It might not be illegal or
unethical but I think it’s pretty funny when a witness for the prosecution
meets with a defense attorney to go over his testimony.
I'm told that’s exactly what happened
Robert Martiniano met up with
Cheryl Coleman – the attorney representing his friend Michael LoPorto against
22 felony counts of possessing a forged instrument – at LoPorto’s restaurant.
On Thursday, Trey Smith, the
special prosecutor who brought the 22 felonies against LoPorto, called
Martiniano as a witness to tell the jury what he knew about the 2009 Working
Families Party primary, or more specifically the actions by LoPorto leading up
to the primary.
On the stand, I thought
Martiniano’s testimony was pretty benign in that it didn’t help or hurt LoPorto
all that much. He did say the two of them went to Fallon Apartments on Sept. 12
to get Working Families Party voters sign absentee ballot applications. They
would go to the door, have the voter sign an application and leave blank
everything else – in particular the reason why the voter would be unable to
make it to the polls three days later and the spot where the voter tells the
Board of Elections to whom the ballot should be delivered.
He also said that those spots were,
by a cursory look at the handwriting - later filled in by someone else other
than the voter but it doesn’t directly tie LoPorto to the crimes for which he
On the flip side, I don’t think he
helped LoPorto either since it did set up the next witness of the day, former
City Clerk Bill McInerney, who was by all accounts the mastermind behind the
entire Democratic Party operation to win the WFP line back from the GOP.
Whether or not that’s enough to convict LoPorto is anyone’s guess. It’s up to
In the end, I still think
Martiniano’s involvement in the whole thing is pretty funny. Some two years ago
he was so miffed when the State Police didn’t call him as a witness and made
such a stink about it in the papers they eventually called him in. And I’m 101
percent sure he is the only one out of probably a dozen or more who could have been
called in by the State Police who was upset he wasn’t.
Now we know one reason why he
might have been snippy with Smith Thursday - to the point where he was even
arguing over whether he was better educated with his two masters degrees and a
doctorate on the horizon than the people living in the projects who had their
vote stolen – but when questioned by Coleman it was like two friends meeting in
As I said, it’s not unethical or
illegal for Cole man to talk to Martiniano but I’m pretty sure Smith didn’t
know about it. Even if he did, I’m not sure what he would have done
differently. As I mentioned, Martiniano and LoPorto are buddies - and marinara
is thicker than water.
Labels: coleman, LoPorto, Martiniano, smith