Thomas Spargo, a former N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice was convicted by a federal jury today in Albany today of attempted extortion and bribery.
According to his original indictment (see below), in 2003 Spargo solicited a $10,000 bribe from any attorney who had cases pending before him. At trial, it federal prosecutors proved that when the attorney refused to pay the bribe, the Judge called the attorney on the telephone and told him that he and another judge in New York's Ulster County were assigned to handle divorce cases, including the attorney's own pending divorce case.
The message was clear: while he was sitting on the bench, then-Justice Spargo suggested that the attorney's failure to pay the bribe could have potentially negative personal and professional repercussions.
You can read Spargo's original federal criminal indictment here:
- Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo Convicted of Attempted Extortion and Bribery, U.S. Dept. of Justice (Aug. 27, 2009)
- Former NY Supreme Court Judge Convicted of Extortion, Village Voice (Aug. 27, 2009)
- Opinion Spargo v. N.Y. State Commission on Judicial Conduct (2d Cir., Dec. 9, 2003)
- Spargo Litigation Documents Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law
Photo credit: Albany Times-Union