The Philadelphia judge who sent the rapper Meek Mill back to prison has hired a high-profile lawyer and is fighting back against criticism, reports Philly.com. Judge Genece Brinkley’s attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., defended her decision to revoke Mill’s probation last year and decried tactics by the rapper’s legal and publicity teams to drag her personal and professional life under a microscope. Peruto denied allegations that Brinkley tried to extort personal favors from Mill and that she lashed out with a two- to four-year prison sentence when he refused. “It’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim,” Peruto said. “Her reputation has been severely damaged within the last month,” he said. “We absolutely believe she has an absolute solid [defamation] case.”
While critics have attacked the judge’s decision as overly harsh, a cadre of lawyers, hired public relations specialists and private investigators backed by Mill’s management company, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and billionaire Michael Rubin has adopted a more unorthodox approach against a judge they say has been unscrupulous and unprofessional for years. They have scoured Brinkley’s past for evidence to call her ethics into question, while seeking to remove her from Mill’s case by arguing that she has inappropriately sought to infiltrate the rapper’s life and career during the nine years she has overseen his probation after a gun and drug conviction. Mill lawyer Joseph Tacopina said, “We look forward to a lawsuit from the judge and taking this to court, where she will have to be deposed under oath and speak the truth.” Brinkley’s ordered Mill incarcerated after she found him in violation of his probation four times in eight years, mostly for failing drug tests or disobeying the judge’s ban on out-of-state travel without prior approval.