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Saturday, February 28, 2009

New York Justice: Madoff Lounges at Home; Murderer Gets 15 days

Rich man's justice: Millionaire exec who killed bride-to-be in DWI hit-run gets just 15 days in jail
The New York Daily News by JOSE MARTINEZ - February 27, 2009

A drunk-driving millionaire who mowed down a woman in Manhattan and then fled the death scene received his punishment Friday. A measly 15 days in jail. Outraged relatives of victim Florence Cioffi railed against the plea bargain and "rich man's sentence" for technology entrepreneur George Anderson. "When the district attorney starts sounding like a defense attorney to justify the deal, you can be sure the deal is a bad one for my sister and the people of this state," Cioffi's sister, Lilly Alias, complained to the judge.

Manhattan prosecutors originally charged Anderson with vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, but he was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. Cioffi, 59, was killed Jan. 24, 2008, when she was slammed by a Mercedes SUV driven by Anderson, who had been boozing at a Rangers hockey game. The Long Island executive drove away from the Water St. scene, then returned 20 minutes later. Prosecutor David Hammer said Anderson was clearly drunk, though his level of intoxication was not checked until hours after he struck Cioffi. "While we never expected a death sentence or an extraordinarily long prison term, a plea arrangement which amounts to nothing more than 15 days in jail is simply insufficient," Alias said. Hammer said stiffer charges wouldn't have stuck. "We cannot prove vehicular homicide. We cannot prove criminally negligent homicide," he said. "I understand the family members are upset. I don't blame them." He added that the victim was also very drunk. Cioffi's .22 blood-alcohol level - nearly three times the legal limit - made proving the charges that much tougher for prosecutors. The bride-to-be had been returning home after planning her 60th birthday party with friends. "This was an absolute tragedy. Ms. Cioffi is not to blame here," Hammer said. "As a district attorney, I have to look at what I can prove." Alias stood next to the prosecutor at the sentencing, then lashed out at the deal given to Anderson. "This is a rich man's sentence," she snapped. 

Anderson, 48, broke down in tears as he expressed remorse for drunkenly getting behind the wheel. "I live every moment with the horror of this event," Anderson said in a breaking voice. The Brookville, L.I., founder of a software firm had originally agreed to a deal where he could serve his 15-day sentence on weekends, but Manhattan Criminal Court Judge James Burke changed the terms. Anderson will stay behind bars at Rikers for 15 straight days, do 200 hours of community service and lose his driver's license for six months. Outside the courthouse, Cioffi's fiancĂ©, William Mosca, bemoaned the light sentence. "The arm of the law was not present in this case," Mosca said.


Anonymous said...

What's wrong with this picture..15 days in Jail? Sounds pretty fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

Attys who are getting paid to defend similar cases...need to raise the issue of selective prosecution and sentencing. The ones that aren't getting paid...may not care~!

Once the Media and the public...yes the hypocritical public become really outraged and write and scream about it might see some equality in sentencing!

There is an atty in upstate NY who will be sentenced in March 2009, for a....hit and run late night accident that killed a college student last Oct. 2008. This atty later that weekend...consciously drove his car to Penn. to have it no one locally could finger him. He said he thought he hit a garbage can....or what he believes was a lawyer's briefcase.

This atty was coming home from a Buffalo Sabres game and unfortunately stopped at another bar and then for some McDonalds soothe his drunk, that he acquired from the bar he went to after the game. The video from that McDonald's is what led the Hamburg Police to the car and maybe the plate #. Hamburg Police don't care about attys and Judges (as you saw with the Judge Makowski, Adams case) committing crimes and then letting them Buffalo PD seems to embrace!

I recall this atty defending DWI'S often and some of his career buddies...actually defended him with the typical... he's really nice..great and generous...and a tremendous and loving father... but as long as he was the father of someone else's kids.....because if not... he will leave your dead child in the dark cold street of a late Oct night in Buffalo.

This atty knowingly attempted to manipulate the system,(I guess he and Makowski were not close or affectionate) because he was capable enough to work within the brotherhood. He was released without posting any bail, even though he traveled outside of NY state to PA to have his car repaired and could not be arrested because he was there and not in Hamburg at his Law office...a sign of certain and absolute, bail for fear of flight... for the ordinary non- monied or legally employed citizens.

A deft on an earlier and similar hit and run case, reported a few days later by the biased Buffalo Snewz..who did NOT run his butt out of town to cover his crime.. was incarcerated on $100,000 bail..until he was sentenced to 3-7 yrs.

I will keep an eye on this sentencing in March 2009 and report what I believe will be the likely probation and possibly a 6 month jail term...a guess from working within the corruption for years.

The atty will only see that much time..because Buffalo citizens are very conservative and when they get fumed...they create a nasty citizens 6 months by the NY courts seems to quell the people's desire for hard time...if they only knew!

Anonymous said...

reminder to administrators that while many experience difficulties due to delays in changing and bringing new hope to the ny justice system, ultimately most folks realize the enormity of the project and see and appreciate the efforts.

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Anonymous said...

those prosecutors are a joke.
what it is that the guy pleads guilty. Once a prosecutor gets a guilty plea it looks good for his record. Then when they run for election they can say they have a high conviction rate.
What did they get out of the conviction 15 days.
The prosecutor is concerned about his numbers. Also lawyers are rarely trained and expierienced enough to go before a jury.
Most lawyers are office lawyers.
They have to settle because they
are affraid of the court room.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Donovan on Staten island has over 90% success rate for
his prosecutions. He gives them a few days in jail or a fine. So they plead guilty because they will olny get a slap on the wrist.
Then Donovan can claim his high conviction rate when he runs for office.

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

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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