Judge Catherine Bartlett just finished listening to attorney Anthony C. Emengo make his arguments and reached for her next case when the lawyer rushed back into her courtroom this morning, yelling that his client had just been arrested.
Barlett looked up as Emango said, “They just picked him up now. They pushed me away. They are just harassing him.”
Bartlett told the attorney that she didn’t see what happened and there was nothing she could do about it anyway.
“I can’t help you,” she said, adding that Emengo could file a complaint against the Rockland District Attorney’s Office. “I assume they had probable cause.”
Emengo then left and took the elevator from the fourth floor criminal sector to the fifth floor offices of the District Attorney’s Office in the County Courthouse in New City. He waited.
His client, Emmanuel Odigie, was charged with perjury based on false financial and personal information he filed with a state Supreme Court justice, prosecutor Gary Lee Heavner said.
The filing involved his attempt to unfreeze his bank accounts and other assets that were frozen when prosecutors charged him with underpaying security guards working at the Clarkstown garbage facility – the reason he was before Bartlett. Heavner also said Odigie had been warned that his records were not in order and should refile them. Heavner said Odigie underreported his bank accounts and other assets, as well as filed different birth certifictates.
Emengo said prosecutors had confused his client with another worker with the same name.
Odigie owns Northeast Security Guard Services and is accused of underpaying three guard by $291,573 from September 2004 until July 2008. He paid them $5,50 an hour when the state prevailing wage is $12 an hour, leading Heavner to say Odigie treated his workers, who hail from Africa, like “indentured servants.”
Odigie was being held on $100,000 bail in the county jail on the perjury count pending a hearing Monday in Clarkstown Justice Court.