A former Woodmere fire commissioner was sentenced to a year in jail on Thursday for falsifying a court transcript he intended to use to support a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against his fire department, fire district and Nassau County for accusing him of child molestation.

Judah Karkowsky, 44, was found guilty in April of possessing a forged court record, three counts of using the fake transcript to notify the county and local agencies of his impending litigation and two counts of making an apparently false statement — all felony charges.

The false records case grew out of a child sex charge against Karkowsky in August 2021 while he was working as a volunteer EMT.

Karkowsky and others in the Woodmere Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call that four boys were trapped in the elevator of a synagogue in Cedarhurst. After they were freed, one of the children, a 13-year-old boy remained upset and was taken to his parents' home by the paramedics, according to Karkowsky’s federal civil complaint.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A former Woodmere fire commissioner was sentenced to a year in jail on Thursday for falsifying a court transcript he intended to use to support a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against his fire department, fire district and Nassau County for accusing him of child molestation.
  • Judah Karkowsky, 44, was found guilty in April of possessing a forged court record, three counts of using the fake transcript and two counts of making an apparently false statement — all felony charges.
  • The false records case grew out of a child sex charge against Karkowsky in August 2021 while working as a volunteer EMT.

The child’s mother asked Karkowsky to conduct a private physical examination of the boy, according to Karkowsky's lawsuit, during which the sexual abuse was alleged to have taken place.

He denied the abuse and said in court papers that Nassau County police detectives coached the boy into making the accusation

Karkowsky also argued the charges were retaliation after he accused members of the Woodmere Fire Department of financial wrongdoing.

A judge dismissed the molestation case because it was not brought to trial fast enough under the law, according to court testimony.

Karkowsky was reinstated in the fire department but not to his synagogue, Young Israel of Woodmere.

Angry and looking to clear his name, prosecutors say Karkowsky took the transcript of the dismissal hearing and changed the language to make himself appear wrongfully charged so he would be reinstated at the temple.

The former commissioner fabricated a quote from Nassau County District Court Judge Douglas Lerose to say, “Notwithstanding, this court has believed for some time that the People’s case lacked substance and should not have reached this point.”

Lerose testified at trial he did not say that.

Karkowsky also drafted his friend, Nassau County District Court Judge Ari Schulman, a co-chair of the board of trustees at Young Israel, to help reinstate him in the congregation.

Schulman, who was elected to the court last year, also copy edited drafts of Karkowsky’s motion to dismiss the sex abuse case and offered legal research.

The former commissioner sent notifications of his intent to sue Woodmere Fire District, Woodmere Fire Department and Nassau County for $30 million, claiming false arrest, malicious prosecution, defamation and negligent hiring. He included a portion of the doctored transcript in his paperwork, prosecutors said.

“This defendant’s actions were a flagrant attack on the integrity of the criminal justice system — something this office will not stand for,” Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement. “With today’s sentence, Karkowsky is now being held accountable by the same justice system he sought to undermine.”

It's unclear if he's still a member of the Woodmere Fire Department.

Woodmere Fire District declined to comment through its lawyer, Joseph Frank.

Karkowsky’s lawyer said he has filed a notice to appeal the verdict.

“It’s a travesty that he got a year,” defense attorney Camille Abate said. “For someone with no record who is protesting his innocence? It's payback for the misdemeanor case and to prevent them from paying out in the lawsuit.”

During the Thursday sentencing, Karkowsky's wife became upset at the punishment and began shouting at the judge and prosecutors.

“It was a very sad scene,” Abate said. “Jennifer Karkowsky is a very feeling woman and she felt it.”

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