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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Federal Prosecutors Say Corrupt Former NY State Judge Remorseless, Deserves 41 months

Feds to judge: Spargo remorseless, deserves 41 months in prison
The Albany Times Union by ROBERT GAVIN - December 8, 2009

ALBANY, NY -- On the same day former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno was convicted of corruption, the federal government asked that former state Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo receive more than 3 years in prison for attempted bribery and attempted extortion.
A U.S. Justice Department prosecutor based in Washington, D.C., sent a letter Monday to Judge Gary Sharpe -- the same judge who presided over Bruno's trial -- describing Spargo as a remorseless offender who deserves the maximum time in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. The prosecutor asked Sharpe to give Spargo 41 months behind bars; guidelines call for term of at least 33 months. He also requested Spargo be fined $75,000 and receive two years of supervised release. "A lengthy term of imprisonment and a substantial fine will justly punish him for the severity of his conduct and his utter lack of remorse," stated the Dec. 7 recommendation to Sharpe, written by Raymond N. Hulser, acting chief of the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.

In turn, Spargo's attorney, E. Stewart Jones, requested a sentence below federal guidelines. He called Spargo's actions "clearly aberrant criminal conduct." Jones asked for no fine or at most the minimum $7,500. He stated that Spargo, now disbarred, is financially destitute and will likely never again practice law. Jones even identified Spargo as a "warm, considerate, kind, compassionate and good guy" in a 15-page memo to Sharpe. Both memos are filed in U.S. District Court, where Spargo will be sentenced Dec. 21. "He has lost his self-esteem and self-worth," Jones' memo stated, adding that Spargo "embarrassed, shamed and humiliated himself" and let down his family. Jones argued the personal and professional punishments to Spargo, as well as the conviction, make any further punishment unnecessary and redundant. Spargo, 66, of East Berne, was convicted Aug. 27 of attempted bribery and attempted extortion for trying to shake down attorneys and solicit a $10,000 bribe to pay then-mounting legal bills. Just last week, he was officially disbarred by a state appeals court. A longtime pre-eminent Republican election law attorney, Spargo began his judicial career after he was cross-endorsed in a deal that led to a 14-year term in state Supreme Court in 2001. While the judge's chambers had been in Albany, Spargo presided over cases in Ulster County, within the state's Third Judicial District.

By January 2002, Spargo was facing accusations of ethical violations from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, though unrelated to his future troubles. His legal bills would eventually exceed $140,000. At Spargo's trial in August, the government proved he tried to shake down attorneys to offset those legal costs. One of those lawyers, Bruce Blatchly, an Ulster County lawyer with more than 32 years of experience, had eight cases before the judge. On Nov. 13, 2003, Spargo solicited a $10,000 bribe from Blatchly. When the lawyer declined to pay up, Spargo pressured him again through a friend -- attorney Sanford Rosenblum -- in the coat room of a Kingston restaurant, the government said. While testifying during the trial, Blatchly said Spargo called him on his cell phone on Dec. 19, 2003. He said Spargo boasted that he would be returning to Ulster County in 2004 and handling Blatchly's cases. He testified that Spargo also informed him that Spargo's close friend, Albany County Surrogate's Court Judge Cathryn Doyle, was expected to preside over Blatchly's divorce from his now ex-wife. Spargo remarked that "it looked like a nice Christmas for him," Blatchly testified. At the time, Senior Trial Attorney Richard C. Pilger, who prosecuted the case, asked Blatchly how Spargo's remark made him feel. Blatchly replied. "... now that my divorce was in his control, or the control (of) his friend ... screwed."

On Monday, the federal government argued that Spargo remains without remorse. The government's letter to Sharpe noted that as recently as Oct. 28, Spargo insisted "Blatchly's testimony was inaccurate," while being interviewed for a pre-sentencing probation report. Spargo also told the probation office he went to trial because the federal government "was requesting that he incriminate his friends," which the government said is not true. The government dubbed Spargo's remarks to the probation office as "further evidence of his shameless refusal to accept responsibility." Its letter stated: "As a lawyer and judge, the defendant enjoyed numerous advantages in life. Rather than use those many advantages to honor the high office to which he was elected by his community, Judge Spargo turned his back on his duty for purely venal purposes..." In Jones' request for a more lenient sentence, he asked Sharpe to sentence his client to a facility close to his family in the Capital Region. Robert Gavin can be reached at 434-2403 or


from brooklyn said...

Spargo still thinks he did nothing wrong. That's what's wrong with our state judges, a lot of them anyway. I do believe many are good, honest people but the court system itself is corrupt. Keep up the good work. Expose the bastards!

Anonymous said...

The state Judiciary does have some good jurists and absolutely the system in whole operates in a cloud of corruption....that benefits mainly the ruling administation and their power fueled egos.

My question is how is so much of the state courts lack of accountability, which is obligated to be watchgdogged by the Federal Court bench, influencing this higher US court to secure and contribute to the corruption of the state court justice this higher US court appears so willing to protect OCA and many of the lawsuits that exist and charge OCA with violatons of the law and constitution.

After all...many robes in both courts attended the same law school, practiced in the same firms before appointments and run in the same social circles!

I believe that federal court is of the opinion that most people think they are independent actors from the state courts.....but examined closely and observing all rulings...they truly are operating behind the scenes within the borders of the state court's reputation and culpability to the public's scrutiny.... with lots of exparte determinations being hatched that are silently and covertly, exploiting the pltf litigants of this state and possibly country!

A portion of this blog must reveal more about this higher level judicial branch and its position in the enabling of state corruption and the influence both carry, relative to the the MEDIA EXPOSURE of CORRUPTION and the FBI INVESTIGATIONS into what both designate as reportable information and permissable investigations!

This is a long time and serious observation of the inter-actions of both courts , coupled wih experience and the reviewing of both courts and their acceptance of behaviors that protect.....but never correct!

Anonymous said...

There are laws governing how much money can be taken in a divorce from a disability pension,but don`t tell Judge Linda Christopher.The Rockland County Judge who is blinded by her hatred for Men.She completely ignores
the law and destroys men while breaking the very laws she is sworn
to uphold.God help us all.There is not an attorney in the county who
is man or woman enough to report her.They don`t care what she does to the children or the men.They are all selfish cowards.

Anonymous said...

they should change the laws to give them more time behind bars
whatever the sentence he will be out in half the time for good behavior. The people he screewed will pay for life

Anonymous said...

it is disgusting, how they fix these cases and if you have some psychopath on your butt forget it, you can not find a lawyer to represent you, you can they just take more money and do nothing to stop it.........
if some thug says you have no rights you have none!
where are the FEDS!

Jail4Judges said...

put them ALL away! Take their licenses to steal away forever!

Pro Se Fool said...

I submit that the answer to the above is quite simple.

Whoever suggested to our founding fathers that our entire third branch of government could operate effectively, and perpetually 'on-the-honor-system'
must have needed his head examined.

The only question is what can 'We' do about it now.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Heard the Feds had a big tobacco bust ready... but then the evidence went up in smoke...

Anonymous said...

911 conspiracy guy should seek help.

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
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