NY judge John Michalski kills himself weeks after authorities raided his home

NY judge John Michalski kills himself weeks after authorities raided his home

A veteran New York condition choose killed himself less than two weeks following his house was raided by investigators, according to a single of his lawyers.

John Michalski, an performing justice on the Erie County Supreme Courtroom, died by suicide Tuesday at his Amherst property, wherever federal and state regulation enforcement officers experienced executed a lookup warrant 12 times previously, the Buffalo News noted. He was 61.

“It’s heartbreaking,” defense lawyer Terrence Connors informed the newspaper. “He was these a excellent person. This just did not have to transpire.”

Michalski, who was appointed to the New York Courtroom of Statements, and as an performing Supreme Courtroom justice in 2006, had been eyed by investigators for years, but no felony charges have been ever filed in opposition to him. His looming legal woes seemed to be “manageable,” Connors explained to the newspaper.

The judge’s dying came a minor around a calendar year after he was struck by a gradual-relocating freight prepare in Depew, in what was thought to be a suicide try. He endured a critical leg personal injury, but survived.

Times following the February 2021 incident, Michalski was questioned by federal brokers about his friendship with Peter Gerace Jr., the owner of a strip club in Cheektowaga and a former client, the Buffalo Information reported.

Michalski was wounded by the freight prepare on the very same day Gerace was charged with many felonies, like drug and sex trafficking, as very well as bribing a federal agent. Gerace denies the allegations, in accordance to the newspaper.

John Michalski, an acting justice on the Erie County Supreme Court, died by suicide Tuesday at his Amherst home.
John Michalski, an acting justice on the Erie County Supreme Court docket, died by suicide Tuesday at his Amherst house.
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Many years earlier, Michalski was eyed by the feds as investigators probed Gerace and a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Joseph Bongiovanni, in June 2019.

The DEA agent informed investigators Gerace was friends with Michalski. Their friendship dates again two a long time, legal professional Anthony Lana, who was also representing the decide, advised the Buffalo News.

Michalski wrote a letter to William Sketny, a federal decide in New York, in 2006 asking for leniency on behalf of Gerace, who was awaiting sentencing for a felony wire fraud conviction. He explained Gerace as a consumer and a good friend.

Sketny minimize Gerace a slight break, providing him 5 months in prison when federal sentencing pointers advised everywhere from 8 to 12 months, according to the newspaper.

FBI agents continued probing Michalski’s link to Gerace adhering to the coach incident — and were seeking proof of tax crimes throughout the March 24 raid at his property, two govt resources told the Buffalo Information.

Investigators seized files related to a little online company operated by Michalski’s spouse, Susan, Lana told the Buffalo News.

Michalski’s caseload was transferred just one day just after the raid and no cases were being to be assigned to him “until even more discover,” in accordance to the State Place of work of Courts Administration. He had returned to the bench in January following having depart subsequent the train incident.

The choose was also the topic of an investigation by the point out Legal professional General’s Business office connected to possible corruption, 1 supply acquainted with the make any difference advised the New York Situations. No charges had been filed from him in the inquiry, the newspaper documented.

Michalski is survived by his spouse and four youngsters.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are going through a psychological overall health crisis and live in New York City, you can connect with 1-888-NYC-Effectively for free and confidential disaster counseling. If you reside outdoors the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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