Probe of Garson wife gets a push
BY NANCIE L. KATZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, August 8th 2007,
She's the last Garson on the Brooklyn bench, and NOW wants her off. Four months after filing a complaint against Brooklyn Civil Court Judge Robin Garson, the National Organization of Women wants to know why the state's judicial watchdog hasn't moved. In a letter last week, NOW's state president, Marcia Pappas, asked the Commission on Judicial Conduct to take action to remove the wife of convicted divorce Judge Gerald Garson. "Several individuals have questioned why Robin Garson is still a sitting judge, and if any taxpayer money was spent for [her] during her husband's lengthy trial," Pappas wrote. "We wonder how much taxpayers' money will be saved if this commission had done any investigation of prior improprieties with the Garson family." The commission began probing Robin Garson four years ago after she told a grand jury that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson - her husband's cousin - confessed to improperly taking $100,000 from his elderly aunt. Michael Garson, who resigned in December, has been indicted on grand larceny charges for allegedly looting the nearly $1 million fortune his Aunt Sarah Gershenoff saved over 50 years as a legal secretary. His trial is expected in October. Robin Garson, Gershenoff's personal guardian, also testified that the power of attorney Michael and Gerald Garson used to pilfer Gershenoff's money was forged. Ethical rules require judges to report criminal acts. She did not at the time. Gerald Garson is now serving three to 10 years for taking cash, cigars, free drinks and meals from crooked lawyer Paul Siminovsky in exchange for awarding lucrative appointments and fixing cases. Last April, NOW complained that Robin Garson "exploited her official status to obtain special privilege" during her husband's trial, passing notes to defense lawyers and entering the courtroom through special doors reserved for officials. In the Aug. 1 letter, NOW exhorted the commission to pursue Siminovsky's testimony that Gerald Garson asked him to help Robin Garson's election campaign as part of their corrupt relationship. "Please be transparent in your investigation," Pappas wrote. "Judicial canons require that judges maintain ethical standards and avoid any appearance of impropriety. Please help us rebuild our public faith and trust in the state judiciary." Commission administrator Robert Tembeckjian declined to comment, saying all investigations are confidential. "Robin Garson will be cleared of everything," said her lawyer, Richard Godosky. "There was no violation of any rule or ethics, moral or legal."