Part One:

The final hearing was rescheduled three times and prior to any of the preliminary hearings was I ever provided with a copy of my rights, prior to each hearing as required by Parole’s own rules.  My right to speak on my own behalf, my right to introduce letters and documents, and most significantly, my 6th amendment right to confront and cross-examine my accusers.  For example, at the preliminary hearing held on October 13, 2020, I was not even permitted to attend.  I was told by my attorney, Christine Seppeler, to wait outside the hearing room and I could listen to the proceedings on the telephone.

Prior to the hearing, MS Seppeler had informed me that if there was no proof of the charges against me, that in all probability I would be released.  She also confirmed that if my accuser, Judy Nanni, did not appear at the hearing, according to parole rules and my right of confrontation, the charges would have to be dismissed.  Ms. Nanni did not appear nor participate in any way.  Regardless, the hearing officer ordered me held for trial.  As such I requested a live trial so that I could confront my accusers, Judy Nanni and Parole Officer, Samantha Roll, to view their expressions and reactions.  After two postponements, my trial was finally scheduled for Friday December 4th.

First, attorney Seppeler never showed up the beginning of the week, as scheduled for trial preparation.  Previously, on October 20th, after spending only 10 minutes with me, reviewing irrelevant documents and recommending that as I was classification #3, and as such only a 3 month sentence.  She then adds that going to trial would be an uphill battle.  This even though she knew there was not a shred of legitimate evidence.  (If what she said was true, then why even bother with a trial?) 

Regardless, I still insisted on the trial.  Seppeler promised me she would return that Thursday or Friday to review the charging papers and other documents.  Unfortunately, she never showed up on either day or called me to reschedule.  For that matter, at no point prior to the trial did she ever return to review documents.  As mentioned earlier, MS Seppeler did not even appear for trial preparation.  Her excuse, which turned out to be false, was that attorneys were not permitted in because of Covid.

Part Two:  December 4, 2020 Trial

On the morning of the December 4th trial, I received a phone call from administrative Judge Thomas Kubiniec, informing me that an inperson trial could not be held as a result of covid and would have to be held via telephone has.  My response, “unacceptable” as I had already waited an extra six weeks, a trial by phone would completely defeat the purpose.  I would have accepted a trial by video.  However, both Judge Kubiniec and attorney Seppeler stated that video was unavailable. This even though both knew I had video conferencing capabilities in my housing unit.

At the opening of the trial Judge Kubiniec informed me that we could reschedule  the trial for a contested hearing on January 8, 2021.  “Is that acceptable to you Mr. Dizak?”  My response. ”That’s fine, That’s fine.”  Judge Kubiniec: “And with regard to the off the record discussions, if there is any other motions they can be renewed on the 8th.”

Unfortunately, the proceeding did not end at that point as it should have.  Instead, Judge Kubiniec turns around and informs me that there are new rules going into effect next week, December 9th.  If you go trial on January 8th and I find you guilty, I am required to sentence you to one year. However, if you are willing to plead guilty now you would only receive three months.  I refused.  He then went on a long discourse in an attempt to coerce me into taking a plea offer. Finally, offering to have me plead guilty to the least offensive of the 6 charges, #4, receiving a CC-2 court appearance ticket modified to allegedly sending a Facebook request to my ex-wife, Judy Nanni.  *     

 I informed him that I needed the weekend to consider his offer, which surprisingly he granted me. That weekend I spoke to my close friend, Michelle Buyea to obtain her opinion.  She informed me that attorney Seppeler called her to try and convince me to take the plea offer, since at my age 78, I might not survive a year in jail. And that would be in addition to the four months I had previously served.  Just as significant, Seppeler also informed Michelle that MS

  • In the meantime, City Court Judge Nicole Morris chastised the prosecutor for not coming up with any legitimate evidence. This as Facebook copies were not acceptable in any court as it was relatively easy to hack a Facebook account.  This for the exact same charge as parole!

Nanni had informed both parole and the police that she would refuse to appear in any courtroom with me. That would have rendered any further proceedings moot as it would deny my right of confrontation.

With the above information in hand, on Sunday evening I left messages for all parties, that I would not accept the plea offer.  I wanted the “live trial.”  Early Monday morning I received a call from attorney Seppeler.  She was extremely upset that I was refusing “such a great offer.”  When I responded how dissatisfied I was with her representation, she responded, Why don’t you file a complaint with the State Bar Association. 

Long story short, on Monday Judge Kubiniec informed me that it was too late for a live trial.  I would have to take my chances and wait until January 8th or accept his plea offer.  Under duress I accepted.  However, a few days later I received a copy of the new rules.  Both the judge and Seppeler had lied to me.  The new rule NYCCR9 5002.20 was actually favorable to me.  It did not state a year, but 3 months to a year (depending upon the severity of the violation).  In a minor offense only 3 months—And the five months that I had previously been incarcerated would be credited.  Therefore, guilty or not guilty, on January 8th Judge Kubiniec would have been required to release me.

Yet the matter gets worse, far worse.  A few weeks later I received copies of all  the transcripts (that I had paid for).  I quickly noticed that all of the discussions concerning the various plea offers and the changes in the alleged changes in the rules had been deleted from the transcripts!  I was also to later learn that judge Kubinec was not an independent judge as stated by Seppeler.  He was employed and compensated by the Department of Corrections. Talk about a kangaroo court; Judge, Jury and executioner!

What would any reasonably intelligent person conclude?

Stuart Dizak