Longtime Bay Ridge political insider Ralph Perfetto is facing a year in jail for allegedly posing as a lawyer to represent a friend.
Perfetto, who is in the fight of his life to be re-elected to the post of neighborhood district leader that he’s held for 18 years, is now awaiting his own criminal trial for representing Anthony Martire in a 2008 harassment case, according to court documents.
Court papers say that Perfetto not only spoke on behalf of Martire, but submitted documents for him, and waived Martire’s rights to a formal reading of the charges against him at his Aug. 21 court hearing.
Perfetto is crying foul, telling us that the charge is “preposterous.”
Perfetto apparently got caught when he turned in paperwork to the court bearing the name of his Bay Ridge business, Gray Fox Investigations, and someone recognized his name.
“When he appeared in court, a Brooklyn district attorney recognized him as not an attorney,” said William Smith, spokesman for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who has been given the prosecution because of Perfetto’s status as a district leader in Brooklyn.
In New York State, it is legal to represent yourself in a court case, but it’s a no-no to claim that you’ve passed the bar when you haven’t.
Perfetto faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail. His pre-trial hearing is set for July 26.
Though he is not a lawyer, Perfetto has apparently watched enough people play one on TV. According to the court transcript of the 2008 hearing, he sounded pretty good.
“If I may, Your Honor, with the Court’s permission, may I submit two notarized affidavits from eyewitnesses that speak to the contrary of what did happen?” Perfetto said.
Perfetto is running against Kevin Peter Carroll for the district leader position. Carroll could not be reached for comment in time for our court-ordered deadline.