Claiming his client doesn't have "two nickels to rub together," one of the lawyers for a reputed Manhattan madam offered Monday to have Anna Gristina and her family live with him in his TriBeCa loft as a condition of bail.
Attorney Peter J. Gleason, a former NYPD officer and city firefighter, said Gristina, 44, would also consent to wear an ankle bracelet so that she could get out of jail and defend herself on charges she ran a high-priced Upper East Side international prostitution ring.
Prosecutors have said Gristina has ties to certain law enforcement officials and wealthy people, who could help her flee if she was released.
Gleason told Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan that his loft is on North Moore Street, right around the corner from where French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn lived while he was under house arrest during his recent sex assault case that was later dropped.
"I have a fundamental belief in justice, I despair when I perceive somebody is being railroaded," Gleason told reporters outside court, when asked why he was offering his home to the upstate mother of four.
Merchan scheduled another hearing for Thursday to explore the ethical rules and legality of Gleason's unusual bail offer. Meanwhile, bail remained at $2 million.
Gleason, who is defending Gristina for free, spent much of a court hearing Monday in legal sparring with her regular court-appointed lawyer Richard Siracusa, who said in court that Gleason had been undermining his relationship with the client.
"He has been nothing but a hindrance to me," said Siracusa, a seasoned defense attorney.
Since Gleason had represented that Gristina was indigent, despite claims by prosecutors that she raked in $10 million to $15 million from the call girl ring, Merchan appointed Siracusa as lead attorney.
"I want everything run through the criminal attorney," Merchan said to Gristina, meaning Siracusa.
"Yes, judge," Gristina answered.
Merchan warned her that if it was found that she had assets she had to repay the state for her legal representation by Siracusa.
Under questioning by Merchan, Gleason admitted he had never tried a felony case. However, Merchan let him remain as co-counsel.
The case has been a media field day since Gristina's Feb. 23 arrest on promoting prostitution charges, but Monday's court appearance was fairly uneventful. High profile political attorney Ron Kuby also appeared to advise Gleason on certain issues in the case.