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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rare Ethics Punishment for Prosecutor Who Lied to Grand Jury

Ex-Prosecutor Is Suspended for Deceiving Grand Jury
The New York Law Journal by Jeff Storey  -  July 12, 2011

An attorney who, as a Brooklyn prosecutor, lied to a grand jury and then tried to cover up her deception by altering already-submitted evidence, has been suspended from the practice of law for one year.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, last week rejected a plea that only a public censure should be levied against Danielle M. Muscatello, who is now a criminal defense attorney in Queens. The ruling represents a rare disciplinary penalty for the misconduct of a prosecutor.  

Ms. Muscatello, 32, a 2006 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, joined the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office in January 2007.  On Nov. 5, 2009, she was presenting evidence to a grand jury in relation to a defendant who had been arrested for driving while intoxicated on Oct. 18.  She introduced a police report that records a defendant's blood alcohol content at the time a breathalyzer test is performed. However, after doing so, Ms. Muscatello noticed that the space where the blood alcohol content should have been recorded had been left blank.  Instead of halting the presentation, she assured the grand jury that the form reflected a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, a fact she knew from other previously introduced evidence.  On or about Nov. 12, Ms. Musccatello subpoenaed the police officer who had completed the form. With her supervisor out of the office, Ms. Muscatello fished the form out of the supervisor's briefcase and directed the officer to fill in the blank.  A few days later, when the supervisor noticed that the form was missing, Ms. Muscatello was questioned about its whereabouts. After admitting what she had done and apologizing, she was offered and took the opportunity to resign.  In January 2010, after disclosing the circumstances of her departure from the district attorney's office, Ms. Muscatello was hired as an associate by criminal defense attorney Robert DiDio in Queens.

Ms. Muscatello told the Second Department that she was "deeply remorseful and ashamed of her misconduct." She asked the court to take into consideration that she was "a young lawyer who had been practicing law for less than three years, that she panicked in a high-pressure situation and doubted herself, and that the conduct was isolated and aberrational."  She argued that she "had been punished enough as she had been terminated from her position as an Assistant District Attorney, which she considered an ideal job."  Ms. Muscatello submitted numerous character letters attesting to her reputation for honesty and integrity. Mr. DiDio wrote that she "consistently had expressed remorse…and displayed a high standard of ethical and moral character with me and my firm."  But the Second Department determined that a censure would not be sufficient punishment.  "Notwithstanding the respondent's candor, youth, remorse and lack of a prior disciplinary history, we conclude that the circumstances of this case warrant the respondent's suspension from the practice of law for one year," a unanimous Second Department panel concluded in Matter of Muscatello, 2010-01808.  The suspension is effective Aug. 5.  Michael S. Ross, who represented Ms. Muscatello, said in an interview that she "profoundly regrets her conduct and looks forward to restarting her career in the future."  Ms. Muscatello said in an e-mail, according to Mr. Ross, that she was "thankful to the court and to the people who have supported her in this difficult process."  The district attorney's office, which referred the matter to the disciplinary authorities, had no comment on the penalty. A spokesman said that the drunken-driving case was re-presented, and the defendant was indicted. He now is in treatment.  Mr. DiDio said in an interview that he thought the penalty received by his associate was "severe" given the fact that her "error of judgment" had not been intentional and had not changed the facts in the case.  By contrast, he said that he had dealt with many prosecutors who had intentionally misled the court and intentionally exaggerated evidence but had not been called to account.  Mark F. DeWan represented the grievance committee for the Second, 11th and 13th Judicial Districts. The Second Department panel consisted of Presiding Justices A. Gail Prudenti, and Justices William F. Mastro, Reinaldo E. Rivera, Peter B. Skelos and Daniel D. Angiolillo.  Jeff Storey can contacted at jstorey@alm.com.

25 comments:

What a JOKE said...

wow...she deserved to get a lot more than that...she "LIED" to the GRAND JURY...are you kidding me!!!!!

Ha, Attorney/Magician,Michael Ross represented her..well that explains why she received a mere slap on the wrist..Michael Ross also represented Attorney Allen Isaac. Isaac received a six month suspension for committing felony level crimes.

Where is the JUSTICE here!! said...

