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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

August 2, 2021

Bronx Drug Defendant Will Face His Rap Lyrics in SDNY Trial in September

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 25 – Nicholas Joseph is charged with narcotics conspiracy in The Bronx, with a jury trial set for September 7.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel is managing the proceeding, which Inner City Press is covering.   

 The US Attorney's Office on July 23 filed a motion in limine seeking to show the jury some of Joseph's rap videos including "gang signs, gang colors and firearms" - and his lyrics.

Given the First Amendment, is this really necessary?

The case is US v. Joseph, 20-cr-603 (Castel) 

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July 26, 2021

Parrilla Latina on Bronx' Webster Ave Is Sued For No Overtime, Discovery Due Aug 23

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 22 – Parrilla Latina restaurant at 2501 Webster Avenue in The Bronx has been sued for not paying overtime.      

    On July 22, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox held proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.   

 A previous conference on July 20 had been adjourned for failure to attend. This time all counsel were present.

 Judge Fox said if they wanted another conference it would have to wait to September as he is fully booked.

 Back in March it was said that discovery would be complete by August 23.

The case is Gutierrez De Munoz et al v. 2501 Webster Restaurant Corp et al., 20-cv-3817 (Daniels / Fox)

Valley National - Westchester Bank Is Protested On NY & FL Lending Disparities, Test for OCC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Story
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT / S Bronx, July 24 – Whether or not the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act will be again enforced until the new Administration and its regulators is an open question. And the proposed acquisition by disparate lending Valley National Bank of The Westchester Bank in New York will be a litmus test, for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

On July 24, Fair Finance Watch (with Inner City Press on the FOIA) filed the below with the OCC:

This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the OCC's public comment period on the Applications by Valley National Bank to acquire The Westchester Bank.     

The applicant Valley National Bank in 2020 in New York State based on its disparate marketing made 1080 mortgage loans to whites, with 83 denials to whites -- while making only 51 loans to African Americans, with seven denials. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and others lenders, in NYS - this is outrageous.

This is a pattern. The applicant Valley National Bank in 2020 in Florida based on its disparate marketing made 859 mortgage loans to whites, with 119 denials to whites -- while making only 45 loans to African Americans, with eight denials. This is far out of keeping with the demographics, and others lenders, Florida - this is outrageous. 

 Beyond its lending disparities, Valley National Bank is being sued for mis-categorizing and underpaying those who work for it. See, e.g., PALERMO v. VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP (D.N.J. 2020) - submitted for the record, and in light of the new merger review Executive Order.   There is no public benefit to this proposal.   

 Valley National Bank should be precluded from acquiring these branches:  Yonkers 1900 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710  Corporate Headquarters 12 Water Street, White Plains, NY   Mamaroneck Store Front Mamaroneck 305 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543   Mount Kisco storefront Mount Kisco 51 South Moger Avenue, Mount Kisco, NY 10549   Ossining,  240 S. Highland Avenue Ossining 240 S. Highland Avenue, Ossining, NY   Brook Storefront Rye Brook 800 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook, NY 10573   Thornwood storefront Thornwood 994 Broadway, Thornwood, NY 10594   White Plains storefront White Plains 464 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605   

  FFW and Inner City Press have been deeply concerned about the rush by the OCC's penchant to rubberstamp mergers by redliners, particularly during the pandemic. We timely request public hearings.

  Watch this site.

July 12, 2021

For Bronx Murder of Arias in 2011 Castillo Pleads Guilty 10 Days Before Trial in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 5 – Michael Castillo is accused of murder for hire, of Hector Arias in 712 East Gun Hill Road on March 10, 2011.  

The complaint says Castillo and Arias were rivals selling marijuana around 193rd Street and Broadway. The government argues that his conviction for marijuana possession is admissible as 404(b) evidence.   

 On July 5, 2021, Inner City Press reported
that a trial approaches on July 19 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl. Inner City Press is following the case.  

Now on July 9, ten days before trial, MICHAEL CASTILLO, a/k/a “Squirrel,” pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court in connection with the March 10, 2011, murder of Hector Arias in the Bronx, New York.  U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl accepted the defendant’s guilty plea.   CASTILLO is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Koeltl on October 15, 2021, at 10:00 am.

  The case is US v. Torres, 19-cr-428 (Koeltl)

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July 5, 2021

As Unions Sue Zaro's Bake Shop It Tries To Sell Large Bronx Property, November 5 Is Next

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 29 –  Zaro's Bake Shop's union are trying to get money they are owed.   

 On June 29, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Talk focused on Zaro's trying to sell a large property in The Bronx; it was said if the sale goes through, the union pension funds may get paid.

Judge Liman wished the parties luck, and set another conference for November 5 at 10 am.
 
The case is Bakery and Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund et al v. Zaro Bake Shop, Inc. et al., 20-cv-9894 (Liman)

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June 28, 2021

After Bronx Ryder Truck Crash Is Removed to SDNY, Lawyer Asks, Is This Federal Court?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 19 – Niurka Feliciano was hit by a Ryder truck on 165th Street and Gerard Avenue in The Bronx on November 12, 2019. She sued in state court. It was removed to Federal court.           

On June 21, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

 Before Judge Koeltl began, one of the counsel asked what this was, that a paralegal had just told him to call in. He asked, "Is this Federal court?" Then, the two counsel agreed, We can get through this.  

