Friday, August 15, 2008

Senator Kennedy Serious Try to Reform Surrogate Court

In the 1960s’ Senator Robert Kennedy came closest to stopping the looting of New York’s dead. Kennedy went to Albany to gain public support to reform the court. He was attacked by the legislatures and by Manhattan Surrogate Judge Samuel Di Falco.

“The testimony of Senator Kennedy and Justice Silverman had been based “solely on hearsay, not on facts. . . The committee heard from Kennedy in silence and asked no questions, but after the Senator left, members of the committee, and some Surrogates called as witnesses, denounced him for repeating “hearsay” statements impugning the system.” –NY Times Nov. 30, 1966

Senator Kennedy ran and elected Judge Samuel Silverman on a reform platform to the Manhattan Surrogate Court, as the junior judge.

The victory of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Silverman in the primary contest for the Democratic nomination is a triumph for better government . . . The most important result of the primary has been to direct public attention to the desirability of putting an end to the political patronage for which the Surrogate’s Courts have been notorious for many years. – NY Times, June 29, 1966

“Justice Samuel Silverman has performed a public service in taking on this disagreeable task. He is the better man and would administer the Surrogate Court – so long as it exists – in the severely impersonal, politically neutral and professionally distinguished manner that it requires.” –NY Times, June 24, 1966

But Kennedy effort to clean up the court was blocked by the Manhattan Surrogate Court’s Chief Judge Samuel Di Falco who stopped all of Surrogate Silverman’s reform attempts and ended shortly after Kennedy’s death in 1968.

The Liberal Party’s Alex Rose in 1972 attempted to continue Kennedy’s efforts against the Surrogate Court’s corruption, but was block by reformers when his candidate against Surrogate De Falico, Criminal Court Judge Amos Basel did not get enough support to get on the ballot to run on the democratic line. Basel running only on the Liberal Party line was endorsed by the New York Times was defeated in the general election.

“In office, Surrogate Di Falco has proved more impartial and responsible than many critics had feared. In his bid for a second fourteen-year term, he carries not only the endorsement of the Democratic, Republican and Conservative parties but also of the Citizen Union. However, we believe that the public interest would be better served by the election of his Liberal opponent, Amos Basel. Judge Basel has given distinguished service on the Criminal Court and has always demonstrated political independence and judicial disinterestedness. –NY Times, October 29, 1970

Ex Surrogate Samuel Di Falco Indicted in Criminal Contempt
“Samuel Di Falco, the former Manhattan Surrogate has been indicted for criminal contempt for allegedly telling a grand jury he could not remember having spoken to a law assistant about arranging favorable rulings for clients of his son’s law firm.” –NY Times, February 6, 1978


Ellian Lopez said...

John Reddy is the most qualified candidate to clean up Manhattan Surrogate's Court. He already has a ten point plan for Surrogate Court reform. Read it at
Remember to vate Sept. 9th.

Ellian Lopez said...

September 4th NY Daily News:
"Anderson has borrowed $225,000 from her longtime employer, trust lawyer Seth Rubenstein, who is the grandson of a surrogate and the father of Manhattan lawyer Joshua Rubenstein, who heads the trust and estate section of a major law firm.

That's almost certainly a violation of Article 14, Section 114 of New York State election law, which specifies that a campaign loan "shall be deemed, to the extent not repaid by the date of the primary, general or special election, as the case may be, a contribution."

The $225,000 is far above the legal contribution limit. So Anderson, if she wins, will likely be in violation of the law."

Anderson has no intention of paying back that "Loan" and will only be subject to a small fine for violating the election law. Sad, a candidate for Judge violatig the law on her way to the bench.

John Reddy is a reformer with a 10 point plan on cleaning up Surrogate's Court. He worked hard to raise the money to pay for those mailers, and every contribution he got was legal and didn't violate the elections law.

The lawyer that loaned Nora Anderson the $225,000 will be appearing before her as a judge for guardianships if she is elected. You tell me, do you think he will get his money back tenfold with her as judge?

Vote for reform. Vote for Reddy.

steve smith said...

John Reddy lives in New Jersey !!!! His kids go to school there, and he uses a bogus manhattan address to get on the ticket. Nora Anderson is taking illegal "loans", from corrupt brooklyn firms. Reddy also took big donations from trust and estate firms, so they both would have had owed big payback to these folks. Judge Tingling raised a fraction of what they did, only because he did not take their money. The N.Y. Times made a big mistake , as did the voters of manhattan. Reddy's family has been involved with corruption in surrogates for generations. Tingling was for real reform, and that is why nobody from trust and estates wanted him there.