May 23, 2022

New York Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski commits suicide

Death by suicide is always an immeasurable tragedy. However, it sometimes uncovers more about someone’s story.

John L. Michalski, an acting justice of the New York Supreme Court, was found dead Tuesday after committing suicide, Fox News reported. His death comes just weeks after federal agents raided his home located just outside of Buffalo, New York.

A search warrant had recently been executed on the judge’s home that he shared with his wife. Michalski was under federal investigation for alleged tax crimes tied to his business as an online jewelry and clothing retailer, though no charges have come of it.

Michalski’s lawyer, Terrence Connors, confirmed his death and said this incident was a “tragedy.” He said of his client that “it would be difficult to find a justice who was more respected” than the Michalski.

The 61-year-old judge had attempted suicide once before in February 2021 by lying on railroad tracks near an Amtrak station in suburban Buffalo. He was hit by a freight train but survived while sustaining injuries to his legs.

Notably, that was also the same day that Michalski’s close friend Peter Gerace Jr., strip club owner and nephew of Buffalo mafia capo Joseph A. Todaro, Jr., was charged with bribing federal agents, drug distribution charges, and sex trafficking, among other crimes. Federal investigators are still looking into those ties between Michalski and Gerace.

After the freight train incident, Michalski took a leave of absence. He had just returned this past January to his job on the bench and the $210,900 annual salary.

It seems Michalski was caught up in investigators’ dragnets on the trail of serious crimes that would have carried hefty penalties had he been implicated in any of it. However, the judge was not charged with any crimes in connection to these probes. Still, his untimely death could indicate he was worried that investigators were getting too close.

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