A former cop is now seeking to serve as Anna Gristina's defense pro bono after attempting to have her former attorney fired during Monday's hearing, according to NY Daily News. Peter Gleason, who has expressed that he will work for free, has willingly offered to give up his Tribeca loft as collateral in order to bail out Gristina and to house her family during the trial. When asked why he is so intent on helping Gristina, Gleason mentioned only that the two share a mutual friend.
Assistant DA Charles Linehan expressed his concern over Gleason's offer. There are ethical concerns that come into play here. We definitely oppose this, said Linehan. In his defense, Gleason pleaded that Gristina was being bullied and his fundamental belief in justice compelled him to help her out.
Gleason plans to replace court appointed criminal attorney Richard Siracusa because he he feels that Siracusa is not fit for the job. It's going to take a very special lawyer to handle this matter, Gleason told the judge. When Gleason argued that he should be allowed to pick Siracusa's replacement, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan responded, Your client will not get preferential treatment here. Instead, the two will not work together as Gristina's defense.
Nonetheless, Gleason, who has also run for City Council, told the press that he will put on a high-profile, very aggressive defense. So far, he has argued that none of Gristina's workers were underaged and that she doesn't have two nickels to rub together. Meanwhile, prosecutors maintain that Gristina made over $10 million off of her upper East Side brothel.
Gristina, who has a British passport and a home in Montreal, is considered a flight risk. She is currently being charged with running a multi-million-dollar prostitution ring, where she also allegedly employed under-aged girls.