Richard Godosky + Michael Ross= THE DREAM TEAM!!!!

way too rare said...

Did this 'officer of the court' learn in law school that it was OK to lie and crap on the rule of law, or did she learn that from the DA's office. One year is not enough. Take her law license away forever.

The sad part is that holding prosecutors accountable for misconduct is rare. God help us!

Anonymous said...

Why does the name Michael Ross keep popping up? Is he an insider you go to for an inside fix?!?

Anonymous said...

if you are ever in Brooklyn and need a fix, call those guys!

Anonymous said...

if you are ever in Brooklyn and need a fix, call those guys!

Anonymous said...

but wait, doesn't it say the cop didn't put it on there and then she made it appear! who was the fix in on! since when doesn't a cop write that, if they have charged someone!

Anonymous said...

OK IVE HAD ENOUGH OF ALL THE BITCHING JOIN OUR CLASS ACTION SUIT IN NYS POSTED ALL OVER THIS BLOG!!! EVERYONE SHOUTS THEIR MOUTHS OFF BUT NEVER PUT IT INTO ACTION-HENCE ME THINKS A BUNCH OF COMPLAINERS AND BOGUS COMPLAINERS.

Anonymous said...

where is your class action law suit- I have 20 years of falsifying police records, medical records(Federal Felonly), court records........ABSOLUTE RICO!
WHERE DO I FILE? THE LIARS ARE STARTING THEIR TROUBLE ALL OVER AGAIN, THEY SEEM TO THINK MY TIME LIMIT IS OVER.........HAHAHAHAHAH
your shit just keeps the RICO going!

Anonymous said...

where is your class action law suit- I have 20 years of falsifying police records, medical records(Federal Felonly), court records........ABSOLUTE RICO!
WHERE DO I FILE? THE LIARS ARE STARTING THEIR TROUBLE ALL OVER AGAIN, THEY SEEM TO THINK MY TIME LIMIT IS OVER.........HAHAHAHAHAH
your shit just keeps the RICO going!

Anonymous said...

hey old lady, the one ripping the posted sign down, when they find out you haven't reported your friend for fraud but you are terrorizing me......you got a problem!

Anonymous said...

hey old lady, the one ripping the posted sign down, when they find out you haven't reported your friend for fraud but you are terrorizing me......you got a problem!

Anonymous said...

you just think you can selectively terrorize any resident you want, the whole lot of you and anytime you want!

Anonymous said...

She is sorry only because she got caught! Take her law license and let her clean toilets! That's where she belongs!

Anonymous said...

It looks like Ms.Muscatello's number came up when it became necessary to offer a sacrifice to the gods.

Not even the Rice I was inexperienced Defense would carry the day for Ms.Muscatello.

Ms.Rice once worked as a prosecutor for 3 years for Mr.Hynes and moved on to become a federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania. She got caught eliciting and intiimidating a witness to lie. Her boss said she was inexperienced and made a mistake. I guess Ms.Rice learned nothing while employed by Mr.Hynes. The least she should have learned from Hynes was how to lie better.

Ms.Rice is now the Nassau County district attorney.

pf

Anonymous said...

Let me give you a better one where a prosecutor is not punished for lying and misconduct.

I made a complaint to the 10th Judicial District Grievance Committee that a lawyer representing a witness in a case had a serious conflict of interest. In my narrative to the Committee I gave a detailed account of the proceedings as conducted by the very morally challenged Suffolk County District Attorney.

In order to paint a fuller picture of just how bad the situation at trial was, I included the actions of the assistant district attorney. I did not ask the GC to conduct an investigation into the unlawful practices of the district attorney’s office as the case was on appeal. However the actions of the private attorney were not disparities to the case at bar.

This is what happened: Assistant DA Peter Timmons brought many witnesses before the grand jury to testify. One of those witnesses would be characterized as a ‘witness accomplice’ of the person to be indicted. The ADA instructed the witness: Joseph A.Careccia, a long time felon and proven liar to tell the grand jury what transpired on the night of 11/8/99, @ the Bayshore King Kullen supermarket. Mr.Careccia went to great detail as to how the plan to burglarize the King Kullen came about - who was there and who did what - where each burlgar went while inside the King Kullen.

