Ballarotto razzle-dazzles courtroom on JoJo’s behalf
By L.A. Parker, The Trentonian
POSTED: 09/26/14, 6:28 PM EDT
Ballarotto Law note: Mr. Ballarotto successfully argued down Mr. Giorgianni’s plea agreement from a possible 12-1/2 year sentence to 6-1/2 years.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus probably started with some high-falooting brain stormer like defense attorney Jerome Ballarotto spitting out mind bombs.
Sort of like yesterday morning as Ballarotto attempted to gain salvation for his client Joseph “JoJo’ Giorgianni who exchanged his role in criminal activity for an important cooperating witness position for the federal corruption case against former Trenton Mayor Tony F. Mack.
The boot-wearing cowboy Jerry Ballarotto pulled out all stops in a no-holds-barred appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Michael A. Shipp.
Under the big top of the Clark S. Fisher Federal Building U.S. Courthouse and playing before a significantly small audience in Court Room 7W, Ballarotto stopped just short of singing the Ballad of JoJo Giorgianni, misunderstood narcissistic dreamer, conciliatory cooperator, and wracked with such physical infirmities that he deserved house arrest instead of a prison cell.
Judge Shipp sentenced Giorgianni to 78 months behind bars for his part in bribery, drug dealing, weapons charges.
Ballarotto said Giorgianni saved Attorney General Paul Fishman from a downtown Trenton mea culpa.
“If it wasn’t for Mr. Giorgianni, my friend and colleague of more than 20 years, Paul Fishman, would be standing on the steps of this courthouse apologizing to the citizens of Trenton for being unable to rid this city of a corrupt politician,” Ballarotto said.
No he didn’t.! Yep. At this point, had Lady Justice been an attendee, even she would have peeked out from her blindfold to connect bombast with Ballarotto.
Ballarotto, if not already considered the defense attorney for the criminal stars, could have made millions as a door-to-door salesman of encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners or insurance policies.
According to his world view of the U.S. government case against Mack, his brother Ralphiel, and a slew of dope dealers, the feds had nothing without the self-serving, ego-driven, Giorgianni.
Years after attempting with the Brothers Mack and Charlie Hall, another snake turned government witness charmer, to make more than $120,000 in a federal sting operation, Ballarotto pitched Giorgianni as a city savior. Judge Shipp appeared distressed as barrister Ballarotto spun sanctimony.
Ballarotto established that his client had suffered enough, especially after his turn produced posted signs that labeled Giorgianni “a scumbag rat, liar you are.”
“That’s a real threat and that’s forever,” Ballarotto continued. At one point, Ballarottodescribed Giorgianni as part of Trenton “lore.” No he didn’t! Yep.
Ballarotto believed Giorgianni’s narcissistic personality disorder caused all these problems of power, lust for money, and desire for anything that caused heart palpitations.
“He’s completely neutralized. (JoJo) can barely stay awake,” Ballarotto noted. Then, in his final pitch, Ballarotto said Judge Shipp’s decision would be more about message.
Obviously, not neutered. Giorgianni added a leer of a female attendee before a handler rolled his wheelchair into the courtroom.
The Ballarotto formula theorized that leniency would reward Giorgianni and that the “Halls of Justice recognized that (Giorgianni) when times were hard, stood up.”
Palms up, Ballarotto sarcastically suggested Feds might consider a pull out of his client’s fingernails and toenails. Ballarotto played every card, even that his 64-year-old client would be too old to engage in any further criminal activity.
Judge Shipp finally reframed all conversations with a summary that Giorgianni exhibited a “self-aggrandizing,” “conceiftul” character and that those traits make him “a threat to society.”
Shipp called incarceration “necessary and appropriate.” And for Ballarotto’s claim that Giorgianni moved beyond an age of criminal activity, Shipp stated that based on trial evidence, “Mr. Giorgianni has the criminal propensity of a much younger man.”
Ballarotto’s big tent imploded as Giorgianni offered a weary apology.
“Very sorry. … Sorry, I hurt my city,” Giorgianni whispered.