Sections

Judge Phillips is dead

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

John Phillips, the former Civil Court judge whose multi-million–dollar estate was looted by his court-appointed guardians, died on Saturday at his senior-housing facility on Prospect Park West. He was 83.

Judge Phillips’ wake will be held on Monday, Feb. 25, from 2 pm to 8 pm at Woodward Funeral Home, One Troy Ave., at Fulton Street. His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Washington Temple Church of God, 1372 Bedford Ave., at Bergen Street.

“It happened after breakfast, in the elevator on his way to his room” at the Prospect Park Residence, a senior housing facility, said his distraught friend, John O’Hara. Phillips was pronounced dead at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope.

Phillips's death is the latest chapter in the long saga of how his estate was plundered by court-appointed guardians after he was declared mentally incompetent in 2001 at the request of District Attorney Charles Hynes, whose job Phillips intended to seek.

Indeed, in his heyday, Phillips was not only politically ambitious, but also a well-known figure in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he served on the civil court and earned the nickname “the kung-fu” judge because of his martial arts talents.

He was also prosperous, having owned more than 10 buildings in Bed-Stuy, including the Slave Theater on Fulton Street, a focal point for neighborhood activists such as the Rev. Al Sharpton.

But after Hynes’s office had him declared incompetent, nearly all of the dozens of properties Phillips owned were auctioned off — yet the profits ended up enriching only his guardians, not the judge.

Just before his death, events had finally started to turn back in his favor. In December, a state judicial panel suspended the legal license of Emani Taylor, who served as Phillips’s guardian between 2003 and 2006, for stealing $328,000 from Phillips’s account.

The day before his death, Phillips had taken delivery on a new set of furniture that had been bought for him by fashion magnate Mark Ecko, who’d taken an interest in Phillips’s plight after reading about it in this and other publications.

But hours later, he was dead. He has no survivors.

Updated 4:01 pm, November 10, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

woodsbflo from bedford stuyvesant says:
I went to law school with Emani Taylor, the attorney who systematically looted his bank accounts and sold off his properties for pennies on the dollar. Judge Pesce, Emani Taylor, and Charlie Hynes committed criminal acts. I sincerely hope that Ms. Taylor is disbarred, because she collects people down on their luck and uses the hell out of them. There is a special place in hell reserved just for her.
May 12, 2008, 2:01 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!