Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Advocate
Richard Blassberg

An Open Letter To The New York State Commission Of Investigation

New York State Commission Of Investigation
59 Maiden Lane, 31st Floor
New York, N.Y. 10038

Dear Gentlemen:

The State Investigation Commission’s inquiry into the handling, by Suffolk County Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, of the murders of Arlene and Seymour Tankleff, is a development we welcome and applaud. However, the Suffolk County DA’s Office has no exclusive franchise when it comes to prosecutorial misconduct.

Here, in Westchester County, under Jeanine Pirro, January 1994 through December 2005, scores of innocent persons were routinely,
knowingly, and maliciously targeted as Prosecutions Of Opportunity; convicted by means of prosecutorial misconduct and sent to prison. Of numerous cases that may ultimately come to your attention, at this moment I commend to your attention the case of Anthony DiSimone.

The prosecutorial misconduct in the case of Mr. DiSimone, now free as the result of a successful writ of Habeas Corpus brought in Federal Court, White Plains, is so egregious both in character, and scope, as to be a virtual primer on the subject.

For thirteen years the Westchester DA’s Office maliciously proffered a lie, while gathering and concealing 376 pages and 52 boxes filled with
exculpatory information, Brady material, hidden from the Defense. So egregious was the case that Judge Calabresi, presiding over a panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, declared in that Court’s decision that it was the worst Brady violation he had seen in 12 years on that Bench.

In bringing the DiSimone case to your attention, I must forewarn you that you will, indeed, be opening “Pandora’s Box”, an official inquiry
long overdue, but desperately necessary in light of the fact that the Office, under the current DA, for the first 16 months of the new administration, continued to conceal the Brady material, finally yielding, literally seconds before the evidentiary hearing mandated by the Second Circuit, was about to begin before District Court Judge Brieant.

What your Commission will quickly discover upon investigating the DiSimone case will be a virtual schematic of the methods and modes of
prosecutorial misconduct employed by Jeanine Pirro and many of her top ADAs, many of whom remain in the Office under her successor, suborning perjury and harassing innocent citizens and police officers.

Make no mistake, the serious misconduct began within one month of Pirro’s assumption of office. The brutal stabbing of Louis Balancio, outside of the Strike Zone bar in Yonkers, occurred in the early morning hours of February 4, 1994, just one month after Pirro took office. Within six days of the heinous killing, Pirro not only had a confession but also the bloody jacket worn by the murderer. Still, she permitted Nick Djonovic to escape to the Yugoslav Republic because an Albanian-American would not further her political agenda the way an Italian-American would.

Mrs. Pirro was determined to prove she could prosecute “Organized Crime”, and she would go on to confabulate a “Mafia killing” from what
was, in fact, a youthful overreaction to jealousy over a girl. Nearly four years later, in December of 1997, Pirro tape-recorded a prominent Assistant United States Attorney who had called her office to inform her, as well as her assistant DAs, Clement Patti and Steven Bender, the two prosecutors handling the case, that all of the evidence gathered by the FBI clearly pointed to Djonovic, and not to DiSimone.

Once your Commission opens an investigation into the handling of the Louis Balancio killing, you will very rapidly realize the need for a
comprehensive inquiry into numerous Pirro prosecutions of opportunity, many of which are still under appeal, and being vigorously defended by the Office.

Very Truly Yours,

Richard Blassberg,
Editor-In-Chief, The Westchester Guardian

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