Talk about clinging on to a case.
Last Monday Queens County State Supreme Court Judge Margaret McGowan recused herself from a contentious divorce in order to—in her own words—avoid the “appearance of impartiality.” The defendant in the case, Dr. Siranush Cholakian, had accused the judge on numerous occasions of bias, claiming she’s sided with her husband, who is federal immigration Judge Frederic Leeds.
Siranush claimed Judge McGowan retaliated against her after she refused to drop criminal charges against her husband after he’d broken her arm in a domestic incident. (Leeds claimed he’d acted in self defense and was acquited in a bench trial on the criminal charges).
On Friday Oct. 23, Black Star News inquired via e-mail message to the court whether Judge McGowan had indeed taken additional action on the case, post-recusal. Today, Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the New York Unified Court system responded to Black Star News’s inquiries with an update: Judge McGowan issued a new order today, vacating and essentially nullifying her order of Oct. 23.
Judge McGowan’s new order, dated Oct. 26, reads, “IT IS ORDERED that this court’s order dated October 23, 2020 is hereby vacated and the motion Seq. 10, defendant’s motion to reargue is referred to the Administrative Justice for reassignment.”
There was no explanation as to why the judge had taken additional action on the case after recusing herself.
The case has been ongoing for nearly three years and Black Star News has published a number of articles on the matter. When some stories about the case were deleted from Black Star News’s website, the company reported the matter to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
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