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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Disbarred Lawyer to Assist Incoming Manhattan DA

Disbarred Tawana Brawley lawyer C. Vernon Mason aids Manhattan District Attorney-elect Cy Vance
The New York Daily News by Melissa Grace - EXCLUSIVE - November 7, 2009

Disbarred lawyer C. Vernon Mason - a civil rights leader at the heart of the Tawana Brawley case - is on the transition team for Manhattan District Attorney-elect Cy Vance. Mason, who lost his law license for mistreating poor clients, is among 35 advisers who will help shape policy and prosecutions. "C. Vernon Mason is a well-respected clergy member who cares deeply about his community and the criminal justice issues faced by youth and adults," said Michael Cherasky, head of Vance's prep team. Vance declined to comment. Mason, a deacon at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church and a faculty member at the New York Theological Seminary, did not return calls for comment. A longtime civil rights advocate, Mason is best known for his ties to the polarizing Brawley case. He and the Rev. Al Sharpton advised the black teenager, who claimed she was kidnapped and raped by six white cops upstate in 1987. A grand jury later concluded Brawley fabricated the story. In 1998, Mason, Sharpton and activist Alton Maddox lost a defamation suit brought by prosecutor Stephen Pagones, whom they falsely accused in the Brawley case. Mason was ordered to pay $185,000 in damages, a debt that has not been paid, said Pagones, 48, who runs a private investigation firm. Asked about Mason's appointment to the transition team, Pagones said, "That would pose concern to anybody with common sense." Mason, who cultivated a reputation as a fierce advocate for the oppressed, was disbarred by a state appeals court in 1995 after being found guilty of 66 misconduct charges, included fee gouging, theft and the neglect of his clients. In 1985, Mason tried to unseat Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in a primary bid. Morgenthau, who endorsed Vance as his successor, said Mason's disbarment and involvement with Brawley are a nonissue. "That's all ancient history," he said. "He's well-respected."


Anonymous said...

Come on folks, it is too close to Halloween not to be a joke. C.Vernon Mason on a 'transistion team ?' Mason is joing Michael Cherkaskey, chairman of the NYS Public Integrity Commission. Another joke in progress. Cherksky has recently been crtiicized by one of the newspapers as having NO integrity concerning issues of Gov.Paterson.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. What's Tom Cahill, Sherry Cohen and Alan Friedberg have to say about this!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's only right! Where's Rev. Al?

Anonymous said...

You're known by the company you keep.

Anonymous said...

is this the criminally insane conspiring to be more insane,
they get caught, they learn from their mistakes, you can even charge them, they never pay!

Eliot Bernstein said...

fingerprinting free @ for all those willing to step into the light, notice the circle closes in, no one but the top left. Soon, there children will be defending their actions like Cheney but their crimes are being exposed and they are now forced to the light. Let them play.

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