Saturday, 26 March 2011
Former Judge Michael T. Toole tore through a 30-pack of beer a night at the height of the alcoholism and “pathological” gambling addiction that clouded his judgment and complicated his final years on the bench, his attorney told a federal judge Friday.
The 51-year-old father of two hit rock bottom after federal prosecutors charged him two years ago with illegally accepting free use of a New Jersey beach house and failing to pay taxes on an attorney referral fee – charges he is scheduled to be sentenced for on April 8.
Since then, he has made a remarkable recovery, defense attorney Frank Nocito told U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy at a hearing on Mr. Toole’s objections to a pre-sentencing report.
Mr. Toole completed an inpatient program at the Marworth treatment center in Waverly, sees an addiction counselor and regularly attends meetings of the 12-step support group Alcoholics Anonymous, Mr. Nocito said.
He no longer drinks, no longer gambles and has repaired relationships with his wife, Donna, and college-age son and daughter that became severely strained by alcohol. “Michael recognized that he needed help,” Mr. Nocito said.
Mr. Toole’s drinking evolved from the casual curiosities of high school and college to full-on alcoholism as an adult, manifesting in the late 1990s in a daily pattern of work followed by long hours at the bar, drinking and gambling, Mr. Nocito said.
Mr. Toole, who pleaded guilty to accepting an illegal gratuity from an attorney and for failing to pay taxes on a “finder’s fee” he received from another attorney, declined to comment as he left court.
Posted by Reportage at 13:05
Labels: Former Judge Michael T. Toole