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Norman's Second Trial

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Posted by Brooklyn Eagle on 17:27:45 11/04/05

Jury Selection Today in Second Norman Trial

Cases Centers on Larceny Charges

By Charles Sweeney

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

JAY STREET-- After the breakdown of talks between the Brooklyn DA’s office and lawyers for Clarence Norman Jr. about a possible plea deal that would’ve spared the convicted former pol a second criminal trial, lawyers for both sides are in Brooklyn Supreme Court this morning for the start of jury selection.

The charges this time against Norman involve his re-routing of a campaign contribution check into his personal bank account, according to the indictment against him.

Norman faces one count of grand larceny, for endorsing and then depositing into his private account a $5,000 check made out to his re-election committee. He also faces charges of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.

Prosecutor Monique Ferrell said at a pretrial hearing that Norman illegally endorsed the check “for which he was not the payee,” essentially stealing it for his own purposes.

Edward Rappaport, Norman’s defense attorney, said Norman was re-paying a loan he’d made to the re-election committee of Assembly member Diane Gordon, to whose campaign Norman had advanced a sum of cash.

Rappaport explained that Gordon’s campaign was expecting payment for “election day street operations” from the mayoral campaign of Alan Hevesi back in 2001.

According to Rappaport, Gordon’s attorney informed him before a pre-trial hearing last week, that the Hevesi campaign never sent Gordon’s campaign the promised funds in time for the 2001 primary.

The defense contends that it had been Norman’s intention to lend Gordon’s campaign money out of funds controlled by the Thurgood Marshall Democratic Club, a political club over which Norman wielded considerable influence.

Rappaport said Norman “lent” Gordon’s campaign money out of his personal account because “he went looking for (Fred) Taylor and (William) Boone (treasurer and executive member, respectively, of the club) and couldn’t find him.”

Rappaport also said he would produce the cancelled check-- written out to Gordon’s re-election campaign and drawn on Norman’s personal account in the amount of $5,000-- the date of which corresponds to the time period in question in this latest indictment.

Norman’s defense in this case is that he ‘made a mistake’ in how he handled the club’s repayment to him of that loan, maintaining the club’s treasurer (Taylor) mistakenly wrote the $5,000 re-payment check to Norman’s re-election committee, instead of Norman’s personal account.

Norman then took the check to his bank, where an employee there allowed him to deposit it into his personal account.

“He made a mistake,” Rappaport said. “It was stupidity, not a crime.”

(Published on 11/7/05)


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