Is Vecchione Witholding Brady Material to Protect Perv Lebovits?

Lebovits sans tamid edited

Baruch (Mordechai) Lebovits

Independent informed sources report that Michael (Mike) Vecchione is fighting a rear guard action to protect alleged molester Baruch Lebovits by withholding incriminating information about Lebovits, and agents acting on Lebovits’ behalf.

Earlier this week, Oren Yaniv reported that Vecchione and Joseph (Joe) Alexis almost came to blows because Alexis insisted on dismissing the case against whistleblower Samuel (Sam) Kellner. However, my sources claim that this wasn’t the issue at stake. Instead, it went down like this: Alexis and Nicholas (Nick) Batsidis recommended dismissal. When they were overuled and told to delay some more they were willing to do that. However, they insisted that they would then be obliged to share additional exculpatory information (known as Brady material) with Kellner’s lawyers.

Joe Alexis w caption for blogThe fight, I am told (which never came to blows) erupted when Vecchione insisted the material be withheld and Alexis refused because that would be a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.  Given Vecchione’s long history of violating the rights of other defendants (and framing some) it is hardly surprising that he would countenance doing it again.

But why would he do it in this case? Probably because the entire case, from its onset was a favor to Lebovits’ attorney, Arthur Aidala, a very, very close friend of Hynes. Aidala co-chaired Hynes failed campaign for New York State Attorney General in 1994. He is currently the chair of “Friends of Joe Hynes.”

Mike "amnesia" Vecchione

Mike Vecchione

The evidence for this case came from friends and associates of Aidala’s client, Lebovits. Aidala working with the brothers Alan and Nathan Dershowitz want a sweetheart, no-additional-jail-time deal for Lebovits. In the past, exculpatory evidence for Kellner has often turned into incriminating evidence against Lebovits. In the past, the Dershowitz brothers incorporated the allegations against Kellner into their appeals on behalf of Lebovits.

Alan Dershowitz (photo by Sage Ross) GNU License

Alan Dershowitz (photo by Sage Ross) GNU License

At this point the clock is running down. Vecchione himself decided to request the next court session happen in January when everyone expects the new DA, Ken Thompson, to dismiss charges. However, there is one piece of work that can still be accomplished. Lebovits can get a sweetheart plea deal. But it depends on the public buying the idea that the case will be difficult to prosecute. Dismissal of the charges against Kellner, or more incriminating evidence, will make that a harder sell. Hence, Vecchione’s rearguard persistence in violating Kellner’s constitutional rights, all for Aidala and the Dershbag brothers.




23 thoughts on “Is Vecchione Witholding Brady Material to Protect Perv Lebovits?

  1. Joe Alexis doesn’t need his superior’s say so to turn over Brady material. If he has it, it is his own ethical obligation to turn it over immediately as a prosecutor and as an attorney. Joe would never withhold exculpatory material period. And anyone who is telling you that he would doesn’t know him very well. This is another example of you not understanding the law, and relying on information of people who don’t understand it either.

    • The obligation to turn over the Brady material ceases once the case is dismissed. Once Vecchione said you cannot dismiss, Joe, perhaps to persuade Vecchione to dismiss, pointed out that he had to and would share the Brady material. Vecchione voided that obligation for Alexis by removing him from the case. I suspect the point of rising tension was when Alexis said, I will, as obliged, turn over the material and Vecchione said no way. At that moment Vecchione, as is his want, probably threatened Joe, and then…..

      • That is not how a prosecutor’s obligation to turn over Brady material works. Even now that he is not on the case, it would STILL be Joe’s obligation to turn it over. Even if he was not in the office, it would be his obligation. The obligation to turn over Brady doesn’t reside, as you seem to think it does, with the superior of a bureau. You don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Conway, you are blowing smoke. The obligation resides with the overall office. The obligation gets delegated by the DA to specific staff members. Every DA employee cannot be obligated or expected to police every other DA employee. He doubtlessly exercised due diligence in advising superior in writing. Until he knows for sure of a violation, Joe maintains his well earned reputation for being ethical.

      • You don’t know enough to know that you are as much accusing Joe of prosecutorial misconduct here as you are Vecchione. Just stop.

