By David Brand
Fellow State Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise will take over the calendar of Justice Gregory Lasak starting today, Administrative Judge Joseph Zayas told the Eagle Wednesday.
Zayas said that Aloise will be able to take over Lasak’s calendar with little interruption.
“He’s familiar with the cases,” Zayas said. “Every time a judge resigns, if that judge is in the middle of a hearing, there is some inherent delay [but] it won’t be anything significant.”
Unified Court System spokesperson Lucian Chalfen also confirmed that Aloise will take over the calendar in an email.
Last month, Lasak informed the court that he would resign from the bench effective Sept. 14. Lasak was elected to the Supreme Court, Criminal term in 2003 and began his first term in 2004. He was reelected in 2017.
Lasak joined the Queens district attorney’s office in 1978 and was named chief of the homicide bureau in 1984 when he was 30. During his tenure in the D.A.’s office, Lasak earned the nickname “Mr. Murder” for handling the borough’s toughest murder cases. After transitioning to the judiciary, Lasak presided over the criminal court’s Homicide Part.
Lasak’s current calendar includes several high-profile homicide cases, including proceedings for Chanel Lewis, the man charged with killing Karina Vetrano, 30, while she was jogging in Howard Beach. Lasak has also presided over the cases over Carlos Genno and Nestor Rodriguez, two men charged second-degree murder for allegedly killing Bangladeshi leader Nazrul Islam, 55, in Richmond Hill in 2014.
Aloise was also elected to the state supreme court justice in 2003 and has served since 2004. He was reelected in 2017. He previously served as civil court judge from 1999 to 2003.
Up until Wednesday, sources familiar with court proceedings told the Eagle that they did not yet know who would take over Lasak’s calendar, but they speculated that it would likely be a judge currently serving in Queens.
In April and July, Lasak had presided over the case of Victor Ocasio, a man charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing two people in a drive-by shooting in Jamaica in 2017.
Ocasio’s case has since switched to the calendar of Judge Gia Morris. Ocasio will appear before Judge Morris in AP6 Thursday.
State Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise will take over Lasak’s calendar. // Photo courtesy of nycourts.gov