Newsday
June 14, 2004

Bloomberg blasts judge

By Glenn Thrush Staff Writer

Michael Bloomberg is the latest city politician to blast Queens Supreme Court Justice Laura Blackburne for apparently letting a convicted drug dealer exit the side door of her courtroom to dodge arrest.

"I thought what she did was an outrage and she should be ashamed, but that's for the courts and the review process... to decide," Bloomberg said at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan Sunday.

Last Thursday, convicted drug dealer Derek Sterling was in court to update Blackburne on his drug treatment. When Det. Leonard Devlin came to arrest him in a robbery case, the judge allowed Sterling to escape in her private elevator. Sterling was later apprehended.

"It would appear to me from what I read that Judge Blackburne seems to have stopped being the neutral court officer that she was elected to be and seems to think that she's a police officer," Bloomberg said.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and police union officials have called for an investigation into the incident.

Calls to Blackburne's home and office were not returned Sunday.