Fluent in legal lingo

Michael J. Klinefelter of Kenmore knows his way around a courtroom.

Klinefelter, 49, was in State Supreme Court in Lockport on Tuesday, where Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. was to sentence him for burglarizing a North Tonawanda garage in February. Klinefelter, who has 22 previous arrests and 18 convictions, first sought time in the Niagara County Jail instead of state prison, which Kloch refused, citing Klinefelter’s extensive record.

Kloch, after imposing a sentence of 16 months to four years, also ordered Klinefelter to pay a surcharge of $395.

“May I have the surcharge collected civilly?” Klinefelter asked.

“See, you even know the lingo,” said Kloch, who granted the request. “It’s so refreshing working with a professional.”

Courting some drama

In more courtroom news, the animal cruelty trial of Aurora horsewoman Beth Lynne Hoskins veered into soap opera territory this week when her lawyer motioned to dismiss the case because of a romantic liaison between one of the prosecutors and an SPCA staffer involved in the case.

In the end, Town Justice Douglas W. Marky decided the relationship between prosecutor Matthew A. Albert and SPCA investigator Alex Cooke – which had existed for a few months of the trial – did not warrant dismissing the case. Prosecutor Nicholas Texido also downplayed charges of prosecutorial misconduct.

“I’ve known scores of prosecutors who have had relationships with police officers. It’s something that happens,” Texido said.

Hoskins’ attorney, John P. Bartolomei, said,he had never known of a prosecutor engaged in a tryst with a police officer during a trial.

Marky asked Bartolomei: “You keep track?”

“No,” Bartolomei quickly replied.

A sinful compilation

These days, it seems everybody compiles lists, including the folks over at Movoto Blog, which monitors quirky trends in real estate.

In their latest compilation, Buffalo lands in at No. 8 among the 10 most sinful cities in America. The rankings are based on a rather creative analysis of a city’s adherence to the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

By examining strip clubs per capita, the compilers ranked cities’ lustfulness. Measuring the level of obesity, they charted where a city ranked on the gluttony scale. For wrathfulness, they tallied violent crimes per capita, and so on.

While Buffalo did not top any one category, overall it outranked the original “Sin City,” Las Vegas, which came in at No. 10.

Erie County spinmeisters

Before taking on her duties as chairwoman of the Erie County Legislature’s Community Enrichment Committee earlier this week, Legislator Lynn Marinelli finished teaching a class at the Buffalo Athletic Club, where she is a certified spinning instructor.

Waiting to address the committee were Erie Community College President Jack Quinn and Chief Administrative and Financial Officer William Reuter to talk about ECC’s budget and the college’s battle with Niagara County Community College to attract students.

“So how does their tuition compare to ours?” asked Legislator Kevin Hardwick.

“They went up $96. We only went up $95,” replied Reuter. “They’re at $3,792. So they are $202 less than us, but we can market ourselves as having had the lower increase this year.”

To which Hardwick responded: “So, Legislator Marinelli is not the only one spinning these days.”

Written by Harold McNeil, with contributions from Thomas Prohaska and Karen Robinson. email: