Today, Judge Susan Capeci rendered her verdict in the domestic violence trial of White Plains mayor Adam Bradley. While being acquitted of witness tampering and assault, Mayor Bradley was convicted of criminal contempt and harassment. A split verdict in this case isn’t surprising however it was surprising to see how many people in attendance this morning, appeared to have prior knowledge of the renderings.
As of 9:15 am, the corridor outside Judge Capeci’s courtroom was crowded with media, courthouse staff, representatives from women’s’ groups and others. Rather than being the serious matter that it was, it had taken on an almost circus like atmosphere from the beginning. As a matter of fact, it appeared jovial. By the time ADA’s Audrey Stone and Amy Puerto rolled their boxes of paper down the hallway, it was apparent the fix was in. Their step was strident and their small smiles indicated that they knew they had somehow proved their case.As the judge read the verdicts, it was interesting to watch the faces and body language of those in attendance. In the court of public opinion, Adam Bradley was already a guilty man and Judge Capeci was merely validating that opinion. It was an amazing sight to see so many smiles during the verdict reading. Though respectful of any Judge’s decision, one must wonder how those verdicts were reached, when this trial was chock full of witness intimidation and witness suppression. Amazingly enough, most of the mayor’s witnesses were either not allowed to testify or had their testimony abbreviated so that it’s relevance was skewed. While this little misdemeanor trial lasted far longer that it should have, perhaps there should have been testimony that we all should have heard. Why weren’t the marriage counselor’s notes allowed? Why weren’t the Ballan’s testimony allowed? Why didn’t Bonnie Hagan take the stand? Why was Yuko Wanatabe’s testimony so limited? Was it perhaps because, their testimony may have been favorable for the Mayor? Who knows.
Mayor Bradley’s team has promised to appeal today’s verdict and hopes to go to trial sometime in early spring. Bradley himself stated that he will not only prove his innocence to his children but to the residents of The City of White Plains. He will also be facing pending ethics charges and subsequently divorce proceedings. One must wonder that in the face of this tangled legal mess, if Bradley will be able to steer the City of White Plains into 2011. Already Common Council members are asking for his resignation and have a replacement waiting in the wings in the form of Tom Roach now that he has been defeated in his bid for an Assembly seat by Robert Castelli.
Whether you like Adam Bradley or not isn’t the question here. The question that remains is whether Adam Bradley was not afforded his due process rights and did he get caught up in political maneuvering that he just didn’t see coming. Unless he makes the decision on his own to resign as Mayor of White Plains he can only be removed from office by the Governor of the State of New York. If that indeed turns out to be the case, then we’ll all know that it wasn’t just the case of domestic abuse but a case of political posturing. If that ends up being the case, then we’ll know for sure that the fix was in. The Guardian will take a closer look at the Bradley case in the coming weeks.