Alleged 'Monroe Madam' not going home yet

A New York state appeals court has slashed

A New York state appeals court has slashed the bail for Anna Gristina a Monroe mother accused of running a multimillion-dollar Manhattan escort service. (June 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Photo by NEWS 12

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The so-called "Monroe Madam" won't be heading home to see her four kids and prized potbellied pigs just yet.

Anna Gristina has switched lawyers and, in the process, rejected her original lawyer's offer to put up his $2 million Manhattan apartment as collateral for her bail.

The original lawyer, Peter Gleason, has explained in several television interviews that his motives in volunteering his apartment were purely altruistic.

But Gristina's new lawyer, Norm Pattis, has made it clear that Gristina wants to distance herself from Gleason, even if that means spending a few more days in jail.

Pattis told the New York Post that Gristina "thanks Mr. Gleason and requests that he stand down on any effort on her behalf."

Pattis discussed the bail situation in a closed-door hearing with a Manhattan judge Monday and emerged afterward to say he was still working with her family to get her freed on a $250,000 bond. That bail was set by an appeals court critical of a trial judge for originally setting bail at $2 million in a low-level, nonviolent felony case.

Pattis suggested that Gristina's husband, real estate developer Kelvin Gorr, would step up to help her.

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Gristina, 44, is accused of running a high-end escort service out of an Upper West Side apartment. If convicted, she faces seven years in prison.

In an interview last week, Gristina told NBC's "Today" show that she considered starting a dating service for married men after watching the TV show "Millionaire Matchmaker."

She says Manhattan prosecutors want to keep her locked up until she agrees to give up the names of some of her wealthy clients.

"I have nothing to give them," she told "Today." "That's why I'm still here."

If freed, Gristina -- a mother of four -- will be forced to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors her every move. And the Scottish immigrant would have to surrender her passport.

Gristina's supporters have started the website, which touts her work caring for unwanted potbellied pigs.

"Perhaps it's time to rescue the rescuer," reads a section on Gristina's favorite charities. "When pigs placed under her care were ready, Anna screened qualified homes for permanent placement."

During the "Today" interview, Gristina shed tears as she recalled a jailhouse visit from her 9-year-old son.

"He cried the whole time and begged to stay with me," Gristina said.

-- With The Associated Press

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