Thursday, February 20, 2014
An attorney who just consented to disbarment by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department made headlines last year for his advice to a grand jury witness.
The Daily News had this story:
It was sex, lies and a stunning audiotape Tuesday at the trial of a woman accused of lying to a grand jury investigating a drug-fueled sex romp involving a rich banana importer at an exclusive Manhattan hotel.
“I’m gonna suggest to you what you should say,” jurors heard lawyer Barry Balaban say to Nicole Zobkiw, 29, during a meeting recorded on the eve of her grand jury appearance in April 2011. “If you say this, the case will go away.”
On the tape, Balaban dismisses Zobkiw’s concerns that she’ll look bad: “If you say you were drunk and didn’t see anything, there’s nothing they can do.”
The grand jury was trying to determine if banana baron Thomas Hoey gave Kimberly Calo, 41, cocaine before she OD’d at the Kitano Hotel in 2009. Calo snorted coke and collapsed after she and Zobkiw had sex with Hoey in his room, prosecutors said. Zobkiw said she perjured herself at Balaban’s behest.
After the recording was played in Manhattan Federal Court, Zobkiw’s boyfriend John Murphy testified he made the tape because Balaban “seemed more like a scene from a movie than a lawyer” who was trying to help her. He said he gave it to authorities after Zobkiw was arrested last year.
Attorney Joseph Conway said Hoey “is not on trial and is not accused of any wrongdoing.
The consent conceded that he could not defernd charges of suborning perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. (Mike Frisch)