Former Brooklyn Justice Gerald P. Garson was sentenced Tuesday to 3 to 10 years in prison for bribery and receiving rewards of official misconduct.
At the end of a proceeding that lasted more than two hours, Garson, 74, was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
But before the day was out, 2nd Department Justice Edward D. Carni had issued a temporary stay keeping Garson on $15,000 bail until a full panel can hear his request for a stay pending appeal on June 12.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey A. Berry told a crowded courtroom that he himself, as well as his colleagues on the bench, have "to bear the stigma of what you did" -- create the perception that "justice could be bought" in Brooklyn.
Before pronouncing the sentence, Berry heard a divorce litigant, Sigal Levi, whose case was at the heart of the bribery case say, "I hope and pray to God" that Justice Berry will "give you what you deserve."
Garson, 74, also briefly addressed the court, breaking down in sobs several times as he apologized to his former colleagues on the bench and his family.
Garson was convicted in April of accepting thousands of dollars worth of free meals and drinks from Paul Siminovsky, a now disbarred lawyer, in exchange for providing ex parte advice, court assignments and favors such as free range of the former judge's robing room. He was also convicted of one count of illegally accepting a $1,000 fee from Siminovsky, for having referred two clients.