A city attorney is in trouble after making more than 600 objections during a deposition of an NYPD cop and telling the officer at least 20 times not to answer questions, according to new court papers.
Assistant Corporation Counsel Amatullah Booth’s excessive objections took up nearly 83 percent of a transcript of the eight-hour questioning of officer John Essig, Brooklyn federal court Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak wrote in an order Friday.
Essig was deposed Sept. 22, 2016 as part of a civil lawsuit brought by plaintiff Hector Cordero, who claims the cop and others falsely arrested him in 2014 on bogus drug-dealing charges, which were eventually dropped.
“In denying plaintiff access to this relevant information, defendants’ counsel denied plaintiff the right to have deposition questions answered,” Pollak wrote.
The judge issued sanctions against Booth for acting “improperly by not limiting objections to the statement ‘objection as to form’ as directed by the court” during the deposition, the order said.
“Frequently counsel’s objections included extraneous comments, such as that questions called for speculation, were vague, leading or had been asked and answered; at times, her comments seemed to be suggesting answers to the witness,” Pollak wrote in her 17-page decision.
In one line of questioning by Cordero’s lawyer Gabriel Harvis about Essig’s salary, Booth objected and advised the cop not to answer, according to court papers.
“On what ground?” Harvis asked.
“I don’t see how it’s even remotely relevant and I find it to be harassing,” Booth replied.
In another question Booth objected to, she appeared to be suggesting answers to Essig, the judge wrote.
“To your knowledge, have any of the other officers that you worked with on SENU at the 83rd precinct become detectives?” Harvis asked.
“Objection. Only if you have that information,” Booth interrupted.
Essig answered, “I don’t have that information.”