View Full Version : (Black) Judge booted off Supreme Court after cursing out prosecutor

The Bobster
09-28-2015, 05:56 AM

Judge continues dad’s legacy of setting stunningly low bails
By Rebecca Rosenberg
September 28, 2015 | 8:46am

The son of famously lenient Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Bruce Wright — nicknamed “Cut ’Em Loose Bruce” for setting low bails on violent criminals — appears to be picking up where his dad left off.

Manhattan Civil Justice Geoffrey Wright, 66, who fills in at criminal court about once a year, was on the bench Sept. 7, when two brothers, busted with a cache of guns and drugs, were arraigned.

Eric Johnson, 48, went before Wright, while his brother Lance Johnson, 36, saw Judge Abena Darkeh.

Although he had a lengthier rap sheet than his sibling, Wright set bail at a paltry $500 for Eric :mad:, while Darkeh smacked Lance with a more standard $60,000 bond, court records show.

The lowball figure came despite Manhattan prosecutor Hannah Yu’s request to set Eric Johnson’s bail at $100,000. “The defendant is a violent predicate felon,” she told him. “He has multiple firearm convictions on his record as well as multiple aliases and has bench warranted on at least one case.”

The prosecutor told the judge, who is the brother of Assemblyman Keith Wright, that cops executed a search warrant on Sept. 5 at the brothers’ pad at 50 Stuyvesant Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant and seized three guns, a bulletproof vest, three boxes of hollow-point bullets, 140 rounds of ammunition, and over 30 bags of crack cocaine and marijuana, according to the complaint.

Geoffrey Wright

Defense lawyer Sergio De La Pava urged Wright to release Eric without bail.

“Five hundred dollars cash or bond,” ruled Wright, who has become known for setting stunningly low bails, to the great annoyance of prosecutors, many of whom would like to see him barred from criminal court, a source said.

Eric posted bail, and at his next court appearance, on Sept. 11, another judge, Richard Weinberg, jacked up the bail to $75,000, and he was immediately taken into custody.

Wright’s father once released a man who shot and seriously wounded a cop during a holdup of a Manhattan steakhouse on $500 bail.

In another example of his soft spot for defendants with lengthy rap sheets, on Sept. 7, ex-con Ricardo Moya was arraigned before Wright on drug possession charges and prosecutors asked for $50,000 bail.

Moya, who is homeless and has six felony convictions, which include bail jumping, child molestation and burglary, got a $100 bail from Wright.

Wright did not immediately return a call for comment.

The Bobster
01-16-2017, 07:04 AM

Judge booted off Supreme Court after cursing out prosecutor
By Rebecca Rosenberg and Bruce Golding
January 16, 2017 | 4:58am | Updated

Geoffrey Wright

A second-generation Manhattan judge whose dad was infamous for springing criminal defendants on low bail was demoted after repeatedly clashing with Manhattan prosecutors, even cursing one out in open court, The Post has learned.

Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Wright was shipped off to Queens — and banished to Family Court, one of the lowest rungs of the judiciary — following a testy run in Manhattan Criminal Court. :D

The humiliating move was the result of an official complaint from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., sources said.

Wright — son of the late “Cut ‘Em Loose Bruce” Wright — faces a significantly more challenging commute from his co-op in Harlem to the nondescript Family Court in Jamaica than to the iconic lower Manhattan courthouse at 60 Centre St.

That’s especially bad news for Wright, who’s also already proven he has trouble behind the wheel — by twice suing the city after getting slapped with separate tickets for driving in a bus lane and illegal parking.

Court transcripts obtained by The Post show that during a series of Nov. 11 arraignments, Wright repeatedly refused requests by prosecutors to have defendants detail their crimes by making a formal admission of guilt known as an “allocution.”

At one point, Wright engaged in a foul-mouthed exchange over a petit-larceny case.

“Before we complete this, can we have this defendant legally and factually allocuted?” Assistant District Attorney David O’Keefe asked.

“Who is the a–hole that came up with this idea?” Wright then fumed.

“Your Honor, I believe it was the Constitution :p,” O’Keefe answered.

“No, it was not. Trust me, it was not. Some pettifogging academic wanted to waste people’s time,” Wright said.

At the time of his potty-mouthed rant, Wright was assigned to handle civil cases but was working a Veterans Day shift handling criminal arraignments.

All Supreme Court justices are required to work two or three such shifts a year, while Family Court judges are not.

Wright openly grumbled about performing the duty, a colleague said, and sources said he was demoted shortly after the New Year for causing disorder in the court.

The Manhattan DA’s Office wouldn’t comment. A spokesman for the state Unified Court System insisted Wright’s reassignment was routine.

“Judicial personnel are frequently moved around to meet court staffing needs,” spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.

Wright didn’t return a message seeking comment, but his brother, Manhattan Democratic chairman and ex-Assemblyman Keith Wright, told The Post: “If there’s one thing my brother knows, it’s the law.”

Keith Wright, who didn’t seek re-election last year, recently came under fire for joining a high-powered lobbying firm, with one government watchdog calling it “the worst of Albany culture.”