According to one of the judge’s attorneys, a seasoned New York state judge committed suicide less than two weeks after his house was raided by police.
A New York Supreme Court judge committed suicide only days after detectives searched his home, during which time his “really close” friend – the nephew of Buffalo’s suspected top mafia leader – was arrested on federal accusations of sex trafficking and bribery, among other things.
61-year-old John L. Michalski was discovered dead at his home outside Buffalo on Tuesday morning, according to his lawyer. The exact circumstances of his death are still unclear.
On March 24, authorities conducted a search warrant at Michalski’s residence. Authorities informed The Buffalo News that they were seeking for proof of tax fraud, and that a number of other state authorities were investigating his professional and personal conduct.
By laying down on railway tracks in the middle of the night in February 2021, Michalski attempted suicide. Even though he was struck by a freight train, he survived, but his leg was severely injured, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the New York Post, Michalski, who served as a judge on the New York Court of Claims and as an interim Supreme Court justice in 2006, had been the target of investigators for many years, but no criminal charges were ever brought against him or his family. Connors told the newspaper that his potential legal issues seemed to be “manageable” at the time.
Michalski was questioned by federal investigators about his acquaintance with Peter Gerace Jr., the owner of a strip club in Cheektowaga and a previous customer, according to the Buffalo News. Michalski was questioned about his friendship with Gerace Jr. a few days after the February 2021 incident.
Michalski had known Gerace for many years and had done legal work for him in the past. As a result of Gerace’s conviction for wire fraud in connection with a telemarketing sweepstakes firm in 2006, Michalski requested that the court reduce his sentence in a letter to the Federal Judge.
Despite federal sentencing standards that recommended anywhere from eight to twelve months in jail, Sketny, the federal Judge, gave Gerace a tiny reprieve, and sentenced him to five months in prison instead of the recommended eight to twelve months.
Following the train incident, FBI investigators maintained their investigation into Michalski’s link to Gerace — and were looking for proof of tax fraud during a search on his house on March 24, according to two government officials who spoke to the Buffalo News.
According to the Buffalo News, nvestigators obtained records related to a small internet company run by Michalski’s wife, Susan.
According to a person acquainted with the situation, Michalski was also the focus of an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office in connection with alleged corruption, according to the New York Times. According to the publication, no charges had been brought against him as a result of the investigation.