Changes in the Westchester Co. courthouse

There’s a new criminal judge in Westchester: acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert K. Holdman, who was transferred two weeks ago from the Bronx and will be here in the suburbs for a while. He’s on the first floor, a short walk to Ray’s candy stand down the hall. We here at Completely Legal wish Judge Holdman well in his new assignment.

Another change in the courthouse: the photo essay on the making of “The Rising,” Westchester’s stunning memorial to the county’s Sept. 11 victims, is gone. The photo array spanned the entire wall on the first floor, near the jury room, and told the story of how The Rising came to be, from original illustrations to construction. I wonder if it was taken down because it prominently featured former County Executive Andy Spano, who was voted out of office in November. I’ll let you know if and when I find the answers.

Bharara addresses terrorist trial in NYC

During a news conference in White Plains today to announce the arrests of 37 people in connection with a Westchester County drug ring, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was asked about the decision by his bosses at the Justice Department and the White House to bring self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused terrorists to New York to stand trial in a civilian court.

“We’re honored and proud that the Attorney General is sending the case to the Southern District of New York and we’ve answered that call,” Bharara said. “And our job is to make the best criminal case that we can and that’s what we do best and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Biggest trial ever coming to NYC

It looks like the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and others accused of various roles in the plot, are going to be tried in federal court in Manhattan rather than before a military tribunal. Click here to read the latest on this development.

I can’t imagine the jury selection process for this — what New York City resident wasn’t affected by 9/11? How are prosecutors and the defense lawyers going to find fair and impartial jurors? And the security! That courthouse will be on lockdown. It’ll make the 2004 Republican National Convention, where you needed to flash a different badge every 20 feet, where guards snatched glass (potential shards!) makeup bottles from women and where small folding umbrellas were considered dangerous weapons (you still owe me a Totes, GOP), seem like the Wild Wild West. Reporters who want to cover this better get in line for the press passes now.