The sentencing of former Mount Vernon Planning Commissioner Constance “Gerrie” Post and her businessman boyfriend Wayne Charles has been pushed off again. Both Post and Charles have new lawyers. Post has retained Clinton “Chip” Calhoun and Charles has hired Richard Willstatter. Post was represented by Andy Rubin and Ken Saltzman at her trial in March year where she was convicted of illegally conspiring with Charles to steer more than $2.3 million in municipal contracts and federal funds to his businesses. Charles was represented by Richard Ware Levitt.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas has retained the Nov. 12 court date for the case, but not for sentencing. There will be a hearing that day to determine if Calhoun is barred by conflicts from representing Post. His law partner, Kerry Lawrence, represented John Cavallaro, a lawyer who worked for the city and testified for the prosecution at Post and Charles’ trial.
No new sentencing date has been set. Post and Charles each face a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Swindler Sam Israel III will have to wait until July 15 to be sentenced for faking his suicide and going on the lam for three weeks last year rather than reporting to prison to serve 20 years for orchestrating a $450 million hedge fund fraud.
Israel was scheduled to be sentenced June 24 by Judge Kenneth Karas. But his lawyers filed papers today asking for a postponement because they have to get Israel’s medical records from the Westchester County Jail to the U.S. probation officer who is writing up Israel’s pre-sentence report. That’s an involved process due to federal privacy law, attorney Barbara Trencher wrote.
Israel’s medical history includes multiple back surgeries and painkiller addiction. It was his struggle with withdrawal symptoms related to his drug treatment that put off several times his efforts to plead guilty to fleeing.
His girlfriend, Debra Ryan, who pleaded guilty to helping him escape, is scheduled to be sentenced by Karas on Tuesday.
Sentencings scheduled for this week in a couple of closely watched federal criminal cases have been pushed off due to the Simoes trial. Judge Kenneth Karas has moved the sentencing of Paul Cote from Thursday to Monday, June 1. Cote, a former Westchester County Jail corrections officer, was convicted of violating the civil rights of inmate Zoran Teodorovic when he stomped him into a coma on Oct. 10, 2000. Teodorovic died in Dember 2001.
Cote’s federal conviction was tossed out by the late Judge Charles Brieant after he was found guilty by a federal jury in White Plains. But a federal appeals court re-instated the conviction.
Karas also moved the sentencing of Debra Ryan from Friday to Tuesday, June 9. Ryan, 45, has admitted she helped her then-boyfriend Sam Israel flee the day he was supposed to begin a 20-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $450 million hedge fund fraud — a crime that set records for white collar crime in the pre-Madoff days. It’s worth noting, as an aside, that Israel and Co.’s thievery scam amounts to less than 1 percent of Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion financial fraud.