A Buffalo judge threatened to “hurt” the Buffalo News if it published a story about the arrest of a lawyer, Editor & Publisher magazine reports.
The judge, Nelson H. Cosgrove, was also handling a long-running libel suit against the paper. He has since removed himself from the libel case, but the matter may not end there. the State’s Commission on Judicial Review is reviewing the incident, which could mean discipline for Cosgrove. “Judges should not interfere with the publication of a news story or threaten to retaliate against anyone,” said Executive Editor Margaret Sullivan. Cosgrove refused to comment.
On Nov. 12, Cosgrove allegedly called the paper and told an editor that he would find a way to “hurt” the paper if it ran a story about the arrest of a lawyer involved in a trial before him, the News said. Editors say Cosgrove called the paper a second time with similar threats. “There was and remains in my mind no question that his words to the effect that he intended to ‘get’ or ‘hurt’ the News were in reference to his capacity as a judge,” Deputy Managing Editor Stan Evans said.