There came a time when Mr.Careccia identified two of the people that were allegedly helping him commit the burglary. He just wasn’t sure if it was a Eddie Wright ( a black man) or David Cipkin (a white man) - either or, he just wasn’t sure at that the time of his testimony. There was a reason why this testimony was offered into evidence at that time. It was because the district attorney had not yet decided which of the two was best to insert into the lie.

Enter David Cipkin. He will testify about his role in another crime the district attorney would intentionally and maliciously indict an innocent man of. Funny thing happened on the way to the grand jury - The ADA never bothered to clarify of Mr.Cipkin as to who was at the King Kullen. Truth of the matter is that Mr.Timmons needn’t bother to clarify this sticky issue because Timmons knew the entire testimony throughout the trial were lies constructed by his office and SCPD detectives.

Continued……

Anonymous said...

Continued…….

We go to trial and Careccia has now been instructed to place Eddie Wright at the King Kullen. Mr.Wright is in a federal holding facility and his presence would be very difficult for the defense to produce. Make it Wright. The DA will use Cipkin to testify to another burglary. Careccia will give testimony on Direct and Cross that Wright was at the King Kullen. He will do so in great detail as to what Wright did, when he did it and how he did it. The only problem was that Mr.Wright was in a Virginia Jail at the time of the burglary. Mr.Timmons and his goon squad under the leadership of Chief Goon in Charge, Thomas Spota and his Boy Toy Inspector James C Burke never bothered to read the report presented to them by the SCPD homicide squad so the district attorney could further taint the jury by suggesting the defendant not only was involved with burglars, but murderers as well.

Defense Attorney Paul Gianelli would deftly set the trap to prove that Careccia was a liar by producing the Virginia Corrections report that Wright was in jail. The 12 brain dead morons sitting on the jury were aghast and then laughed at this outrageous lie that the defense attorney caught the district attorney’s key witness telling in sworn testimony.

On Re-Direct, Mr.Timmons and Mr.Careccia would get a chance to get their stories straight - after a court recess. Mr.Timmons would then remind Mr.Careccia of his grand jury testimony where he testified he wasn’t then sure if it was Wright or Cipkin. He was very sure at trial it was Wright, and even after being offered the Virginia report, Careccia said he really didn’t care what the report said, Wright was there.

Enter - David Cipkin, several days later. He was put on the stand only to LIE about one crime and one crime only. Mr. Timmons never bothered to have Mr.Cipkin to clarify this obvious inconsistent, at best, mistaken Carecia testimony by asking Cipkin if it was he that was at the King Kullen. Mr.Timmons didn’t need to do that because the facts (IMHO) clearly show that Mr.Timmons knew the entire testimony of ALL his witnesses were lies manufactured by his office and the detectives that investigated this case. On Cross, Mr.Gianelli would ask Mr.Cipkin what his role was at the KK. Cipkin would testify that he wasn’t there and he didn’t do that one - this is the first I heard of it. I did others, but not this one.

Anonymous said...

Continued……..

So how does Mr.Timmons deal with this embarrassment of getting caught flat out lying through his witnesses? On summation he tells the jury; Mr.Gianelli made such a big deal out of the Wright being in jail. He goes on to tell the jury: THE POLICE KNEW AND WE KNEW ( Wright was in jail) big deal. Well, my friends that is an admission of guilt as far as I am concerned, and if you understand the Law you know that it is grossly improper for a lawyer, more so a prosecutor to allow false testimony to stand without correcting it. Being surprised by not knowing or soliciting the lie has no bearing on the matter, whatsoever. Once a lie has become known to the prosecutor, he MUST correct it. This Lying Jackazz of a prosecutor ADMITS to as much when he tells the jury: The police knew it, we knew it. He was referring to Wright being in a prison.

I should also add that it DOESN’T matter one WIT if this information came to the defense’s attention with Discovery or Rosario. All that matters, and there is plenty of Case Law, including a US Supreme Court decision: Napue v Illinois that once false testimony is known to the prosecutor it MUST be corrected, forthwith.

