A reputed Philadelphia mob boss said hello to a juror outside a Manhattan courtroom, greeting the woman by name, she said on Thursday, Feb. 8.
The juror told federal Judge Richard Sullivan that she was waiting for the elevator when Joseph Merlino and his “crew” approached and he greeted her by name, according to an official transcript of their closed-door meeting obtained by the New York Post.
“Not close, but, like, he was on that side, on the opposite side over there, before you get to the exit, and he just said, ‘Hi, Sylvia,’ and I just turned my head, like, ‘Some nerve,'” the juror told the Post.
The juror said the incident would not affect her ability to be impartial.
Merlino, 55, “stands accused in a wide-ranging federal indictment of running an East Coast crime syndicate involving a variety of illegal operations,” according to the New York Daily News.
After the alleged meeting, Sullivan said in the courtroom that the juror “didn’t seem upset.”
The judge then asked Merlino whether the incident happened, to which he replied, “no, your honor.”
The judge admonished Merlino and said that he should not have contact with any jurors, reported the News.
“You are not to have contact with jurors—no nodding, smiling, whatever,” said the judge. “You are to do nothing to give any evidence of impropriety.”