The New York Post by KIRSTAN CONLEY - May 5, 2010
The Bronx judge sued for not paying off loans he incurred because of an alleged gambling addiction is back on the bench -- assuring druggies they're sick and "relapse is part of the recovery process." George Villegas resumed his duties Monday after being sued by a lawyer who says he owes her $500,000. Villegas' former classmate, Janet Cohen, claims the judge borrowed money off her for 18 years, saying he needed it keep loan sharks from breaking his legs or hurting his kids. Drug defendant Lawrence Mudd -- who has a record of 42 misdemeanors and a felony -- was before Villegas seeking a reduced sentence for skipping out on rehab. "Taking off our legal hats for a moment, and just looking at human nature and how it is, wouldn't you agree that relapse is part of the recovery process?" Villegas asked prosecutors. Waxing poetic, he added Mudd "has gone through the sea of a drug-addicted life, and he's landed on the shores of our judicial system." The judge deferred his decision.