Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
MISPRISION - In its larger sense, this word is used to signify every considerable misdemeanor, which has not a certain name given to it in the law; and it is said that a misprision is contained in every treason or felony whatever. In its narrower sense it is the concealment of a crime. Misprision of treason, is the concealment of treason, by being merely passive for if any assistance be given, to the traitor, it makes the party a principal, as there is no accessories in treason. It is the duty of every good citizen, knowing of a treason or felony having been committed; to inform a magistrate. Silently to observe the commission of a felony, without using any endeavors to apprehend the offender, is a misprision. Misprisions which are merely positive, are denominated contempts or high misdemeanors; as, for example, dissuading a witness from giving evidence.
MISPRISION OF FELONY - Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the U.S., conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the U.S. 18 USC Misprision of felony, is the like concealment of felony, without giving any degree of maintenance to the felon for if any aid be given him, the party becomes an accessory after the fact.
The Journal News by Michael Risinit - December 9, 2010
CARMEL, NY — A friend, not an enemy, is the unidentified attorney that snared disgraced former state Sen. Vincent Leibell for federal investigators, at least three sources said. Leibell was "set up" by former Putnam County Attorney Carl Lodes, a Carmel lawyer whose relationship with Leibell stretches back to the 1970s, said a source who has known Leibell throughout the former lawmaker's career in public life. In court this week, federal prosecutors said they recorded and videotaped Leibell and Attorney No. 1, who is described as providing legal services to Leibell's nonprofit housing foundation and to "Putnam County government," walking and talking on a Carmel street. Prosecutors said Leibell urged that lawyer to lie to a federal grand jury about the cash kickbacks he gave the senator.
While federal prosecutors won't reveal Attorney No. 1's identity, two Putnam County officials also said it is Lodes. "Lodes cooperated with the investigation," said a county official with knowledge of the investigation. On Wednesday, Lodes, 62, wouldn't talk to a reporter or comment on whether he was the person who wore the wire that recorded Leibell. He was approached as he walked from his Volvo sedan to his Route 6 law office in Carmel. "I don't care why you're here. I'm not talking," he told a reporter. Leibell, a 28-year Albany politician, admitted in federal court Monday that he filed false tax returns and tried to influence a grand jury investigating him for corruption. Aware in April he was under investigation, Leibell met several times with Attorney No. 1. The attorney was subpoenaed May 17 to appear before the grand jury, according to court papers. The person who has known Leibell throughout his public life said Lodes appealed to their long-standing friendship and told the senator they needed to talk again. After several requests, he said, Leibell met June 6 with Lodes, who "got wired up." "You and I say there was never any cash relationship. Period. ... Since you and I are in agreement, it didn't happen. ... All I know is, as long as you and I are consistent, I'm fine, you're fine. There was never any cash between you and I, OK?" Leibell said, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in White Plains. Leibell said in court that he failed to report $43,000 in kickbacks from attorneys who did business with the housing organization he founded in 1999 as well as from a partner in a Westchester County law firm that "provided legal services to the Putnam County government." Those outside legal contracts were executed by Lodes. "Apparently, Lodes paid Vinnie some cash," said the source who has known Leibell throughout his public career. Leibell's lawyer, David L. Lewis, didn't return a telephone message about Lodes' wearing the wire.
Lodes was county attorney from 1991 to early 2008, which covered the period federal investigators say Leibell extorted money from the unidentified lawyers. In June, investigators ordered the Putnam County Attorney's Office to turn over all records pertaining to hiring outside counsel and served a subpoena on Carmel for all documents related to legal services provided by Servino, Santangelo & Randazzo. The former law firm, which was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Putnam taxpayers, was based in Hawthorne. Anthony Servino's lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, declined to comment Tuesday, when asked if Servino was the lawyer whose firm made payments to Leibell. A second Putnam County official who has long known Leibell said he spoke with the senator following his court appearance, and the senator said Lodes was the person who wore the wire. "I didn't think he was angry. It was kind of just matter-of-fact," the second official said. Both Leibell and Lodes served as assistant district attorneys in the Westchester County District Attorney's Office. After the District Attorney's Office, Leibell became an assistant county attorney in Putnam before going into private practice about 1980. For 30 years, he shared a Church Street office with Carmel attorney Timothy Curtiss. Their firm went through several incarnations over the years, and Leibell's name was removed from their shingle in mid-November. That was in anticipation of his taking office as county executive Jan. 1, Curtiss said. Leibell won the executive race last month. Lodes for a time had an office inside the Church Street house where Curtiss and Leibell practiced.
The source who has known Leibell throughout the former lawmaker's career said Leibell and Lodes that spring day talked about their offices and how work was often referred to Lodes. Curtiss said Wednesday that work was sometimes sent to Lodes, but he had no idea of any of the dealings outlined by the government. "The only thing I've done is read the newspapers," Curtiss said. Putnam County Executive Robert Bondi appointed Lodes as county attorney, a move he stood by Wednesday. Bondi said he knew only the information he read in Leibell's court documents. But William Spain of Mahopac, Lodes' predecessor , questioned Putnam's costly use of outside attorneys. "As Putnam County attorney from 1987 to 1991, with the exception of insurance defense cases, we handled all matters in-house. That was also the practice of my predecessors. In 1991, (Lodes) started referring out most of the cases to Westchester County law firms who would pay lawyers on an hourly basis to drive to Putnam County and handle routine and simple cases. When I asked elected officials about this practice, I could never get a straight answer. Perhaps County Executive Bob Bondi knows," Spain said. Bondi said he couldn't "agree or disagree" with Spain's statement. State law prohibits the county from geographically restricting its search for vendors or materials, he said. The same should apply to attorneys, he said. MRISINIT@LOHUD.COM