Monday, November 23, 2009

Gargantuan Disgrace -- Part II

There's a judicial vacancy coming up in Monroe County.   It's the County Court seat that current judge Alex Renzi will vacate at the end of the year, to take up his new duties on the state Supreme Court bench.   Renzi's election to Supreme Court was regarded as a virtual certainty by leaders of both parties.   The Governor will appoint his replacement.

We view this as related directly to the prosecution of former County GOP Executive Director Andrew Moore, instituted by Assistant District Attorney William Gargan.   It's a prosecution so flimsy that Gargan's boss, DA Mike Green, overruled his subordinate and withdrew the most serious charge, the felony claim.

Timing has been central to this prosecution.   It was brought shortly before the recent election, to help local Democrats tar their Republican opponents with the brush of Robutrad, in support of the Democrats' failed bid to take control of the County Legislature.   Timing continues to drive it.

Last week, Assistant DA Gargan contrived a postponement of a long-scheduled hearing to consider Moore's motion to dismiss the charges.   He contrived it by filing his responses to Moore's motions late, not producing them until the hearing itself.

Judge Richard Keenan asked why the prosecutor was so late with his response, but the damage was done.   The judge had little choice but to postpone the hearing.   An attorney with Gargan's experience knows this.   A judge needs time to read both sides' papers.   Court calendars are busy.   With the holidays in the mix, the hearing was postponed to January.

Gargan knows his charges against Mr. Moore are junk.   DA Green's withdrawal of the felony charge raises questions about just what Gargan told the grand jury about the remaining misdemeanor charges as well, throwing the entire proceeding into question.

The delay to January can spare Gargan from further professional humiliation in the form of the judge throwing out the remaining charges, or having them pulled by DA Green, in anticipation of such a ruling.

Because Mr. Gargan won't be holding the bag as prosecutor if, by January, he's Judge Gargan, appointed by the Governor to the County Court vacancy, on advice of Monroe Democratic Chair Joe Morelle.

As reward to Gargan for abusing his office in service to the Party.


BanishedtoNF said...

It will be interesting to see if you are correct in predicting ADA Gargan's judicial appointment. Your track record with predictions has been less than stellar.

Philbrick said...

"Less than stellar" is really too charitable, seeing as how we predicted David Koon would be elected County Executive in 2007!

Maybe our opinion on this potential judicial apointment needs clarification. We do think it could explain one of the ADA's motives for bringing this prosecution in the first place, as well as the motive for the curious delay in filing papers in response to the Moore attorney's filings to dismiss the charges.

But it's perfectly possible that Gargan has painted himself into a corner with the embarrassingly conspicuous political motives of this prosecution. For that reason, it's possible to envision him declining such an appointment, or taking himself out of the running for it, precisely because people would recognize it as a blatant political payoff.