Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gag me with an order

Were Judith Kaye really interested in securing raises for New York’s cadre of judges, she’d find some way of instituting a permanent gag order on John Aretakis. While muting the mouthy defense attorney might not thoroughly convince the state Legislature to enact pay hikes, it would certainly win her a lot of support around the Capital Region.

Through one lurid allegation after the next, the limelight-loving Aretakis always seems to dupe the media into keeping his name in the headline news. He’s best known as the lawyer who single-handedly put the screws to Albany Diocese of the Catholic Church during the recent clergy sex abuse scandal. And he continued to twist them without mercy until a federal court judge censured him for filing a bogus racketeering claim that was considered “wholly deficient” in its merit.

“[T]he amended littered with wholly irrelevant, inflammatory, and embarrassing facts concerning defendants and non-defendants alike that have no bearing on the actions brought,” U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty wrote in a November ruling, which levied a $24,000 fine against Aretakis.

With the church gravy train pulling out of the station, Aretakis sought out a new case with momentum that would again emblazon his name on front page. This time, the publicity manifested itself in the alleged sex abuse perpetrated by Douglas Conrad and roommate James Wiley. For some reason, these accused pedophiles have become the focus of the Capital Region’s media, even though they’re accused of crimes that are anything but sensational considering some of the reprehensible sex abuse cases that have sleazed down the pike in recent years.

But Conrad drove a Saratoga Springs school bus. And he was once accused of molesting children at a Mechanicville daycare six years ago, an alleged crime that went unprosecuted up until the Spa City charges were filed. Add to this the charges of endangerment against the mother of the molested 14- and 16-year-old boys, who willingly allowed her children to shack up with Conrad and Wiley, despite knowing of their nefarious predilections. Here’s where Aretakis gets involved.

First, Aretakis needs to prove Conrad the barbaric molester and solidify this idea in the public eye. Then, he’s free to pursue lawsuits against everyone under the sun. There’s the school district for hiring such a known cretin, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office for not prosecuting Conrad in 2002 and prosecuting the mother in 2008; there’s the Mechanicville Daycare and the landlord who rented to Conrad and Wiley; hell, there could even be room enough for the Mechanicville and Saratoga Springs police departments on the flurry of lawsuits that are likely to follow any conviction in the case.

Not to mention, Aretakis gets free press for his run for the 21st Congressional District. True, most candidates for political office wouldn’t want their name appearing anywhere near the term sex offender; just as Schenectady’s Ed Kosiur. But in Aretakis’ case, it’s free publicity that keeps rolling through the press and a basis for his congressional run.

“No one in Washington, D.C., is standing up for children,” Aretakis told a fleet of reporters gathered at his campaign announcement.

There is no question Aretakis is standing up with children. In fact, he stood on display in front of City Hall Wednesday with the alleged 14-year-old victim and a reporter in tow. But the notion that Aretakis is standing up for children is a tougher lump to swallow, given the media attention he’s quite deliberately attracted.

Were he a real attorney interested in justice, Aretakis would allow the legal system to take its course. Instead, his proselytizing to the media has turned the case into a sort of circus, which could in fact work in the favor of the accused abusers he’s so righteously trying to convict. Undoubtedly, he’s compromised the prosecution’s case by drawing so much publicity to it. District Attorney Jim Murphy is going to have a devil of a time drawing a jury, much less ensuring these men receive a fair and unbiased trial anywhere in the Capital Region.

But this isn’t a concern for Aretakis. Wiley and Conrad going free would offer an even more compelling case for the mother and her sons to file the aforementioned civil claims. Also, if this dynamic duo gets anything less than the gallows, Aretakis will be handed the campaign platform he craves for his congressional run; namely one that involves assuring the public of more stringent child abuse laws at the federal level. Work it, John. Work it real good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, but just so you know, Aretakis will not sit around and wait for criminal convictions before filing civil action. I'd give it less than a week.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of NYS courts, (I think you did), the down in the trench workers got a 4 year deal, 2007 3% retro, 2008 3% retro, 2009 3%and 4% in 2010.

So throw Judy and the gang a bone.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy is a total ambulance chasing scumbag. Crucifying sex offenders is the latest no-lose political ploy. Who wants to stand up for molesters? No one, because fear mongering shitheads will pull out their big smear brush and slap a big pedophile-lover mark on you. Statutory "rape" ain't the same thing as baby boinking. Too bad, your birthday was one day too early, because now your a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. This can happen if a minor's parent doesn't dig their kid's boy/girlfriend. Like laws against drunk driving, regarding blood alcohol percentage, politicians get free brownie points while laws get added that take personal responsibility and ultimately freedom away from us. Not getting this vote, PhilthyRex

9:09 PM  
Blogger BlueDog said...

"He’s best known as the lawyer who single-handedly put the screws to Albany Diocese of the Catholic Church during the recent clergy sex abuse scandal."

Give Aretakis credit for going after the Church! Catholic officials in Albany and around the country protected child sex abusers and gave them free reign to continue to damage children. Forget money damages; they should be strung up by the gonads.

The question I have is: Why aren't priests, bishops and other Church officials required by state law to report child abuse as are nurses, teachers etc.? Why haven't the district attorneys' offices been more active in investigating Church policies and practices regarding their treatment of criminal offenses by their clergy??

Cardinal Law should be in prison not in a cushy job in Rome. Bishop Hubbard likewise is culpable and should be punished. Lets see how these guys would make out as prison bitches. Probably they'd like it.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Aretakis were really concerned about the two victims he represents he wouldn't have had them give a press conference on broadway sitting on a public bench talking to reporters about rape and sodomy. Isn't that the definition of what not to do with a victim? He's all about himself and how much $$$ he's trying to get from a civil suit. Why haven't they yanked his license???

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's one of Tommy's boys.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

And to think. We actually had a few days here without a Tom McTygue jab. So much for that streak...

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet Tommy made you say that.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Blue Dog
"Forget money damages; they should be strung up by their gonads." See that money part in your quote? Yeah, so did John Aretakis. Nothing more. There is statistically no higher percentage of pedophiles/sex offenders (certainly not the same thing!) amongst Catholic clergy than protestant clergy or any other group that comes into contact with children. Because the Catholic church is the largest unified church with a hierarchy and organized holdings, that makes them an easier score for money hungry lawsuits. You aren't going to get millions from some non-sectarian holy-roller chapel. And "the Church" doesn't have to report to the government because they are a private institution. Like it or not this is the same principle that supposedly keeps cops from barging into your house willy-nilly. I don't necessarily agree with Boy Scouts excluding homosexuals from their ranks, but I sure don't think the State has a right to force people, in the private sphere, to associate with people or things they don't enjoy. If you don't like something, walk away. Last time I checked, the U.S. wasn't located within Vatican City. Pax, PhilthyRex

11:26 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


Busted. Guilty as charged...

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One commenter had it right: why hasn't this guy been disbarred? He is a disgrace to the legal profession. The main reason is probably that he files cases all over and only sees judges once each time. They figure out who he is, a good number sanction him for filing frivalous cases, and then he moves on to another court. The discipline authorities should really wake up. So should the press, by the way, they write article after artcle about new cases without saying something like, "You remember, this is the guy who got held in contempt, got sanctioned, makes absurd arguments in court, etc." Calling him "controversial attorney" doesn't cut it, as that makes him seem like Clarence Darrow. The press really needs to give the public the facts, and they're not doing it.

As for the run for Congress, my opinion is that it is a vanity run, for the publicity only. Good luck, John, and congradulations - for the rest of your life, you can say, "When I ran for Congress . . ."

6:52 PM  

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