Corbin's attorney seeks judge's recusal from case

Nassau County Legis. Roger Corbin appears outside federal Nassau County Legis. Roger Corbin appears outside federal court, with his son Josh Corbin, where he claimed his innocence and said he will be vindicated. (June 9, 2009) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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The attorney for Nassau County Legis. Roger Corbin has filed a motion to have the federal judge who is hearing his client's criminal case recuse herself.

In a 15-page motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, Corbin's attorney, Thomas Liotti of Garden City, said U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein should step aside and let another judge try the case because she is either prejudiced against both Corbin and himself or inexperienced in criminal law, or both.

Feuerstein has set Corbin's trial on charges of income tax evasion and lying to a federal agent for Oct. 19. Without comment, Feuerstein has declined Liotti's request to postpone the trial until the beginning of December so that Corbin, according to Liotti, could both campaign for re-election and prepare for trial.

Liotti said that Feuerstein's decision to not delay the trial is either "ill-informed or ill-advised, or for political reasons."

Liotti noted that his client is a Democrat while the judge and her husband, Albert Feuerstein, have ties to prominent Republicans. Feuerstein, herself, was elected to the State Supreme Court on the Republican and Conservative lines. She was also nominated as a federal judge by former President George W. Bush.

In his papers, Liotti added that he believes Feuerstein never represented a client or participated in a trial as an attorney for a party in any court.

"This by itself and her political background explains her lack of empathy for Mr. Corbin and the practical problems of defense counsel in preparing for trial under these circumstances," Liotti wrote.

Liotti said he also believes Feuerstein "harbors a grudge against me" for various remarks he has made about her during his career and rulings she has made in several cases in which he was involved.

Feuerstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

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