On Friday, a Manhattan federal judge ruled that ex-correction union boss Norman Seabrook’s trial on corruption charges will have to wait until late October because of potential new evidence uncovered in an unrelated case in Brooklyn. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Carter ruled the three-week trial should start October 18.
Seabrook is charged with taking a $60,000 cash bribe plus lavish trips and other luxuries in exchange for steering $20 million in union pension funds to Platinum Partners, a hedge fund run by Murray Huberfeld, who was indicted along with Seabrook. Manhattan prosecutors said Friday that they needed a trial date later this year because of potential evidence uncovered in a separate Brooklyn investigation into Platinum Partners for operating as a “Ponzi scheme.”
The Daily News reported that Seabrook’s lawyer Paul Shechtman objected, saying it was “unfair” that his client, who was arrested last June, has to wait 16 months to go to trial. He said Seabrook’s defense team had “no intention of reviewing” the “boxes and boxes” of material coming from Brooklyn because “at the end of the day, there’s no there, there.”
Norman Seabrook –whom one tabloid dubbed as the “Ferragamo-loving, indicted and ousted president of the city correction-officers union” — is described as in hot water over charges he embezzled Correction Officers Benevolent Association funds to support his extravagant lifestyle and to reward allies. Seabrook’s alleged co-conspirator, Murray Huberfeld, the Platinum Partners executive, is accused by prosecutors of paying him $60,000 [to steer Platinum union business] in a black Ferragamo bag.
Despite the seriousness of the charges, over a dozen Seabrook friends and neighbors were in the courtroom on Friday to offer him moral support.
Last month, the NY Post reported a video where “Seabrook likened himself to Jesus and said he forgives those who abandoned him when he was nailed on bribery charges in June.”
“I’ve learned a lot of things in my life as … the president of the corrections officers’ union,” Seabrook told a small crowd of pals the weekend before Christmas at the Don Coqui restaurant in the Bronx, said the Post story.
Mr. Seabrook maintains his innocence.