PUTNAM COUNTY – Adam Levy, former Putnam County District Attorney, and son of “Judge Judy” Scheindlin, has filed a grievance against New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, seeking to have her disbarred. DiFiore recently announced that she was stepping down from her position on August 31st after serving six years of a 14-year term. State law requires judges to retire at the age of 70 and DiFiore is 66.
Levy, who served as the Putnam DA from January 2008 to December 2015 when he lost his re-election bid, claims DiFiore has violated the code of ethics based on recently released information in his argument to have her disbarred.
Levy says in his grievance, dated August 9, 2022, to the New York State Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District that “recently unsealed wiretap intercepts, internal emails and documents subpoenaed from the Westchester County DA‘s Office, sworn deposition testimony, and other assorted documents publicly filed and exchanged during civil discovery in the matter of George Galgano v. County of Putnam, New York et al,” show that DiFiore protected her fundraising co-chair Galgano, from criminal prosecution despite evidence that indicates he committed more than one felony.
Levy says that DiFiore, while serving as the Westchester County District Attorney, failed to prosecute George Galagno, her former fundraising committee co-chair, for felony jury tampering, despite being given evidence of the crime by Levy.
Galgano was recorded on a wiretap trying to influence a juror. Levy says “DiFiore also failed to notify this Committee (grievance committee) that Galgano filed a false document with the County Court in which the tampering occurred.” Levy said that Galgano denied facts that have been independently established.
In July 2014, Levy, as Putnam County DA, was investigating Galgano and told DiFiore of the evidence uncovered in the recordings regarding Galgano tampering with a Westchester juror. According to Levy, DiFiore failed to take any action and covered up the misconduct of Galgano, a private-practice attorney.
Later in 2014, the Greenburgh Police Department executed a search warrant at Galgano‘s law office and discovered a stash of illegal drugs. Galgano was arrested and charged by police with felony drug possession. The case was filed in the Greenburgh Town Court in Westchester County. Levy alleges that DiFiore refused to prosecute Galgano on the drug charges because of her relationship with her fundraising committee co-chair.
Levy twice attempted to prosecute Galgano on criminal charges and both cases were dismissed. Galgano has maintained that Levy has had a vendetta against him for backing then Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith, a political nemesis of Levy.
“DiFiore abused her power, violated her oath of office, and violated the Rules of Professional Responsibility. Her actions undermined the entire court system‘s values and impaired the legal profession‘s integrity. The evidence is incontrovertible that DiFiore obstructed justice to protect George Galgano from the consequences of his actions,” Levy says in his attempt to have DiFiore disbarred.
DiFiore announced her premature resignation on July 11, 2022, shortly after it was revealed that New York State Court Officers Association Union President Dennis Quirk had filed a complaint against DiFiore with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. If the commission fails to complete its investigation and finds evidence of wrongdoing before DiFiore leaves office, there will be no punishment.
With regard to Levy’s grievance, the committee’s decision could impact DiFiore’s ability to practice law in New York.