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September 10, 2003 -- Disgraced Judge Gerald Garson pleaded not guilty to a bribery charge yesterday as the judge presiding over his criminal case amused courtroom spectators with examples of how a crooked jurist could be bribed with cigars.
As the prosecution and defense argued about whether Garson's alleged acceptance of cigars and cash from lawyers in exchange for advice and referrals constitute crimes or mere ethical violations, presiding Justice Steven Fisher presented several hypothetical examples.

But lead defense attorney Ron Fischetti said after the hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court, "I'm referred cases by judges all the time, and he gets a cigar - and that's a crime? That's absurd."

Denise Buffa
 
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