      • Not sure that removal from the case “voided” Alexis’ obligation. Alexis might have a duty under the rules of professional ethics to do something when he knows a colleague is going to do something in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights. But as you say, there’s no Brady violation unless there is a trial, so Alexis can sit tight until January in the expectation that Thompson will dismiss the case then. On the other hand, I understand that the judge ordered certain things produced. If the ADA on the case says they can’t be found and Alexis knows better, he could be in a bind, because the duty to obey the court’s order doesn’t depend on a trial, and he remains an “officer of the court” even if he’s off the case.

  2. And that is not even the worst thing about this post of yours. Your whole concept that a conviction of Kellner is going to kill the Lebovits case is wrong. Whatever hay Aidala is going to make out of Kellner is going to be made whether Kellner is convicted or not. It is just SO absurd that, if the DA didn’t want to prosecute Lebovits, the way he would go about it would be to 1) convict him BUT instruct Miss Gregory to put her own legal license on the line by hiding material so that the conviction would get overturned, THEN 2) trump up charges on an innocent man in the vague hope that it would indirectly injure the retrial which the DA could, at any time dismiss or plea out. I mean, are listening to yourself? Im not even arguing here that it is below, stupid and out of character for the DA to do what you are suggensting, although it is all three of those things, I am just saying, that, even in the world that you are painting here, where the DA is so stupid, evil and conniving: this would be the most convoluted way to give a break to Lebovits when he could have just cut him a deal years ago.

    You do not believe what you are saying. I am convinced of that.

  3. How could Vecchione know there was a violation but Joe not know there was one? You aren’t making any sense.

    • They both could have only found out recently of additional exculpatory information. Alternatively, it is possible that Vecchione knew all along (a typical pattern for Mike) and Alexis may have just found out.

      • How could Vecchione have known and not Joe when it is Joe’s case? I don’t think you know how this works. The ADA assigned is the one most familar with the case.

  4. Brady doesn’t attach only if there is a trial. What are you talking about Kevin? This is just so frustrating because if you know anything about the law you know how silly this “article” and others Lopin writes are. I have relatives in Brooklyn who vote, and they were buying into this whole thing. I don’t mean here, but Lopin is HARDLY the only person spouting nonsense like this as though it were fact. And the DA, or Schmetterer, has done a HORRENDOUS job of explaining himself. I don’t know if they thought it was below them, that the election was in the bag, or if they are just really poor at media strategy, but I have never seen a cancer like this grow so freely without being lanced.

    This is NOT TRUE. It can’t be. And if you want, I will explain all the different reasons this conspiracy theory of Lopin’s is flawed. I honestly don’t believe he believes it. And, like I said, the DA either didn’t have anyone watching to store or wasn’t taking the election seriously enough, plus he volunteered to be a public figure and deserves whatever he gets as far as criticism. But Lopin, for God’s sake, stop raking the reputation of good hard working people through the mud because you don’t know what you are talking about.

    There is NO WAY Joe Alexis was sitting on Brady material in the Kellner case.

    • There is no DA obligation to inform you of proof you did not chop down George Washington’s Cherry tree if you are not accused of it.

      Questions of Brady disclosure obligations become moot once a case is dismissed.

      Some new Brady material may have recently come to Alexis’ attention and thus he had no obligation to turn it over until he was aware of it.

      Conway, I know you are a troll, but please try and preserve your credibility as being legally knowledgeable.

    • Conway Stapleton, please explain why YL is accusing Joe Alexis of misconduct. Suppose, hypothetically, Alexis discovered evidence that demolished the case against Kellner, evidence that, of course, would have to be disclosed under Brady/Giglio. He properly and ethically decides the appropriate thing to do is dismiss the case, which, I understand, a senior ADA in his position would normally have discretion to do after notifying his supervisor. Wouldn’t it be kind of silly for Alexis to have gone through the procedure of copying and transmitting that evidence to Kellner’s counsel when Alexis fully expected the case to be dismissed — and was sure enough of it to have advised Kellner’s counsel?

      Then Alexis is told he’s forbidden to dismiss the case, or perhaps forbidden to dismiss it “for now.” Alexis responds that if the case is not dismissed, the devastating evidence will have to be disclosed, and as a result he’s taken off the case. Now what?

