Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Feldman and Norman Indicted In Judicial Corruption Case

“prosecutors have obtained the first criminal charges directly related to suspected corruption in the selection of Brooklyn judges: an indictment of the borough’s top two Democratic officials on charges that they tried to strong-arm judicial candidates into hiring consultants favored by the party.” The Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman, Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr., and party executive director Jeffrey Feldman surrendered “to face charges of attempted grand larceny, a felony, and other charges.” Two unsuccessful Democratic candidates for Civil Court have told investigators that Norman and Feldman “threatened to withdraw the party’s support during the 2002 race unless they hired the party’s choices to print brochures and work to get out the vote.” -- New York Times, Nov 18, 2003

"Brooklyn Democratic party boss Clarence Norman and his top aide surrendered last night on charges they made $100,000 the going rate for a Brooklyn judgeship.
Norman, who was indicted last month on separate grand larceny charges, carried buttermilk cookies and joked with reporters about spending his second night on a cot in Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes' office.

"Since I've been here before, I knew to bring my cookies and magazines," said Norman, who arrived on foot just after 9 p.m. with a half-dozen friends and supporters. "Why should I be angry? How many times do you have a second chance to spend the night in the district attorney's office?

"We all know this is nothing more than a bunch of nonsense."

Norman and Jeffrey Feldman, the party's executive director, are expected to be arraigned today on charges they shook down three judges up for reelection in 2002 after the party had endorsed them.

They were indicted on 22 counts Friday. The indictment was set to be unsealed today. Each faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted on the top count of grand larceny.

Feldman arrived about 15 minutes before Norman, accompanied by his attorney, Ronald Aiello. "We are at a loss - a total loss - as to what crimes could have been committed by Mr. Feldman," said Aiello.

A source said Feldman allegedly told Civil Court judges Karen Yellen, Marcia Sikowitz and Margaret Cammer they each had "to come up with 100 grand or we're going to take this away from you."

The indictment also charges the pair warned Yellen in a separate incident that she would be thrown off the ticket if she did not pay certain favored consultants, another sources said.

Sources close to the case said all three women as well as a Brooklyn district leader are expected to testify against Feldman and Norman, who also is a longtime state assemblyman and controls judgeships in the heavily Democratic borough.

The dual surrender came a month after another grand jury declined to issue a formal charge on the alleged scheme to sell seats on the bench."
-Daily News, November 18, 2003

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