Judge Loses Spot After Parking Incident

Judge Mark Grisanti’s name might ring a bell if you’re tuned into New York’s legal and political scene. This tale involves everything from shirtless altercations to high-stakes judicial decisions, so let’s get right into it.

Judge Mark Grisanti, a former state senator and current New York acting State Supreme Court judge, has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Earlier this year, he was censured after an incident back in 2020 where he was caught on police body cameras shoving a police officer. And if that wasn’t enough, he was also seen name-dropping his connections and family members during the altercation. Quite the drama, isn’t it?

CBS News reported that Grisanti considered a “holdover,” wasn’t officially notified of any action against him, but his name conspicuously disappeared from the list of 25 judicial nominees put forth by Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul. So, what happened exactly?

Back in April, the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct convened to deliberate on Grisanti’s future on the bench. An attempt to have him removed was narrowly defeated, but the commission did vote 6-4 to censure him. This decision wasn’t just about the police altercation; it also involved Grisanti presiding over cases with an attorney he had financial ties to. Talk about a conflict of interest!

Now, let’s rewind to the fateful day of June 22, 2020. According to the commission’s release, Grisanti instigated a verbal and physical altercation with his neighbors over a parking spot. He called 911 before Buffalo police arrived, but not before he and his wife had already exchanged profanities and physical contact with the neighbors.

When the police showed up, things escalated. Bodycam footage showed an officer trying to handcuff Mrs. Grisanti, leading Grisanti to shove the officer and shout some pretty explicit threats, mentioning his children, who are both police officers. Imagine that scene!

Despite all this chaos, Grisanti was never charged with a crime. However, the commission’s investigation didn’t stop there. They found that Grisanti had financial ties to attorneys Peter Pecoraro and Matthew Lazroe, to whom he had sold his private law firm. During the period the payments were being made, and even for two years after the balance was settled, Grisanti presided over eight cases involving Lazroe. That’s a big no-no in judicial ethics.

Grisanti’s time on the bench is ticking down. He will remain until his replacement is confirmed.