Robert Durst tells friend he regrets doing 'The Jinx'Artwork by Bill Robles
|Robert Durst listening to recordings at pre trial hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. In a jail call recorded in 2015, Robert Durst told a friend he regretted giving interviews to the producers of " The Jinx" saying he realized while watching the siz part HBO documentary that he "definitely had a problem"|
Nobody askedJonathan Sinnreich, Oyster Bay’s outside legal counsel, and Kevin Keating, defense attorney for Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, spent much of Thursday morning engaged in a verbal tennis match.
|Jonathan Sinnreich, Oyster Bay’s outside legal counsel, and Kevin Keating, defense attorney for Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, spent much of Thursday morning engaged in a verbal tennis match|
Keating would ask whether Sinnreich agreed with the defense attorney’s characterization of — well, just about anything.
And Sinnreich would fire back, mostly with “no,” along with a detailed explanation of why Keating’s characterization of discussion during an April 28, 2010, meeting — how construction loans are structured, what he said or did not say to a grand jury or to federal investigations and on and on and on — was wrong.At least twice, Sinnreich also disagreed with how his statements to federal prosecutors were stated in FBI notes.At one point during the trial of Mangano, his wife, Linda, and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Keating pressed Sinnreich on whether he mentioned in grand jury testimony that Mangano placed a hand on Singh’s shoulder during the 2010 meeting in the campaign headquarters of John Venditto, then-Oyster Bay’s town supervisor.“I don’t think so, but I wasn’t asked a question that would have elicited that response,” Sinnreich replied.
|Under cross-examination by Marc Agnifilo, Venditto’s lawyer, Sinnreich had high praise for Venditto.|
Smart manUnder cross-examination by Marc Agnifilo, Venditto’s lawyer, Sinnreich had high praise for Venditto.“He is a very smart lawyer and a very smart man,” Sinnreich testified, noting that he has worked as the town’s outside legal counsel — and thus, with Venditto — for more than a decade.Venditto, whose seat at the defense table is closest to the witness stand, didn’t react to the comments.A few minutes later, Agnifilo asked about Frederick Mei, the town’s former deputy town attorney.“I always experienced Mr. Mei as solicitous of Mr. Singh’s issues,” Sinnreich testified.Earlier, Mei testified that he received numerous bribes from Singh over the years, including cash payments, trips and the cost of a lease on a BMW.On redirect examination from Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine M. Mirabile, Sinnreich, was asked whether Mei — as the town asserted early on after the Singh scandal broke — was a “rogue” employee.“Oh, absolutely not,” Sinnreich replied.
Billing practiceAt one point, Sinnreich testified, he was asked to put a Rivkin Radler legal bill on work related to the Singh loans through his law firm.Sinnreich said he did so, as he has in the past for other professional services related to projects he worked on for the town. “They wanted me to do it, I did it,” he testified.There is nothing illegal about such “pass through billing,” as it’s called.And the mechanism often is used to speed payment. Still, it also makes seeking a formal town board action on the payment unnecessary, Mirabile pointed out.“Correct,” Sinnreich answered.The method also makes the bill unavailable to the public, Mirable went on.Sinnreich disagreed.“Bills go to the town comptroller,” he said. “I think it is available by the Freedom of Information Law.”But the town’s record on complying with the law hasn’t been pristine, either. In 2016 Newsday sued and won to get access to documents covered by FOIL.A New York State judge ordered Oyster Bay to provide materials, including records related to Singh’s concession agreements with the town, that Newsday had requested under FOIL in 2014.
Just say yesSinnreich, under questioning by Mirabile, testified that he was pretty much out of continued discussions about how to have the town legally back loans for former restaurateur Harendra Singh — after he continued to oppose many proposed iterations of a deal.During an April 28, 2010, meeting, Sinnreich testified, he laid out his concerns and had some back and forth with William Cornachio and William Savino, attorneys for Rivkin Radler, Edward Mangano’s former law firm.By May, he testified, he was out of the loop.“It had become obvious to me through the town’s silence that the town was looking for Rivkin Radler to say yes to the dress,” he told jurors .He said he did not learn until much later that the town had amended Singh’s concessions to help him get loans.
Lawyer neededSinnreich testified that in 2015 Leonard Genova came to him after federal agents visited the then-town attorney’s home.Genova, Sinnreich, testified, was upset.And, he said, that Genova, who had just lost his wife to cancer and has two young children, asked the agents to return later.He told Sinnreich that the agents had agreed to do so.“I asked him if he had a lawyer,” Sinnreich testified. “I told Mr. Genova that he needed his own lawyer, that I couldn’t do it because I am not a criminal attorney.”“I also told him the supe ought to have criminal lawyers,” Sinnreich testified, referring to Venditto
|Stephen Ryan, Michael Cohen's attorney disclosing Sean Hannity's name after Judge Wood demands he reveal the name. Stormy Daniels seated in the audience . |
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams
|Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, attended the Monday hearing alongside Michael Avenatti, her lawyer in a pending suit against Trump and Cohen seeking to void her hush deal. Michael Cohen seated at table next to his attorney . Artwork by Elizabeth Williams|
|“Todd Howe is going to come to Jesus,’’ Coffey said, as he then prepared to predict what Jesus Christ was going to someday say to Howe. Artwork by Aggie Whelan Kenny|
|Percoco jury by Aggie Whelan Kenny|
Bohrer also tried to blame tainted prosecution witness Todd Howe for Percoco’s use of the term “ziti,” saying: “You’ll find 16 ziti emails and the score is 14 to 2 — 14 instances when Todd Howe mentions the word and two in which Joe does.”“Millions of people would be in jumpsuits for having watched ‘The Sopranos’ and picked up language if that were the case.”
|Percoco trial closing argument by Assistant US Atty David Zhou, Judge Valerie E. Caproni, far right, Joseph Percoco. Beginning his summation with this line, Zhou went through Percoco’s various other mentions of ziti to demonstrate for the jury that there was more than pasta on the plate when Percoco wrote about exploiting his political connections for the benefit of energy company Competitive Power Ventures and real estate firm COR Development.|
When asked why he got busted, Howe ( pictured on statnd) said: “It was my understanding that the government thought I might have broken my bail agreement.”
Under cross-examination by defense lawyer Daniel Gitner (pictured) — whose previous questioning led to his incarceration — Howe also tried to walk back his admission that he lied to his credit-card company to avoid paying for a $600 stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Howe racked up the bill while visiting New York City in 2016 to meet with the feds and hammer out his cooperation deal.
“I didn’t remember in October where I had stayed and what I had done, and I was disputing. I wasn’t denying it,” he said.
Artwork by Aggie Whelan Kenny
|Star witness Todd Howe, on stand Artwork by Aggie Whelan Kenny|