Letter to the Editor: Ragazzo Held Court During Covid

Kimberly Ragazzo

I have known Judge Kimberly Ragazzo professionally both as the Supervising Prosecutor for the Town of Cortlandt as well as a private attorney in the area.  I have appeared in front of the Judge countless times over the last few years, even throughout Covid.  I have always known the Judge to be concerned about each case that was in front of her, and extremely hard working.

Unfortunately, in her Peekskill-Cortlandt (N.Y.) Patch Candidate Profile, Laurie Ryan claimed the Cortlandt Town Court remained closed for over a year during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Laurie criticized Judge Ragazzo for doing “nothing” for over a year but “was still paid.”  This could not be further from the truth. Judge Ragazzo was the first in Westchester County to receive the go-ahead to conduct court proceedings over the internet for youth.  The Judge sought approval for a virtual court plan through the Office of Court Administration during Covid, pushed to resume proceedings, and eventually became one of the first Courts in Westchester to open virtually.

Judge Ragazzo also assisted other judges in the county with resuming Court during Covid.  Contrary to Laurie Ryan’s statement, Justice Ragazzo acted expeditiously to reopen Cortlandt Town Justice Court.  I saw this first hand. For those who are recently arrested and bails are allowed for them, sites such as bail.app would be a life-saver. Alternatively, they may speak directly with a bail bonds agent to help them facilitate the payment of the bail bonds.

The accusation before the facts approach taken by the Republican slate in Cortlandt on issue after issue belies their stated goals in running for office.

They stir the pot by defaming Linda Puglisi and her administration.  In the end, this approach should give voters pause as to whether they want Laurie Ryan and her slate to be in charge come 2022.

I wholeheartedly endorse and support the entire Cortlandt Forward slate.  I encourage readers to vote Row A on November 2.

Michael Borrelli
North Castle

1 Comment

  1. This speaks for itself!!
    For Immediate Release – March 22, 2022
    Troopers’ Union Speaks Out Against Cortlandt Town Justice’s Shocking Actions
    The New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, the union representing uniformed New York State Troopers, is shocked by the nonchalance of Cortlandt Town Justice Kimberly Ragazzo in releasing a defendant – accused of assaulting a Trooper – on his recognizance simply because the young man claimed he had a college exam the next day.
    “I am disgusted by the flippant attitude of Town of Cortlandt Justice Kimberly Ragazzo,” said NYSTPBA President Thomas H. Mungeer. “Despite the defendant’s displays of violence, including assaulting a Trooper, Justice Ragazzo chose to release him without even verifying his story.”
    The 22-year-old man, Bryan P. Illescas, was arrested Sunday and charged with driving while intoxicated. While in custody at the State Police barracks in Cortlandt, Illescas became combative and damaged a wall. When the man’s mother came to pick him up, he suddenly punched a Trooper in the head and caused a significant laceration to the Trooper.
    Additional charges of assaulting a police officer were brought upon Illescas, and he was then brought before Justice Ragazzo for arraignment. The district attorney recommended that Illescas be required to pay $15,000 cash bail or a $30,000 bond in order to be released, but Justice Ragazzo ignored that and instead released him on his recognizance because she did not want him to miss a college midterm exam in criminal justice the next day.
    “You cannot make this stuff up! My Troopers risk their lives every day making the roadways and neighborhoods of this state safe. The last thing they need to encounter is a soft-on-crime judge who has more sympathy for a failed criminal justice major than she does for the citizens of her jurisdiction, Mungeer said.
    “Shame on you, Justice Ragazzo!”

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