New York State Upcoming Prison Bail Reform

November 12, 2019  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
New York State Upcoming Prison Bail Reform

New York State will enact new prison bail reform next year. The reform, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will eliminate cash bail as well as pretrial detention for misdemeanor and non-violent offenses. In addition, it is reported that the reform will result in the release of hundreds of inmates. WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently reported that there is some push back and criticism of New York State’s upcoming prison reform. Specifically, President Donald Trump criticized New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter regarding the prison reform. WGRZ interviewed attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis on the prison bail reform. In addition, WGRZ’s story included comments from New York State Senators Patrick Gallivan and Tim Kennedy, who have opposing viewpoints regarding the upcoming reform. State Senator Patrick Gallivan spoke publicly alongside law enforcement and expressed concerns about the reform in an effort to amend the law. In WGRZ’s story,...

Read More

Legal Analysis of FBI Raid on Buffalo City Hall

November 8, 2019  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of FBI Raid on Buffalo City Hall

Federal Agents recently raided Buffalo City Hall. FBI agents along with agents from the investigative arm of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted what was described as “court authorized activities” for over eight hours inside Buffalo City Hall. WGRZ 2 On Your Side reported on the raid and interviewed attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis as part of their coverage of the story. As reported by WGRZ, the raid was for the execution of a court authorized search warrant. The FBI would not disclose what they were looking for or what the raid was connected to. However, the activity focused primarily on the Office of Strategic Planning, which is located on the third floor of Buffalo City Hall. Several agents worked behind a guarded closed door for over eight hours. News cameras captured federal agents removing several carts containing boxes of documents covered in tarps. A...

Read More

Legal Analysis of Verdict in Case of Man Found Guilty of Setting Ex-girlfriend on Fire

October 29, 2019  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Verdict in Case of Man Found Guilty of Setting Ex-girlfriend on Fire

Attorney Barry Covert was interview by WGRZ 2 On Your Side to provide legal analysis for their coverage of the case of Jonathan White. Jonathan White was accused of setting his ex-girlfriend on fire outside of a Tim Hortons in Tonawanda in December 2018. A jury recently found Jonathan White guilty of attempted murder and assault. As reported by WGRZ, the victim in this case, Jessica Cameron, took the witness stand during the trial. She provided testimony on her relationship with the defendant as well as the events of the day of the assault. Jessica Cameron suffered burns to her face, head, and hands. She spent several months being treated in ECMC’s burn unit and she is still recovering from her injuries. The jury made numerous request for information as they deliberated the case. WGRZ reports that during deliberations, the jury sent three notes to the judge. The first note requested video surveillance...

Read More

Diocese of Buffalo Whistleblower Calls for Removal of Auxiliary Bishop

September 17, 2019  |  Sexual Abuse Victims  |  Share
Diocese of Buffalo Whistleblower Calls for Removal of Auxiliary Bishop

WIVB News 4 recently interviewed Fr. Ryszard Biernat regarding Fr. Biernat’s call for the removal of Diocese of Buffalo Auxiliary Bishop, Edward Grosz.  Fr. Biernat was joined by his attorney, Barry Covert, for the interview with WIVB. The Diocese of Buffalo has been the focus of extensive media coverage over the past year for its handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations.  Fr. Biernat has been featured in local and national media recently as a second whistleblower from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.  Prior to taking a personal leave of absence in August, Fr. Ryszard Biernat served as Bishop Richard Malone’s secretary and diocesan vice chancellor for the Diocese of Buffalo. As detailed in a previous post, Fr. Biernat was concerned about Bishop Richard Malone’s handling of allegations of misconduct against a priest within the Diocese of Buffalo. This concern prompted Fr. Biernat to record Bishop Malone to expose how the Diocese of...

Read More

The Buffalo News Reports on Bishop Richard Malone Press Conference

September 9, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share

Attorney Barry Covert provided comment for an article published in The Buffalo News regarding a recent news conference given by Bishop Richard Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.  This is the first press conference Bishop Malone has given since November 2018. The Buffalo New article states that Bishop Malone faced renewed criticism for his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases in August, when the Child Victim Act’s Look-Back Window took effect. However, this press conference, which took place on September 4th, was held to address reports of how Bishop Malone handled a different matter of clergy misconduct Earlier in the day, ABC News and WKBW published stories regarding a second whistleblower who came forward due to concerns over Bishop Richard Malone. As detailed in a previous post, the whistleblower is Fr. Ryszard Biernat, who served as Bishop Malone’s secretary and diocesan vice chancellor. Fr. Biernat is represented by attorney Barry Covert. Fr. Biernat...

