Journalist Seth Berkman published a piece on Monday in The Brooklyn Ink titled The Fall of The Phillips Empire, exposing the real corruption in The Brooklyn Courthouse.
No, the corruption is not Judge Gerald Garson getting a box of cigars and free meals to fix a custody case. Rather, it's the court appointed "guardians" who sell people's homes in rigged auctions and keep all the money.
The guardians are appointed at the request of the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, the guise being the property owner may be the victim of a crime. It's a maze of transactions that seemed too complex to unravel. That was, until Judge Phillips fell prey to the scheme.
The hijacking of Judge John L. Phillips has been the subject of dozens of newspaper and magazine articles, a story that's straight out of a Dickens novel.
The legendary "Kung-Fu Judge" was a thorn in the side of the political bosses in Brooklyn, having twice defeated the machine in 1976 and 1992.
But in 2001 Judge Phillips went a little too far, he was planning to take on the boss of all bosses, District Attorney Charles "Breezy Point Joe" Hynes.
Writer Berkman details the eight year reign of terror Judge Phillips endured, his real estate empire plundered, court files sealed, and in the end, the 82 year old Judge died homeless with a borrowed coat on his back.
If it can happen to a judge, then it can happen to anyone.