Accused New York City madam gets new lawyer as judge delays bail decision
NEW YORK – The accused New York City madam has cut ties with her legal team and will remain in jail -- for now.
In whirlwind developments in a media-crammed courtroom Thursday morning, accused police-protected escort ring chief Anna Gristina learned there will be no immediate decision on her bail, which was set at a whopping $2 million bond or $1 million cash.
Meanwhile, Gristina has fired her free court-appointed lawyer, Richard Siracusa, and has also let go of her pro-bono lawyer, Peter Gleason, in a move that cancels the conflict of interest in Gleason's plan to post his downtown NYC loft as collateral on any bail bond.
Her new and one remaining lawyer, Gary Greenwald, also announced that Gristina's sister and her husband, Monroe County, N.Y., real estate broker Kelvin Gorr, are willing to put up property to help secure any bond.
Gleason and Siracusa announced that their client informed them Thursday she no longer wishes to use their services. Siracusa and Gleason have sparred openly in court.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said he would hold a hearing verifying the source of Gleason's collateral prior to any approval.
Gristina entered the court in handcuffs, having traded the black and white herringbone jacket she'd worn on her previous appearances with a silky, boat-necked black and white blouse.
Siracusa left the courtroom Thursday after being let go by Gristina, but Gleason took a seat in the front row of the audience.
Her last-lawyer-left-standing, Greenwald, argued for the judge to lower the bail.
Co-defendant Jaynie Baker -- Gristina's beautiful, strawberry blond accused side-kick madam -- was released on only $100,000 bail for essentially the same accusation, Greenwald said.
The delay in the bail decision comes after Manhattan District Attorney's Office investigators raided Gristina's 78th Street alleged brothel in Manhattan and stripped it of what they consider to be vital evidence -- hairbrushes and toothbrushes.
The DNA evidence could be used to bolster a case against either hookers or some of the millionaire customers who allegedly patronized Gristina's illegal business.
Gristina has said she refused to give up information about possible big-bucks clients to investigators during an hours-long grilling.