The Grievance Committee gets my complaint about the private lawyer and rejects it. I advise the GC that it was Judge Kaye that advised me to bring this matter to them, and I include her letter written to me in response. The GC agrees to take on the complaint but refers it to the 9th district. To my surprise I will receive a letter sent to the GC by ADA Timmons addressing this very issue. Incredibly, Timmons would attempt to offer evidence that HE KNEW of Wright’s incarceration at the time Careccia testified that Wright was at the KK. Timmons would go on to inform the GC that this information regarding Wright was given to the defense on discovery, or Rosario. Yes, that was true, but the Jackazz gave the defense attorney two boxes of Rosario material only 12 hours before the trial was to begin and the Jackazz never bothered to read his own documents. He didn’t read it because it really had no bearing on the case at bar other than to improperly inflame the jury with his opening remarks that Careccia became known to them because he was brought back to Long Island as a suspect in a homicide of a witness that was giving evidence of his illegal enterprises.

Timmons would go so far as to lie to the GC that HE handed this document to Gianelli at trial. That was technically true, but he left out that the document he handed to Gianelli was handed over to him THREE DAYS after Careccia got caught flat out lying about Wright. IT WAS THE SAME DOCUMENT THAT GIANELLI HANDED OVER TO TIMMONS. AND TIMMONS HANDED IT BACK TO GIANELLI.

THE POINT OF THIS LONG WINDED POST? If lies such as the ones I have just spelled out for you didn’t get the attention of the GC ( it did, IMHO, but had to be ignored by order of the 2nd Appellate) or the 2nd Department, then why did Ms.Muscatello’s incident get such special attention? It is all CYA BS. It is nothing different than a cop making his ticket quota and the City denying there is a quota.

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION: Any individual or person who believes to be aggrieved or harmed by the NY State Court system please contact me at the address below if interested in pursuing a class action lawsuit and / or other action against the State of New York. It is the position of this group that New York state operates a constitutionally deficient and defective court system in many ways including denying fundamental rights of contact and visitation with minor children to Parents, either mother or father, while convicted felons/abusers in the state prison system have rights of contact and visitation with children. If you believe you are aggrieved by the Court system, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Appellate Division Discipline Committees, Law Guardians and/or have been forced to endure improper Supervised Visitation programs or related problems in the NY Court system please come forward and let your voice be heard. joinusnow1960@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

LIE! How do you think attorneys get convictions, of course they have to lie, cheat and steal to get ahead in the legal system

Anonymous said...

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Ex wife kidnapped my son to columbia feds/embassy will not help me advice needed and help please contact me via my blog thanks citizens.

Anonymous said...

Investigative Reporters and Editors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the quality of investigative reporting. Formed in 1975, it presents the IRE Awards and holds conferences and training classes for journalists. Its headquarters is in Columbia, Missouri, at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The IRE Awards have categories in all different media.
============================

Homepage: http://www.ire.org/

Directory of Investigative Journalists: http://www.ire.org/dij/

Index of Interests: http://www.ire.org/dij/?topicindex

IRE Resource Center: http://www.ire.org/resourcecenter/about.html

What is the IRE Resource Center?

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories - both print and broadcast. Add to that more than 3,000 tipsheets from our national conferences on how to cover specific beats or do specific stories and you have a resource that no reporter or editor should be without.

These stories and tipsheets are searchable through our online database or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org ) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

When you've found the stories or tipsheets you're looking for, e-mail us or call us and we'll send you copies of the complete text. Stories, tapes and tipsheets are only available to IRE members. Journalists and journalism educators/students can join IRE online here.

------
Center for Investigative Reporting: http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/projects/judicialindependence

Judicial Independence
Investigating Conflicts, Influence, and Agenda in the Federal Courts

http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/about
About CIR

Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, producing multimedia reporting that has impact and is relevant to people's lives. Building on our long track record of award-winning print, broadcast and web reporting, CIR is now seeking to help lead the way in transforming journalism for the 21st century

-------
Judicial Watch: http://www.judicialwatch.org/

About Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government, politics, and the law. We advocate high standards of ethics and morality and seek to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. We are America’s largest and most effective government watchdog

----
Other Source for Investigative publications and Reporters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigative_journalism (this page has hyperlinks)

