Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Charges Against Feldman Stand, Will He Talk?

"The Appellate Division, Second Department, gave the go-ahead last week for a trial of the most serious charge against former Brooklyn Democratic leader Clarence Norman and Jeffrey Feldman, the executive director of the Brooklyn party. The pair are accused of pressuring two Civil Court candidates to use favored vendors in their 2002 campaigns. Both Mr. Norman and Mr. Feldman had asked the trial judge, Acting Justice Martin Marcus, to dismiss the case, claiming in their omnibus motions that the indictment did not charge a crime. Only Mr. Feldman, however, asked the Second Department for a writ of prohibition barring the trial from proceeding. In denying the request, a unanimous court in an unsigned opinion stated that Mr. Feldman had failed to demonstrate a "clear legal right" to have the charge rejected."
New York Law Journal, November 30, 2005

"Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes. I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer. I plead guilty, your honor” (Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, January 3, 2006). According to the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 9 1/2 to 11 years, providing he cooperates with federal prosecutors.”

Jeff Feldman, Executive Director of the Kings County Democratic Club, and chief advisor to County Leader Clarence Norman is facing the toughest decision of his life.

If he hasn’t done it already, within a few days or hours, Jeff will have to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Abramoff and bargain for a reduced jail sentence or to hang tough and hope for a miracle.

Tampering with judicial elections through Bribery and Extortion is not an offense that escapes with just a token punishment. In fact, there may have been enough basis for a Federal RICO probe which considered conspiracy charges against Clarence, Jeff, and even Professor Boonie III.

Setting an excruciatingly painful example is evidently the only way to deter those who are intent on making a profit out of the Judicial system. So even with a reduced sentence, Jeff is likely to do at least 4 years in prison. But on the other hand, a conviction after trial could land him in the slammer for twice as many years.

According to reports, Jeff has retained one of the top criminal lawyers in the United States at the kind of fee which usually requires taking out a mortgage on a home. Attorney Branfman is a blue-blood lawyer usually retained by the rich and famous like Michael Jackson. - Footnotes, January 4, 2006

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