White Plains’ mayor due in court for domestic violence case

UPDATE: Mayor opts for bench trial in November. Click here to read more.

A week after White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley and his wife Fumiko filed separate divorce papers, the mayor will be back in court tomorrow as his criminal domestic violence case moves forward.

His lawyers and prosecutors will have a pre-trial conference Thursday morning with Westchester County Judge Susan Capeci, who also is handling the divorce proceedings as part of the county’s integrated domestic violence court.

In signed statements and e-mails to her neighbor, Fumiko Bradley, the mayor’s wife of eight years, outlined a pattern of abuse by her husband, with escalating verbal and physical confrontations over the years, especially during his mayoral run last fall.

She accused him of slamming her fingers in a doorway, throwing hot tea on her, squeezing her arms so hard they bruised and pushing her down a flight of stairs. She also said Bradley pressured her to drop the case or take the blame for the accusations, including pressing her to go to a mental institution and say she was crazy.

The mayor has declined to comment on the allegations, saying he will address them only in court.

Bradley, whose wife has a protective order against him, faces nine misdemeanor and violation charges that include assault, witness tampering and harassment. He is also facing an ethics probe in the city, stemming from his relationship with his new landlord.

The mayor, who divorced his first wife in 1994, has two young daughters with Fumiko Bradley. The couple no longer live together.

Dobbs Ferry man pleads guilty to underage sex attempt online

A Dobbs Ferry man admitted in court today that he tried to solicit sex from someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover investigator.
David Bagley, 25, pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court to attempted dissemination of indecent materials to a minor, possession of a sexual performance by a child and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, all felonies.
Prosecutors accused Bagley of attempting to solicit sex from the “girl” during online chats  from November 12 to 23. Bagley also was accused of having sexual images of children on a computer file called “childlover_little” and of sharing child sex performances over the Internet. He was arrested Dec. 15.
Bagley agreed to serve consecutive one-year sentences at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla, for a total of two years behind bars. Westchester Judge Susan Cacace set a sentencing date for Sept. 7. Bagley, who had been free on $10,000 bail, was taken into custody after the plea.
He had faced up to seven years in state prison on the top charge of a 50-count indictment.
His guilty plea today covered a pending misdemeanor case in Dobbs Ferry, where he was charged with with unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly buying alcohol for minors.
Photo of David Bagley, courtesy of the Westchester County District Attorney’s office

Attack of the ringtones

The courtroom of Westchester County Judge Susan Capeci turned into a “Thriller” this morning, thanks to a ringing cell phone.

As you may know, cell phone use is banned in Westchester courtrooms and signs outside each courtroom door asks people to turn off all electronic devices before they come in (Although many, many lawyers sneak in Blackberry e-mails while waiting for their cases to be called).

Today, during a third-degree grand larceny disposition (that’s plea bargain for the non-attorney types), the cell phone of court interpreter Rossana Testino-Burke rang to the famous Michael Jackson song, cracking up just about everyone around. Even the judge had to put a manilla folder in front of her face to hide her laughter as Testino-Burke scrambled to grab her phone and run toward chambers.

Give credit to the young ADA, however — he didn’t miss a beat and kept on asking the defendant questions to make sure she understood her rights and consequences of her guilty plea.

Count me guilty of forgetting to turn off a cell phone. Early on, my phone rang while a woman testified about she discovered her boyfriend’s murdered body in his home. The chewing out I got from the prosecutor is something I’ve yet to forget. It’s now habit for me to turn my cell phone on “silent” so I can still check messages from editors, co-workers, attorneys, etc.

Ah, cell phones … our own little Lo-Jacks.