May 26, 2011 / Media / Brooklyn news / Podcast / Bay Ridge

GUILTY! Perfetto convicted in ‘trial of the century’

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Brooklyn jury has convicted former Bay Ridge District Leader Ralph Perfetto of what many are calling the crime of the century: unlawfully posing as an attorney to help a relative during a preliminary court hearing in 2008.

The verdict came on Thursday morning after three days of deliberations and two days of testimony during which prosector Om Kakani painted the 75-year-old Perfetto, a former ombudsman in the public advocate’s office, as a rogue do-gooder who just didn’t know when to stop helping people.

At issue was whether Perfetto told the court that he was a lawyer when he represented his cousin’s son, Anthony Martire, in a minor harassment case. Perfetto maintained to the end that he did nothing wrong, though Exhibit A featured his signature on a crucial court document suggesting that he was, indeed, passing himself off as Martire’s attorney.

“I never pretended to be an attorney,” Perfetto said as the trial got under way. “This whole thing is prepostero­us.”

Yet prosecutors successfully claimed that the always nattily dressed Perfetto not only looked the part, but spoke on Martire’s behalf during the brief arraignment proceeding. Perfetto even waived Martire’s rights to a formal reading of the charges, prosecutors allege.

Though he is not a lawyer, Perfetto played his role perfectly, prosecutors say, pointing to the case transcript, where he says, “If I may, Your Honor, with the Court’s permission, may I submit two notarized affidavits from eyewitnesses that speak to the contrary of what did happen?”

Richmond County Assistant District Attorney Kakani — who prosecuted the case after Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes recused himself citing Perfetto’s political work — wanted to bring the hammer down on the longtime insider.

And on Thursday, he got his wish.

Perfetto is facing a year in jail.

Our reporters are still interviewing jurors, so check back later for more on this breaking story.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ITK from Bay Ridge says:
What you do not mention is WHY Richmond County A.D.A. Om Kakani wanted to bring the hammer down on Perfetto. Enough with the "Trial of the Century" trip. This is nothing to be sarcastic about. Perfetto was a victim of not-so-ulterior motives and settling cheap political scores unrelated to this "crime".
May 26, 2011, 7:01 pm
jj from brooklyn says:
wonder what will be on joe hynes' toombstone? brooklyn persecutor, no doubt. no the word justice.
May 26, 2011, 7:28 pm
Jason from Sunset Park says:
With all the scams Joe Hynes has pulled, and this is what prosecutors are focused on. A 75 year old man who helped his nephew.
May 26, 2011, 10:15 pm
Richard from Gravesend says:
Impersonating an attorney to help his nephew, that's against the law. Thank you Dan Donovan for doing your job well. Good riddance to a public servant who was only out to serve himself and those friends and family around him. i doing care if he is 75 or 12, the law is the law. Wang of the finger to ITK, jj and jason, a jury of his peers found him guilty after deliberating you all might have your own political goals, but I am glad Kakani took out the trash.
May 26, 2011, 11:57 pm
tony from sunset park says:
anyone who has ever met ralph perfetto knows he is a truly honest and wonderful man. this was political persecution. ralph was accused because he was well-dressed and well-spoken - so sad to think that this is now a crime in our city.

i know ralph because i went to him for help (civic in nature - for my community) as a stranger. he asked nothing in return. i wasn't even in his district. ralph has numerous "friends" all because of that exact same situation. i am devastated that such a good man should be treated this way.
May 27, 2011, 6:29 am
Real Deal Holyfield from Mike Long Boulevard says:
Kevin Patrick Carroll, Scott Shifrel of The Daily News and Dan Donovan. That was the Unholy Trinity who made this happen. Ralph Perfetto is a casualty of Dan Donovan's failed race against now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. KPC brought this tale to Donovan. It helped KPC's son's District Leader race against Ralph and it helped made Donovan look like Serpico. Everybody wins and Ralph loses. Tom Tracy, look into these characters and you will find the REAL TRUTH.
May 27, 2011, 10:12 am
Iron Mike Tyson from Joanne Seminara Parkway says:
Hey I wonder what Joanne Seminara knew about this case, she sure has been quiet on this case. No wonder there was some political payback on Joanne's Democratic club, I mean community board, for KPC, not that I care.

I am sure glad justice prevailed, we don't tolerate fake lawyers who pose as real lawyers, kinda like, nevermind.
May 27, 2011, 7:22 pm
Tony from bay ridge says:
I have always known, Ralph Perfetto to be a low-level, patronage hack, who never did anything of substance except nod his head to the hacks who controlled him, he held patronage job after patronage job for offices that do nothing.

You do the crime, you do the time.

Cousin Tony and Rafaello you do the time.
May 27, 2011, 7:26 pm
bklynlifer from downtown bklyn says:
Ralph is an unscrupulous politician who screwed people to serve his own purposes. He finally got convicted for (only) one of his lies/misrepresentations.
June 4, 2011, 10:08 pm

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