New York Post
June 14, 2004

MAYOR RIPS JUDGE IN SUSPECT'S ESCAPE

By STEPHANIE GASKELL

Mayor Bloomberg blasted the judge who helped a convicted drug dealer duck arrest for an unrelated "violent" robbery.

"I thought what she did was an outrage and she should be ashamed," Bloomberg said yesterday. "I will say that I think 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."

Blackburne — who outraged cops in 2002 by freeing an accused cop-shooter on a technicality — was presiding over a case involving cocaine dealer Derrick Sterling, The Post reported last week.

When she learned Detective Leonard Devlin was there to arrest Sterling in a May 23 attack, she ordered a court officer to spirit the defendant out of the building through the judges' exit to avoid the detective, according to a court transcript.

Blackburne said she was upset that the detective came to the courtroom "under the ruse of wanting to ask questions, when in fact he had it in his head that he wanted to arrest you," according to the transcript.

But Bloomberg said that's no excuse to let a suspected criminal free.

"She deliberately tried to keep that person from getting arrested and to get that person back out on the streets where they can commit more crimes."