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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jury in Corrupt NY Judge Trial Continues Deliberations

Jury in Spargo trial continues deliberations
Prosecutors claim abuse of power; defense notes absence of witness
The Albany Times Union by BRENDAN J. LYONS - August 27, 2009

ALBANY, NY -- A federal jury on Wednesday ended its first day of deliberating felony bribery and extortion charges against former state Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo without a verdict. The jury will resume their examination this morning. Prosecutors and Spargo's defense attorney delivered their summations in about 80 minutes Wednesday morning and the jury started their deliberations in the early afternoon. E. Stewart Jones, Spargo's attorney, characterized his client as an innocent man who would not have risked extorting money from attorneys at a time when he was being heavily scrutinized by a state judicial panel. Prosecutors countered that Spargo had cashed in a retirement fund to pay some of his mounting, six-figure legal bills six years ago and in an act of arrogance and abuse of his power he sought to shake down several lawyers to help pay that tab. Jones criticized the government for failing to call a potentially key witness, Albany County Surrogate's Court Judge Cathryn Doyle, who is Spargo's close personal friend. Doyle testified in front of the grand jury that indicted Spargo last December. Doyle, according to prosecutors, attended a December 2003 lunch in Ulster County where six attorneys were solicited to donate $10,000 each to Spargo's defense fund. At the time, Spargo's legal tab topped $140,000 from his ongoing battle with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which later threw him off the bench for misconduct. Doyle's absence from the proceedings resonates, Jones said, because prosecutors had alleged Spargo used her to attempt to extort money from an Ulster County lawyer, Bruce Blatchly. On the trial's opening day Blatchly testified that Spargo called him in December 2003, around the time he was allegedly soliciting him for money, and boasted that Doyle was being assigned to Ulster County that coming year and would be presiding over Blatchly's divorce from his now ex-wife. Blatchly testified that Spargo also told him that he would be returning to Ulster County in 2004 and presiding over many of his cases. "Kate Doyle is critical to this case and yet they didn't produce her for you," Jones told the jury. "What didn't they like about her testimony? You know and I know they couldn't live with her testimony."

Justice Department Trial Attorney Richard Pilger, who delivered the prosecution's rebuttal summation, did not tell the jury why Doyle was not called as a witness. But he noted that Jones could have put her on the stand as a defense witness but also chose not to issue her a subpoena. Prosecutor Kendall Day cast Spargo as a power-mongering jurist who tried to extort tens of thousands of dollars from attorneys for three of Ulster County's most successful personal injury law firms. "Judge Spargo crossed lines that are sacred in our system," Day told the jury. "He was trusted with awesome power. He had a responsibility to uphold the law but he turned his back on that responsibility." Day said Spargo's account of what unfolded six years ago was not supported by the accounts of several witnesses, and that his testimony before the judicial panel was laced with lies. "He knew he had to deny those things," Day said. "He knew that to admit them would be to admit to a crime." Brendan J. Lyons can be reached at 454-5547 or by e-mail at blyons@timesunion.com.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

just pray he gets his early Christ-mas present and they will begin to turn each other in...........

insider said...

Spargo was never Mr. Clean! He did plenty, this time he got nailed! If he rolls over a whole lot of guys are concerned.

Anonymous said...

pray he rolls over! pray they all start rolling over!
they have been getting away with using our legal system for their own benefit for to many decades!

Galison said...

Folks:

For the big picture check out this site:

http://faqusajudicialcorruption.blogspot.com/


Will

The Good News said...

Just heard that this low life got hammered! Now he can appeal? Watch out for Juries, they'll get you everytime.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
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