Shirtless New York Supreme Court judge removed for fighting with neighbor

The New York Supreme Court judge caught on camera shoving a police officer during a shirtless confrontation over a parking spot will soon be replaced on the bench. The Erie County District Attorney’s office decided not to file charges against the judge because he did not physically grapple or punch anyone, only “shoulder-push” them.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Mark Grisanti of Buffalo was not on the list of 25 judicial nominees sent by Gov. Kathy Hochul to the state Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.

Grisanti, who has been serving in the court’s 8th District since 2018, will remain in his position until a new judge is appointed.

His term expired last July in 2023 and since then he has been a “holdover” on the court awaiting his replacement.

According to the New York Post report, the incident that led to the shirtless judge’s arrest took place on June 23, 2020, when the Buffalo Police Department was called to Grisanti’s home after a heated argument over parking with his neighbors, Joseph and Gina Mele.

Grisanti believed the Melese family was encroaching on his right of way, which led to a feud between the two families.

During the confrontation, Grisanti’s wife, Maria, was handcuffed and forced to the ground.

The shirtless judge then allegedly threatened the officers, saying “get away from my wife” and pushing one of them.

Grisanti also claimed he had ties to Mayor Byron Brown and the police force and threatened officers with consequences if they did not release his wife.

“You should arrest my wife – you’ll regret it,” he said, the New York Post reported.

Grisanti was handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car. He later apologized for his actions.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges against him after several weeks of review.

Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said the determination was made because Grisanti did not physically hit or push anyone, but only “shouldered” them.

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct voted to censure Grisanti for “particularly poor decision-making abilities.”

The commission voted six to four in favor of censure, but the recommendation to remove him from office was rejected by a very narrow margin.

The commission also criticized Grisanti for participating in a legal case involving a lawyer who paid him as part of a business deal, the New York Post reported.

Despite these controversies, Grisanti’s attorney, Terrence Connors, defended his client, calling him an exemplary judge.

“The lawyers and judges who know his work best want him to remain on the bench,” Connors said.

published by:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published on:

June 6, 2024