Remembering Richard Blassberg
TONY CASTRO, Esq.

Tribune Community, History, Obituaries, Op-Ed, People, Political Analysis, Politics, Westchester County, NY 3 Comments

S. Richard Blassberg

Tony Castro, Esq. has been a practicing attorney for over 25 years. He began his legal career in the Office of the District Attorney, Bronx County. During his 14 years as an assistant district attorney in one of the nation’s largest and busiest district attorney’s office, he acquired invaluable experience

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — September 25, 2020 —  In reflecting on the life of my friend Richard Blassberg, the first thought that comes to mind is the idiom, “God threw the mold away when he made him.”  There was no one like Richard, as those who knew him will attest to.

I met Richard in 2001 when I first ran for Westchester County District Attorney. I remember how he stormed into the County Democratic Committee office in White Plains and asked then executive director Rocky Richard if I was for “real.”  If I was, he was determined to do all that he could to support me and try to bring real change to Westchester County politics.  And, that he did.

He worked tirelessly to bring about change in the criminal justice system, with his passion and dedication. When he was most productive he did the work of a team of Budweiser clydesdales. However, Richard being Richard, there were times when he was not so productive and his blind intensity had more the effect of a horse running amuck a corn field.  It was not easy, if not impossible, to control Richard.  He had the best of intentions but his actions were not always perceived as such.

Richard had no filter and certainly spoke his mind. I did not always agree with his methods but realized that he meant well.  He was totally dedicated to making the criminal justice system more just and was relentless in defending worthy causes such as those of the wrongfully convicted. He did it as a reporter for the Martinelli newspapers, as the editor of The Westchester Guardian, and as a legal analyst for the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation.

Richard and I remained friends till the end.  I mostly appreciated his strong sense of loyalty and honor; attributes that are a rarity in the world of politics. He feared no one and was afraid of nothing.  My wife Rose would sometimes tell me, “Richard would take a bullet for you.”   He was incorruptible and wanted nothing for himself.  Rather, he just wanted a better world where the average citizen would be treated justly before the eyes of the law.

When I attended Boston College Law School I had the opportunity to play on a soccer team called the Maccabees.  I confess that I was unfamiliar with the term. But soon, I learned its significance.  The Maccabees were Jewish warriors who took control of Judea in the 2nd century BC.  They were known for their fighting spirit and courageous behavior.

Often, I thought of Richard as a true Maccabee.  He fought the hard fight and gave all of himself.  Along the way he made many friends but, like any true warrior, he also made some enemies.  Richard had no regrets, undoubtedly.

He was true to the end.  Whenever we spoke recently, in his weakened physical state, he always ended the conversation by saying how much he loved me and my family.  I reassured him the feeling was mutual.  Richard left an indelible mark and will never be forgotten.

So now my brother, it is time for me to say, “Hamakomy’nachem etchem b’toch sh’ar availai tziyon eeyerushalayim.”  May God comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

 

​​​​​​​​Tony Castro

TribuneRemembering Richard Blassberg
TONY CASTRO, Esq.

Comments 3

  1. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” Edmund Burke.

    I can tell you as a retired NYPD Detective with 30 plus years of law enforcement experience and registered Conservative party member with two masters degrees that NOBODY understood this more than Richard Blassberg. I met Richard Blassberg in 2006 while advocating with numerous active and retired NYPD brothers as well a number of very liberal attorneys, journalists and PR professionals for wrongfully convicted former coworker Richard Diguglielmo. NYPD PO Diguglielmo was one of many innocent victims railroaded by perpetual media whore, former Westchester DA and current “journalist” Jeanine Pirro. Pirro’s ridiculous account of this tragic incident was reconstructed into a trite, fraudulent almost 1980’s Spike Lee version of Italian vs African American bad amateur movie that was concocted only for her political expediency.

    We got Richard Diguglielmo out of prison and exonerated thanks to a brave young judge Rory Bellantoni only to have the conviction reinstated by a corrupt state judicial system under then DA Janet DiFiore who tragically is now the NYS Chief Judge.

    Remarkably Pirro was the sitting DA while her then troubled attorney husband Al Pirro was sitting in Federal prison for joint tax returns that Jeanine Pirro signed! While Mr Blassberg and I couldn’t have differed more on political views he understood that the truth wasn’t liberal or conservative or beholden to any particular political party. Mr Blassberg understood that politics, especially in Westchester is little more than a public consumption Kabuki theatre shell game for the masses especially in the Democratic People’s Republic of Yonkers which tragically still operates as it did in my grandmother’s day.

    I was honored to work on Democrat Tony Castro’s last campaign with two other Conservative party members/retired NYPD detectives, one of whom worked on numerous horrific Bronx homicides with Tony when Tony was the Deputy Homicide Bureau Chief in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. We helped Tony despite political differences because he was absolutely incorruptible unlike what has occupied the Westchester DAs office for decades. For those of you who have enabled the depravity within that office for decades I have no idea how you live with yourselves ESPECIALLY if you’re former NYPD. You know who you are and why you did what you did and so do we!

    I would be writing forever if I were to detail the depth and breadth of Jeanine Pirro’s narcissistic sociopathic pathological lies as relayed to me by her numerous victims as well as local, state and federal law enforcement.

    Richard Blassberg fancied himself as Jeanine Pirro’s “Self Appointed Conscience!”
    Well Richard, blessed Yom Kippur because you have absolutely nothing to atone to G-d for and hopefully you can continue to work your magic while watching over the countless people you helped. For those of us who have been accused of crimes we didn’t commit, you were an inspiration. For those among us who were convicted of crimes they didn’t commit you were their last hope and you never disappointed. Congratulations on a job well done case closed.

  2. Thank you Tony. I am an old friend of Richard and a former law professor at Pace Law School. I spoke with Richard several weeks ago. He often mentioned you and considered his work with you as one of the best experiences of his life. Your descriptions of Richard are right on. I will miss him very much.
    Jay

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