No bail reduction for you

While the last two weeks in August are typically slow at the Westchester County Courthouse, Judge Barbara Zambelli’s courtroom was busy this morning with a long parade of defendants and defense lawyers — one of whom got a sharp rebuke from the bench.

Legal Aid attorney Allan Focarile argued for a bail reduction for one of his clients, who is being held on $50,000. He called the high bail “a ransom.”

One problem: the bail was set by Westchester County Judge Jeffrey A. Cohen, meaning Zambelli, another county judge, couldn’t overrule him.

“I’m not his Appellate judge, sir,” Zambelli said. “I go by the law. I don’t know what governs your behavior.”

Needless to say, the defendant was sent back to the county jail with the same bail amount.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.