Read More

Diocese of Buffalo Whistleblower Exposes Handling of Misconduct Allegations Against Clergy

September 4, 2019  |  Sexual Abuse Victims  |  Share

ABC News as well as local affiliate WKBW recently published their latest story in the ongoing reporting of how sexual abuse and harassment allegations against clergy are handled in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The latest report details recordings made by a second whistleblower who has come forward due to concerns over Bishop Richard Malone and information he concealed regarding misconduct allegations made against a parish pastor within the Diocese of Buffalo. The whistleblower is Fr. Ryszard Biernat, who served as Bishop Malone’s secretary and diocesan vice chancellor.  Fr. Biernat is represented by attorney Barry Covert.  Mr. Covert provided comment for stories published by ABC News and WKBW 7 Eyewitness News. As reported by ABC News and WKBW, Fr. Biernat was compelled to begin recording meetings with Bishop Richard Malone due to the way he addressed misconduct and sexual harassment allegations made against Fr. Jeffrey Nowak. Fr. Nowak served as pastor of Our...

Read More

Legal Analysis of New Indictment Against Rep. Chris Collins

August 8, 2019  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of New Indictment Against Rep. Chris Collins

United States Congressman Chris Collins was indicted on a series of insider trading charges in August 2018.  Nearly a year after the initial indictment, federal prosecutors have recently re-filed the case against Rep. Chris Collins, leading to a new “superseding” indictment. The new indictment against Rep. Chris Collins excludes three charges that were included in 2018’s indictment. These latest developments in Rep. Chris Collins’ insider trading case have been covered extensively by news outlets throughout Western New York. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed by The Buffalo News, WGRZ 2 on Your Side, and WIVB News 4 to provide legal analysis on the new indictment. Over the course of these interviews, Mr. Covert’s analysis addresses several aspects of the updated charges, including: Why did federal prosecutors convene a new grand jury in the insider trading case against Rep. Chris Collins? What is the significance of the three charges that have been removed...

Read More

Can St. Matthews Cemetery Be Sued For Moving Graves Without Notifying Families of the Deceased? Did St. Matthews Cemetery Violate New York State Law?

May 3, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Can St. Matthews Cemetery Be Sued For Moving Graves Without Notifying Families of the Deceased? Did St. Matthews Cemetery Violate New York State Law?

St. Matthews Cemetery in West Seneca, NY is being investigated by the New York State Division of Cemeteries for beginning to move hundreds of graves without notifying family members of the deceased. Over a week after St. Matthews Cemetery began digging up grave sites, family members started to hear through word of mouth that their loved one’s caskets may have been moved. Attorney Barry Covert was recently interview by WGRZ 2 on Your Side for a report on St. Matthews Cemetery. Continue reading for details on Barry Covert’s legal analysis and click on the video below for WGRZ’s full report, which includes: Reaction from family members who were not aware that the graves of their loved ones were moved; A representative from St. Matthews Cemetery discussing their reason for moving the graves; and Barry Covert providing answers to questions on whether St. Matthews Cemetery broke New York State Law and if families...

Read More

Could Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Signal RICO Investigation for Catholic Diocese of Buffalo?

April 8, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Could Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Signal RICO Investigation for Catholic Diocese of Buffalo?

Attorney Barry N. Covert was interviewed by WKBW’s I-Team Chief Investigator Charlie Specht for a story that 7 Eyewitness News introduced as a “big development in the clergy sex abuse crisis”. The 7 Eyewitness News story addresses an article recently published in The Buffalo News, which reported that subpoenas were issued in March 2019 as part of an investigation involving clergy sex abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo. In this interview with WKBW, Barry Covert provides insight and analysis regarding: why the latest subpoenas carry unique significance; what the subpoenas reveal about laws that federal prosecutors may be using in this investigation; and where the focus of the investigation may be directed. Continue reading for details on Barry Covert’s comments or click in the video below to watch 7 Eyewitness News’ full story.  You will also find the full story on WKBW’s website. Subpoena Reveals Federal Grand Jury Investigation 7 Eyewitness News states that...

Read More

Federal Subpoena Issued for Buffalo Diocese’s Compensation Program for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse

April 5, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Federal Subpoena Issued for Buffalo Diocese’s Compensation Program for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse

The Buffalo News is reporting that a federal grand jury has issued a subpoena as part of an investigation involving clergy sex abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo. The subpoena was served on two retired judges, former state Surrogate’s Court Judge Barbara Howe and former Appellate Division Justice Jerome Gorski, for records they reviewed as part of a compensation program established by the Buffalo Diocese for victims of clergy abuse. Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program The Diocese of Buffalo created the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) on March 1, 2018. The IRCP was one of many compensation programs established by catholic dioceses throughout New York State for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Buffalo Diocese hired Judge Howe and Justice Gorski to serve as administrators of the IRCP. As administrators, Howe and Gorski reviewed the cases of abuse victims who applied to the IRCP. The administrators then decided whether to reject or accept...

Read More