Peterson judge says he’s ‘shocked’ by former attorney’s comments
By Jon Seidel and Janet Lundquist email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org March 5, 2013 12:14PM
Joel Brodsky (left) filed a defamation suit against onetime co-counsel Steven Greenberg. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 7, 2013 6:21AM
The Will County judge who presided over Drew Peterson’s murder trial said Tuesday he’s “shocked” by some of the comments the ex-Bolingbrook cop’s lead trial attorney has made in public, and he’s planning to tell the state agency that investigates lawyers in Illinois.
Judge Edward Burmila dismissed Peterson’s request to have the court muzzle his former attorney, Joel Brodsky. But, in doing so, Burmila said he was going to send a transcript of Tuesday’s hearing — in which he criticized Brodsky — and the written motion that prompted it to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.
Attorney Steve Greenberg argued that since Peterson’s sentencing, Brodsky had allegedly broke attorney-client privilege in trying to deflect blame for losing the case. Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
“Mr. Brodsky has, since Mr. Peterson’s sentencing, conducted a campaign to vindicate his actions at the expense of Peterson’s best interests, and without regard to attorney-client privilege,” the motion filed on Peterson’s behalf stated.
Brodsky maintained that Greenberg has previously made false comments about him and said that the rules of professional conduct allow him to publicly defend himself against comments that were made about him in public.
“I do not have to sit there silent,” Brodsky said in a telephone interview.
Greenberg also cited a comment Brodsky made in public that, had Peterson testified during his trial, it would have been, “an unmitigated disaster ... there is no way we would have won,” among other things. Greenberg said the motion was not personal and he filed it with “extraordinary reluctance,” after his direct request was ignored, in case there are any subsequent trials or retrials.
Burmila criticized Brodsky’s commentary, but declined to order him to stop talking about the case.
“I wish I could think of a word beyond, ‘shocked,’ that I could apply to Mr. Brodsky’s appearance on television,” Burmila said from the bench.
Peterson, who was moved late last week to the Menard Correctional Center downstate, appeared in court Tuesday morning. Wearing a black jumpsuit, and shackled at the waist, Peterson mostly kept his head down during the hearing.
Burmila also rejected Peterson’s motion to reconsider his sentence. Unless he wins an appeal, Peterson won’t be released from prison until he is 93 years old. He is considered the main suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.