Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

MURRAY RICHMAN, ESQ.,
ON GUY VELELLA

Murray Richman, the famed criminal lawyer based in the
Bronx, has represented a lot of “wise guys.” And even
some failed politicians, like former state Senator Guy
Velella. Here’s our interview from December 23, 2004.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): ’Tis the Christmas season, but not for disgraced former state Senator Guy Velella, who goes back to jail on Monday.

Joining us here in our studio is the famous criminal lawyer from New York state who was profiled in a seventeen-page article in The New Yorker. His name is Murray Richman, and he knows Guy Velella well. Mr. Richman, what do you think about this decision by the Appellate Division to send Guy Velella back to the slammer?

MURRAY RICHMAN (M.R.): I think it’s a travesty of justice. I was very active in the Velella case and even represented his father during the trial. This man is being punished for who he is. When you attract unwanted attention, the nail sticking up gets beaten down. Guy Velella is that nail. This man was released from jail through an early release program enacted by the mayor. And when the newspapers got wind of it, they criticized the mayor, who responded, “What program are you talking about? I know nothing about it.” In fact, he had just appointed two people to serve on the panel. Then, instead of following due process in the courts to challenge the agency’s decision, he changed the agency to send Velella back to jail.

W.O.: We’re talking about Guy Velella, who used to represent part of Westchester.

Murray Richman, power lawyer, knows Guy Velella well. As a matter of fact, we saw you on television by his side. What kind of guy is he?

M.R.: He was a state senator who was there for everyone. Whenever something had to get done in Westchester County or the Bronx,

-156-

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