As if we needed more evidence of the arrogance of judges.
New York Court of Claims Judge James Lack, who once chased a woman driver into her garage in a fit of road rage, shut down two days of court hearings scheduled at an upstate prison after he refused to surrender his cell phone to enter the facility, state officials confirmed yesterday.
Lack, 61, a former Republican state senator from East Northport, was supposed to hear 12 cases brought by prisoners suing the state for matters ranging from personal injury to medical malpractice beginning Wednesday. When guards at the Sullivan Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Fallsburg, asked him to follow prison policy and either leave his cell phone in his car or allow them to store it, he refused, officials said.
"He was visibly upset," said Linda Foglia, state Department of Corrections spokeswoman.
"There was some reference that he was doing us a favor, and he left."
Lack declined to comment when reached at his court office in Hauppauge yesterday. But Court of Claims Presiding Judge Richard Sise said Lack was unaware of the policy and had told people with other court business to reach him on his cell phone.
"He just couldn't be out of touch that long," said David Bookstaver, Office of Court Administration spokesman.
Officials offered him the use of the facility's telephones, but he refused, Foglia said. The ban, in effect since September 1993, is so strictly enforced that even the state corrections commissioner is not allowed to bring a cell phone.
"If the governor came in, he would be required to give up his cell phone," said Denny Fitzpatrick, state corrections officers' union spokesman.
What a clown. Do you think Judge Lack would let an attorney bring a cell phone into his court during a trial? "I'll take HELL NO! for a thousand, Alex." How many of my tax dollars were wasted on this dipshit's temper tantrum?