      As I understand or misunderstand it, the ongoing disclosure obligation rests upon “the People” as a “party” under CPL 240.60. “The People” is represented by the DA and the ADA’s serving under him through delegated authority. In this hypothetical, Alexis no longer has authority to act for the DA with respect to the case; authority has been passed to another unfortunate ADA. Are you saying that Alexis nevertheless had a personal obligation to disobey orders, immediately contact Kellner’s counsel, and advise him of the evidence? What, exactly, do you see as the source of that obligation?

      I did assume that Alexis would have an ethical obligation to be a “whistleblower” at the point that the DA’s withholding evidence would violate Kellner’s constitutional rights. But Brady is based on the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and protects the rights of criminal defendants; it does not set procedures for prosecutors. If the evidence in question is not disclosed until a reasonable time before trial (if there is to be a trial), or not disclosed at all if the case is dismissed within a reasonable time after the evidence becomes known to the prosecution, it is hard to see how non-disclosure would deprive Kellner of liberty or property without due process of law. True, Kellner is suffering a deprivation of liberty because he is bound by the conditions of his release on bail, but as a practical matter, if the evidence had been disclosed to his counsel a week ago, and was so devastating as to even remove the existence of probable cause for prosecution, would Kellner have been able to bring a motion to dismiss his indictment and have it heard and adjudicated before January, when Alexis reasonably expects his case to be dismissed anyway? IOW, I don’t see that YL is implicitly accusing Alexis of misconduct, but as I’m not a NY criminal lawyer I’m attentive to your response.

      • A prosecutor’s obligation under Brady isn’t to ‘try to get his superior to dismiss the case’ it is to turn the material over to defense counsel in order to allow defense counsel to construct his defense. The reason for that must be obvious, and, ironically, is the very reason the Lebovits verdict was overturned. So, if Lopin is right, and there is Brady material in this case that Vecchione knows about, Joe must ALSO know it exists. And if that is true, it would mean that Joe is sitting on the evidence, even now, without turning it over to the defense. Joe would never do this. I don’t know how I can be more clear.

        • Conway- you are clear and you are trolling. You have said it, others have disagreed. You are simply repeating yourself. Consider it apparent to everyone what your view is and what others are saying. Enough with the repetition.

        • I agree that “a prosecutor’s obligation under Brady isn’t to ‘try to get his superior to dismiss the case’ it is to turn the material over to defense counsel in order to allow defense counsel to construct his defense.” My point was that once he was removed from the case, ADA Alexis was no longer the “prosecutor.” I accepted that as an attorney and officer of the court, Alexis nevertheless had an obligation to come forward to prevent Kellner from being deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial, but it has not yet come to that. I think I made myself clear, and you haven’t explained why I was wrong.

  5. Will add just two things-First, a prosecutors obligation to turn over Brady material is an immediate one. Once they find out about it, it must be turned over immediately. The problem is and always has been how one defines “Brady material.” The standard definition is that it is material which tends to “exculpate” a defendant. Evidence that is merely favorable is not necessarily Brady material but could be what we call Giglio material.

    When I was an ADA we instructed our ADA’s to turn over anything that could possibly be interpreted as Brady or Giglio. The Brooklyn DA’s office of today- not so much. Perhaps the disagreement between Mike and Joe was over the interpretation of whether the material was actually Brady. This brings me to my second point. If the material were obviously Brady- Joe would have turned it over. No doubt in my mind. It was probably something that one should ethically turn over but not obviously on its face Brady. That’s the best I can make of this mess!! Is it January yet? Lol

  6. Comment delete for trolling. You have made your point. Kevin in Chicago has made his. No purpose is served by repetition of the argument, littering the comments and deterring folks who are new voices or can add on something new. Trolling, apart from it tedium, wrecks quality discussion. No further explanation will be provided for deletions due to trolling. Others chiming in should just say, “I agree with…” unless they have something new to add which advances the exchange.

  7. Kevin- you are wrong because the obligation to reveal Brady is not dependent upon when a case goes to trial. Removal from the case or not, trial ready or not, the obligation of a prosecutor is to turn over Brady IMMEDIATELY. Not upon when a case goes goes to trial. Therefore, if in fact Joe or Mike have or had Brady material in their possession, they were obligated to turn it over as soon as it was revealed. This is why it is my belief that if in fact the dispute was over whether to turn over certain material or not, it was not clearly Brady by the strictest of definitions as Joe is more than well aware of what Brady requires and he would have turned over the material immediately as an officer of the Court regardless of what Mike had to say about it.

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