Judge Koeltl asked about a deficiency in the pleadings for removal, which didn't say where the parties are domiciled. Still, the case will continue, with discovery running to December 17.

The case is Feliciano v. Corchado et al., 21-cv-3342 (Koeltl)

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June 21, 2021

Man Charged As Felon In Possession of a Glock Nears Guilty Plea and Wants It In-Person

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 17 – John Bland is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, to wit, a 9 millimeter caliber Glock 26 handgun.

Parole officers found it, they say, in a search of his apartment on Frisby Avenue in The Bronx on February 11, 2021.       

           On June 17, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

     Bland's Federal Defender said his client is nearing a guilty plea. He would like it in person.

At first the Federal Defender said the new Standing Order prohibited virtual plea proceedings, then he acknowledge they are still possible.

 But still this will be in person, set for July 6, the next proceeding at least.

 The case is USA v. Bland, 21-cr-267 (Berman)

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June 14, 2021

Crash in Hunts Point in The Bronx Ends in Jury Verdict of Defendant 52% Liable, Dead Links

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 8 – Fred Donnelly was driving to his workplace at Hunts Point Auto Sales & Service in The Bronx on March 28, 2016 when his Buick LeSabre was hit by a truck from American Carbonation Corporation, driven by Ricky Sherer of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania. 

 Donnelly sued, in Bronx County Supreme Court. It got removed. 

 On June 8, U.S. District Court for the South District of New York Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker began a jury trial with seven jurors, in one of the large courtrooms on the 23rd floor of 500 Pearl Street. Inner City Press went up and covered it. 

 Donnelly was questioned by his lawyer about the minutes before the crash. He had stopped at a church, and was in no rush to get to work. He said he didn't try to pass the truck, that he respects trucks.

  The cross examination was largely about which way the streets run, and Longfellow Avenue intervening.

As thunder began outside, Judge Parker let the juror do for the day. She had held a settlement conference in the matter, on July 28, 2020.  

 On June 9 was the charging conference, and closing arguments. And the jury delivered a nuances verdict: Defendants 52% liable and Plaintiff 48% liable. Judge Parker "respectfully directed the Clerk of Court to upload to ECF the Court Exhibits from trial... the Voir Dire Questionnaire, the Jury Charge and the Verdict Form." But the links in the docket are not live, at least as of the evening of June 10.

The case is Donnelly v. American Carbonation Corporation et al., 19-cv-6030 (Parker).

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June 7, 2021

Charged With Robbing Bronx Bodegas Gonzalez Is Told To Ask Magistrate For Bail

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 2 – Christian Gonzalez is charged, with four others, with robbing bodegas and other commercial establishments in The Bronx and Manhattan.   

     On June 2, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman held a proceeding.  Inner City Press covered it. 

  Judge Berman noted that another co-defendant was only recently arrested.

When the request for release on bail, prospectively, was raised for Gonzalez, Judge Berman suggested the request and information should go in the first instance to Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger, and only if still needed, to him.

The case is US v. Gonzalez, 21-cr-262 (Berman)

May 31, 2021

Lawsuit Against Ousted Bronx Pol Andy King Proceeds in SDNY Amid City Council Secrecy

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 27 – Back in December 2020, with a legal filing full of misspellings asking to enjoin an election or its results, a dozen constituents of ousted New York City Council member Andy King asked a Federal judge for a restraining order. It was denied. 

  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni, in a proceeding covered by Inner City Press, asked how the plaintiffs had standing. (King's own lawsuit against the City Council for ousting him 48-2 for misconduct had already failed). 

  Judge Caproni declined to issue a preliminary injunction in Marchant et al v. De Blasio et al., 20-cv-10544 (Caproni).

 Then on April 12, fellow SDNY Judge Paul A. Crotty held a proceeding in the case King v. City of New York, 20-cv-8283 (Crotty). He gave King's lawyer Pamela Hayes two weeks to file more papers. She asked for three.

Judge Crotty said he was not inclined, but then relented. He gave three weeks but said if the papers are not in, he will dismiss the case. That case is King v. City of New York, 20-cv-8283 (Crotty).

Now on May 27, SDNY Judge Edgardo Ramos held a proceeding in a case against King, by former staffer Shana Melius for retaliation. The NYC City Council was refusing to produce documents unless ordered by a court. So ordered. This case is Melius v. New York City Council et al., 20-cv-5237 (Ramos)

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May 24, 2021

After Verdict For Murder of Bronxite Shaquille 2 Got Life In Prison Now Espinal Gets 15 Years

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 18 – On the second day of 2014 in The Bronx, New York Shaquille Malcolm was repeatedly shot and killed in a building in the Allerton section.

In arraignments that followed, Inner City Press reported that the death penalty was on the table, including as to a co-defendant who plead guilty to a superseding indictment, Gyancarlos Espinal. He was never given immunity to testify at the trial, and on May 18, 2021 he was sentenced to 15 years, see below.

On December 4, 2019 the two remaining co-defendants Arius Hopkins and Theryn Jones a/k/a Old Man Ty were on trial before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

On December 12 the government gave its summary, with many ASUAs in the courtroom. They left before Arius Hopkins' lawyer Glenn A. Garber delivered his folksy or colloquial closing, asking the jurors to think about the Instagram post, the rap song, and especially the crime scene.

  Garber did a highly creditable job; those too few who saw the trial had nothing but positive reviews. But it closed with a whimper and not a bang.