detect due to illegal attachments in their frontages. As such, we need to remove them to reveal the actual state of the buildings,” he said.

Oki decried the spate of illegal and unapproved building construction in the area despite government enlightenment campaigns and stringent enforcement measures.

Advertisement

He reiterated that it was illegal to erect buildings without obtaining the necessary approvals and going through stage supervision and eventual certification of the building as fit for habitation by LASBCA.

Noting that the on-going demolition exercise was a wake-up call to all developers and property owners in the state to build by the rules, he said the Lagos State Government would continue to come down heavily on any act of disregard for the State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2020 as amended.

Advertisement

He emphasised that LASBCA would not relent in removing both distressed and non-conforming buildings in the state, while the cost of removal would be at the expense of the owners.

The general manager assured stakeholders that the safety of lives and property remained the priority of the government as the ongoing exercise was not designed to witch-hunt or intimidate the people but to ensure their wellness and well-being.

Advertisement

He urged Lagosians to continue to give maximum support to the government by carrying out voluntary structural engineering appraisals on their old buildings, obtaining the Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation and promptly reporting cases of distressed, non-conforming and illegal developments

Advertisement

Advertisement
UNBELIEVABLE Married woman caught with another man by in-laws
Continue Reading

News

Strike not ending soon – ASUU, others

Advertisement

Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Joint Action Committee of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational (NASU) and Associated Institutions and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have insisted that the strike will not be ending soon as no agreement has been reached with the Federal Government.

Advertisement

ASUU started its strike on February 14, 2022 and JAC commenced its own on April 14, 2022.

The unions embarked on industrial actions while demanding improved welfare packages, better working conditions and implementation of various labour agreements signed with the Federal Government between 2009 and 2020.

Advertisement

The national leaders of ASUU and JAC of SSANU and NASU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke and Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, respectively told newsmen that the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the education sector and religious leaders had a meeting with the four unions but no strong agreements were reached.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the weekend said, “We had a cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance.”

Advertisement

But Osodeke said Ngige’s claim after the meeting that the unions would call off the ongoing strike this week was a political statement.

In his words, “We are not aware that we are calling off the strike. We met but there was nothing concrete between us and the government. Like we said before, we do not want promises, we want actions, if they show action and implement all the issues, we will go to our members, but knowing their antecedents, we know they will not do anything.

Advertisement

“They promised us since December 2020 and it is going to a year and a half, they have not done anything. We are waiting for them.

“As far as we are concerned, only when they sign our agreements, accept UTAS, release EAA and revitalisation funds will we call the strikes off.”

Advertisement

Ibrahim added that the major progress he could point at during the meeting was the ordering of the National Information Technology Development Agency, by the presidency who was represented by the Chief of Staff to the President and Chairman of the meeting, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to subject the three payment solutions; Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system , University Transparency and Accountability Solution and University Peculiar Payroll Payment System, to integrity test and submit in three weeks.

“We are not talking about calling off strike now,” he said.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement
UNBELIEVABLE Married woman caught with another man by in-laws
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

X