Monroe County attorney arrested at basketball game faces reduced charges
Submitted by Howard B. Owens on January 24, 2011 - 9:41pm
Legal charges against a Monroe County attorney and school board trustee accused of causing a ruckus at a basketball tournament in Batavia were reduced by the District Attorney's Office today.
John Parrinello, an appointed member of Monroe County Community College Board of Trustees, now faces charges of trespass as a violation and two violations of disorderly conduct.
The charges stem for an Dec. 12 incident at Genesee Community College when Parrinello allegedly hassled a referee during a college women's basketball game and then refused to leave the gym when ordered by security. He was arrested after a State Trooper arrived and Parrinello allegedly failed to follow his instructions about which exit to use as he left the gym.
The original misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass, 3rd, were dropped, but not without Parrinello making a stink about the change.
"I want to know what's happening with the criminal trespass, 3rd, charge?" Parrinello asked while standing before Justice Michael Cleveland. "That's why I was handcuffed, cutting my wrists, put in a patrol car, had my mugshot (taken) and published in all the newspapers."
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini kept trying to explain that the charges were being amended and Perrinello repeatedly interrupted her.
Cianfrini asked for a short recess to make a phone call and Perrinello complained that he had been waiting for the case to be called for two hours and didn't want to wait any longer.
Cleveland allowed Cianfrini to make her call and she returned and explained that she would submit the new charges and ask Cleveland to drop criminal trespass charge.
Perrinello's attorney, Batavia-based Lisa Kroemer, asked that the charges be dropped without prejudice and Cianfrini objected.
Kroemer said that in order to prepare for trial and make proper motions, she and her client needed to know that the misdemeanor charge wouldn't be refiled.
Cleveland said he would drop the charge without prejudice, which means the charge can be refiled.
The reason the lesser charges were filed, Cianfrini said, is that after a review of statements, evidence and interviewing witnesses, the reduced charges were more appropriate.
Kroemer refused to answer questions after the hearing, but Parrinello spoke briefly with reporters before getting in his Cadillac and driving away.
"They knew, or should have known, that what they arrested me for was not a proper charge,” Parrinello said, adding, "I'm presumed to be innocent. They have to prove me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which they'll never do."