All the cigars and cash in the world couldn’t save an ex-divorce judge during sentencing in his recent criminal defense case. Former Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, 74, was recently sentenced to three to 10 years in the clink after being found guilty of fixing divorce cases in exchange for the finer things in life. While weeping in front of the judge and asking for leniency, Garson admitted that he was ashamed of videotapes that showed him taking bribes. Justice Jeffrey Berry apparently wasn’t too convinced or swayed by the work of Garson’s tear ducts as he basically said the judge had made his own bed and now must pay for the crime and do the time.
A CNN story detailed how the Garson shakedown was part of a larger investigation into claims that civil judges were being bought and sold for as much as $50,000. While nothing surfaced with those claims, the investigation did bring down former state assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr., who was convicted of grand larceny. Specifically, Norman Jr. threatened a civil court candidate that he would pull his party’s support for her unless she paid his favored consultants with thousands of dollars. Norman Jr. will now pay with a two-to-six year stay in prison.