I believe in Newark’s revival, but part of that process involves revealing some awful darkness that has long been hidden. This NY Times story about an indicted Newark attorney who is alleged to have revealed the names of witnesses to killers or used strong-arm tactics to keep them from speaking sent chills down my spine: Bergrin, a Lawyer and Ex-Prosecutor in Newark, Is Charged With Murder.
He spent a decade as a top prosecutor, trying murder cases in New Jersey, drug cases in federal court and a wide range of offenses in the military justice system.
He went on to become one of the state’s most prominent defense lawyers, representing clients as varied as Abu Ghraib defendants, the rap stars Lil’ Kim and Queen Latifah and members of Newark’s notorious street gangs.
But federal authorities charged Wednesday that the success their former colleague, Paul Bergrin, had in defending drug dealers and gang leaders was based on a brutal calculus that he had boiled down to a phrase he repeated like a slogan: No witnesses, no case.