Notable Investigative Reporters (Current day)

Donald Barlett and James B. Steele
Walt Bogdanich
Bill Dedman
Seymour Hersh
Michael Isikoff
Eric Lichtblau
Jane Mayer
James Risen

Awards and organizations
Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting
Investigative Reporters and Editors

Bureaus, centers, and institutes for investigations
Bureau of Investigative Journalism
California Watch
Center for Investigative Reporting - Berkeley, California, USA
Center for Public Integrity
Investigative Reporting Workshop
Investigative Reporters and Editors
ProPublica

Television programs
Exposé: America's Investigative Reports (PBS documentary series)

External links
North America, Investigative Journalism Centers or Bureaus
Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR, U.S., since 1977)
Center for Public Integrity's iWatch (U.S., since 1989)
Investigative News Network (INN, U.S. created 2009)
ProPublica (established 2007)

Education Centers
Investigative Reporting Workshop (American University, created 2008)

Anonymous said...

Investigative Reporters and Editors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the quality of investigative reporting. Formed in 1975, it presents the IRE Awards and holds conferences and training classes for journalists. Its headquarters is in Columbia, Missouri, at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The IRE Awards have categories in all different media.
============================

Homepage: http://www.ire.org/

Directory of Investigative Journalists: http://www.ire.org/dij/

Index of Interests: http://www.ire.org/dij/?topicindex

IRE Resource Center: http://www.ire.org/resourcecenter/about.html

What is the IRE Resource Center?

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories - both print and broadcast. Add to that more than 3,000 tipsheets from our national conferences on how to cover specific beats or do specific stories and you have a resource that no reporter or editor should be without.

These stories and tipsheets are searchable through our online database or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org ) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

When you've found the stories or tipsheets you're looking for, e-mail us or call us and we'll send you copies of the complete text. Stories, tapes and tipsheets are only available to IRE members. Journalists and journalism educators/students can join IRE online here.

------
Center for Investigative Reporting: http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/projects/judicialindependence

Judicial Independence
Investigating Conflicts, Influence, and Agenda in the Federal Courts

http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/about
About CIR

Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, producing multimedia reporting that has impact and is relevant to people's lives. Building on our long track record of award-winning print, broadcast and web reporting, CIR is now seeking to help lead the way in transforming journalism for the 21st century

-------
Judicial Watch: http://www.judicialwatch.org/

About Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government, politics, and the law. We advocate high standards of ethics and morality and seek to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. We are America’s largest and most effective government watchdog

----
Other Source for Investigative publications and Reporters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigative_journalism (this page has hyperlinks)

Notable Investigative Reporters (Current day)

Donald Barlett and James B. Steele
Walt Bogdanich
Bill Dedman
Seymour Hersh
Michael Isikoff
Eric Lichtblau
Jane Mayer
James Risen

Awards and organizations
Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting
Investigative Reporters and Editors

Bureaus, centers, and institutes for investigations
Bureau of Investigative Journalism
California Watch
Center for Investigative Reporting - Berkeley, California, USA
Center for Public Integrity
Investigative Reporting Workshop
Investigative Reporters and Editors
ProPublica

Television programs
Exposé: America's Investigative Reports (PBS documentary series)

External links
North America, Investigative Journalism Centers or Bureaus
Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR, U.S., since 1977)
Center for Public Integrity's iWatch (U.S., since 1989)
Investigative News Network (INN, U.S. created 2009)
ProPublica (established 2007)

Education Centers
Investigative Reporting Workshop (American University, created 2008)

Anonymous said...

We just got to experience a prosecutor lying to the Grand Jury, not to mention covering up the time of death. there never should have been an conviction. She also knew there was no DNA found, but lied about it. She also knew the person arrested was in another state at time of death. She thought he was going to have a PD and thus, could plow through To a victory. This is where our future judges come from.
This has to be exposed to the public over and over. Sadly, the public thinks the courts are always working for justice and the truth. Not so at all. It is all about winning and another step closer to making judge.
Just like the lies told to pressure innocent people to accept pleas and avoid a trial. it is still a win for them.

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm going through the same thing in Virginia, it appears the court system can do whatever they want.

Blog Archive

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:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2