Judge Johnathan Lippman (Ret.)
Now that the gears are getting oiled for the delusional and inevitable to fail, crash and burn plan to close Rikers and transfer them to new structures to be built, supposedly near to each boroughs nearest district court house to avoid pissing off the natives. Although not realizing, or refusing to realize that there are residential areas near courthouses. Since there has been a steady but not yet ample amount of constructive and virulent criticism towards the two self-enlightened self-righteous assheads, Speaker Mark Viverito and Mayor Big Slow De Faustio, it would be sorely remiss if the one who spearheaded this stupid, alienating and dividing and conquering plan would escape unscathed, and that’s the Honorable Judge Johnathan Lippman (Ret.)
He is currently employed at the mega power white shoe and collar firm Latham & Watkins. It is pointed out at the end of his bio of his expertise in civil rights issues. But it conveniently neglects his other diabolical skill sets and the company he once kept.
The country’s most important civil court is under federal investigation, an insider says. The probe is focusing on the state Supreme Court’s civil division at 60 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, where many tentacles reach to disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the court source said.
Silver was arrested last month on corruption charges, and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara warned the public to “stay tuned” for more developments. The case against Silver centers on his freelance legal “work” and the millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks he hauled in from real-estate and asbestos claims, the feds say.
Many of these cases landed in the courtrooms at 60 Centre St., presided over by judges with ties to Silver and his lifelong pal, Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.
Both men grew up on the Lower East Side, and Silver has been Lippman’s political godfather, pushing him to reach New York’s top judicial post. “The appointment of Sheldon Silver’s childhood friend, Jonathan Lippman, as the state’s chief judge based on his administrative experience made about as much sense as the Yankees making their accountant the manager of the team,” said Charles Compton, former president of the Supreme Court Officers Association. He added that Lippman was appointed “to protect and promote Silver’s interests.”
The indictment accuses Silver of steering billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the state’s largest political donor, to the firm, along with another unnamed developer. In exchange, Silver reaped referral fees. Litwin owns a rental building, The Fairmont — the same high-rise where Lippman and his wife rented a one-bedroom apartment between 2007 and 2010, The Post found. And Lippman’s son, Russell, a Harvard-educated lawyer, rented an apartment there between 2003 and 2005, public records show.
Lippman, who earned $156,000 in 2010, moved into the rent-stabilized building in 2007 shortly after he was appointed presiding justice of the Appellate Division in Manhattan and was required to live in The Bronx or Manhattan. He had lived in Westchester. Lippman did not know Litwin owned the property.
As The Post reported Sunday, US Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating the state Supreme Court’s civil division in lower Manhattan.
Its courtrooms handled many of the asbestos and real-estate claims that provided Silver with much of his outside income. The stink here is that it isn’t just the plaintiffs Speaker Silver had ties to. He was pals with the judges as well.
The most prominent is Jonathan Lippman, whom Shelly has known since childhood. Shelly helped engineer Lippman’s appointment as chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.
In that post, Lippman appointed Arthur Luxenberg — yes, of the same Weitz & Luxenberg that was paying Silver — to a committee that helped decide which judges are appointed to the division handling the asbestos cases that are among Weitz & Luxenberg’s specialties.
There are also the two landlords who are being represented in the same courtrooms by Silver’s other law firm, Goldberg & Iryami.
Their case is being heard by Judge Martin Shulman. Not only does Silver live in the same building and go to the same synagogue as Shulman, Silver helped get Shulman his appointment.
No one besides Silver has yet been charged with any wrong-doing. But with a state court now under federal investigation along with the governor’s office and the Legislature, Bharara now has all three branches of New York government in his crosshairs.
In other words, a state trifecta. And not one New York should be proud of.
It figures given his recent past in appointing a commission of slithery like-minded thinkers that he would be the go-to guy in writing up a speculative report on such a utopian project like ending the existence of Rikers.
It should also be noted that although L & W is a massive firm with thousands of clients in hundreds of industrial and corporate fields, that one of them that will surely come into play is the Real Estate and REIT divisions. REIT’s have been a major financial resource behind the rash (or scourge or pestilence, whichever you prefer) of the majority of hyper-development that has enveloped the city and the coastlines of the boroughs in the past 10 years, maybe even the last 3 under De Faustio. Most of these creative investments are through mysterious LLC’s which don’t actually divulge the identities of the partners that are profiting.
A lot of these REITs reportedly also go to warehouses, hospitals and hotels. Which brings the recent interest in occupying dormant space in Sunset Park and the shutdowns of LICH in Brooklyn, Rivington House and the recent modernization of Beth Israel to mind. And most disturbingly, the proliferation of hundreds of hotels built in the past 10 years designed for the massive influx of tourism and the hyping of Queens as a destination, only to be used mostly as indefinite homeless shelters
It doesn’t say on his bio if he specializes in real estate at his new workplace, but judging with his prior experience and his binding friendship to the disgraced, convicted “Shelly Shady” Sheldon Silver, he does seem to have an obvious inkling how to dole favors and shekels to certain real estate overlords. And he got a nice hook up pad to boot.
The irony behind the closure of Rikers by a self-righteous conspiratorial hypocrite leading it and the prospect of releasing prisoners to alleviate the transfer and the recent decision to let Shelly Shady walk free as he awaits his sentence or acquittal is just too nauseatingly glaring. And why this plan must be stopped with furious condemnation and persistence.
This is a fucking land grab, nothing more nor less. And they are doing this under the rubric fallacious guise of human rights and the memory of Kalief Browder. De Faustio, Speaker Missy, Lippy, and whoever else is on this academic panel most likely lobbyists than scholars, are avaricious bullshit artists, who don’t give a fuck about communities and care only about their portfolios and bank accounts. This is as dumb, distracting and obvious as Figurehead Trump’s dumb ass wall that will never see one bag of cement reach the Mexican border.
This must fail also. Preferably in a comical fashion.