New York Supreme Court judge who stepped in front of train seeks return to bench

New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Buffalo judge who was videotaped stepping in the path of a train last February is now trying to get back on the bench.

State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski has formally requested clearance to return to his job as a judge, said a spokesperson for the state courts. The spokesperson said Michalski is still on medical leave and needs to satisfy conditions set the by the court system before he could return. Michalski’s attempt to return to the bench was first reported by The Buffalo News.

Video obtained by News 4 Buffalo shows Michalski approaching an oncoming train the morning of Feb. 28. News 4 later confirmed federal prosecutors were looking at the relationship between Michalski and Peter G. Gerace Jr., a family friend who operates the Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club in Cheektowaga.

Gerace Jr. has been charged with distribution of drugs, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and paying bribes to former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Joseph Bongiovanni.

In April, News 4 sued against Village of Depew for the complete police report and any videos of the incident. A state Supreme Court judge in August declined to release any additional video obtained by police, but did provide additional information from the police report that got redacted by Depew Police Department (read the full decision below).

“The court’s in camera examination reveals that the individual involved, Justice John Michalski, has a privacy interest in the requested materials, which depict or describe what appears to be an attempted suicide,” wrote Thomas P. Brown, Acting Justice of the Supreme Court.

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