Maddox trial continues

Ttjndc5-5nj0xqg5ocl1jmld03jz_thumbnailhe testimony keeps on coming in the case of Walter Maddox of Yonkers, who is one trial for raping three woman and killing one of them in a six-month span in 2008.

Yesterday’s testimony came from one of his accusers, a 25-year-old Yonkers woman who said Maddox came up to her as she was in O’Boyle Park the morning of June 30, 2008. He asked her the time, and they had a brief conversation about being from the south. He left, and a short time later, the woman said she was grabbed from behind, put into a choke hold and dragged behind a retaining wall, where she blacked out. When she came to, she said Maddox was raping her.

Maddox told police the woman was a prostitute that he paid to have sex with him in the park. During cross examination, defense lawyer Harvery Loeb noted that the woman pointed to another man in a police photo array as her rapist. When police told her it wasn’t him (DNA didn’t match), they showed her a second photo array with Maddox’s photo in it, and she pointed to his picture. She testified that she was “100 percent” sure that Maddox raped her. She said it was difficult at first to identify her rapist because he wore a ball cap during the attack; none of the men in the police photos wore hats. However, prosecutors said Maddox’s ex-girlfriend — who also has accused Maddox of raping her on Aug. 31, 2008 — had a cell phone photo of Maddox wearing the exact same type of ball cap that the alleged rape victim described.

Today’s proceedings included testimony from an employee at Yonkers Laundromat, who said she found Roberta Galicia-Lagos’ body, naked form the waist down, on the floor of the laundromat the morning of Dec. 8, 2008.

The trial will continue today and tomorrow. Fredric Green is the prosecutor, with Wendy Parra sitting second chair.

Panel Overrules 2 Judge Barlett Decisions Dismissing Criminal Cases

Judge Catherine Bartlett took a double loss this week when a state appeals panel overruled two of her rulings dismissing cases when she sat in Rockland criminal court.
These two rulings by Bartlett added to the bad feelings and strong disagreements on the law between her and Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
The Appellate Division determined Bartlett was wrong on the law and the facts when she essentially dismissed charges against Donovan Mais, accused of breaking into a woman’s bedroom and pulling covers off her body. The woman’s screams led the suspect to flee the house.
In her decision, Bartlett wrote the Clarkstown police arrested Mais based on his race and violated his constitutional rights.
The officer saw Mais walking out of a wooded area not far from the house a hour after the incident and he fit the general description of the suspect.
The panel found the officer legally detained Mais and upheld his subsequent statements to police and being identification by the woman on the street. The panel also upheld Bartlett’s suppressing a flashlight found during a frisk and clothing found in his house. The panel ruled the officer didn’t have cause to search Mais and the subsequent search warrant didn’t include clothing.
The decision reinstate the charges against Mais.
Read the Donovan Mais decision
In the second case, theAppellate Division also found Bartlett was wrong on the law when she threw out an indictment accusing David Read domestic violence charges involving his wife.
Bartlett found the indictment was defective. The panel reversed he and reinstated the indictment.
Read the DavidRead decision
Both appeals were argued by Itamar Yeger of the Rockland District Attorney’s Office.
Bartlett, an Orange County Republican appointed as a Court of Claims judge, no longer sits in the Rockland Courthouse nor handles criminal cases. She was transferred as of January back to Orange County.
Read more Saturday at lohud.com

Nulty Wins Legal Fight to Cancel Police Chief’s Exam For Orangetown

Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty has won his legal fight to have the police chief’s exam canceled this year, as he fights off a legal challenge seeking to oust him as chief.

A state Appellate Division panel turned down an effort by the Rockland County Attorney’s Office and the Rockland PBA to appeal state Supreme Court Justice Linda Jamieson’s decision canceling the exam. The exam was scheduled at the Town Board’s request for last month in an effort to have successors ready in case Nulty loses his job.

Jamieson agreed that giving the test this year would be unfair to Nulty. The Rockland Personnel Department determined that as chief, Nulty couldn’t take the promotional exam for his job. If the test was given choosing three potential successors and Nulty lost his position as chief, he would then be demoted to captain, with a loss in pay.

What set off the legal fight over holding the chief’s exam was a separate legal challenge seeking to nullify Nulty’s appointment as chief about 13 years ago.

The legal challenge was filed by retired Orangetown Police Officer Michael Seidel and his wife, Marian. The Seidels claim that Nulty took the police chief’s exam outside Orangetown and no other town officer eligible to become chief took the exam. The Seidel argue Nulty’s appointment should be nullified because of the non-competitive test violated the 1936 Rockland Police Act.

Nulty’s lawyer, Lance Klein, and Town Attorney John Edwards countered that Town Board property appointed Nulty as chief about 13 years ago under state Civil Service law.

Klein also has argued that Seidel and his wife lack standing to challenge Nulty’s appointment as police chief. Motions seeking to dismiss the Seidels’ case are pending.

The Seidels acted as citizen taxpayers and are represented by the attorney for the PBA, Richard Baumgarten, who wona case challenging the appointment of a Clarkstown police chief in a separate case using the Rockland Police Act.

The Seidels and Baumgarten say they are acting independently of the police union since the Orangetown PBA agreed several years ago not to challenge Nulty’s appointment, as part of an agreement settling grievances.

The Orangetown PBA also says it has nothing to do with Seidel’s lawsuit, though the union has taken two votes of non-confidence against Nulty and Capt. Robert Zimmerman for their administration of the department. The union and administration have been at odds for years.

Baumgarten also took part in the legal fight over the police chief’s exam. He represented the lieutenants and captain seeking to take the exam.