Retired Long Island judge ejected from ritzy GOP soiree in headlock
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A retired Long Island judge was unceremoniously dragged out of a ritzy Republican gathering in midtown after apparently becoming bombed and belligerent, according to witnesses and a video obtained by The Post.
Frank N. Schellace, 67, who spent 14 years on the bench of the state Supreme Court in Nassau County, had to be removed in a full-nelson headlock Monday from Bice Cucina restaurant, where mayoral hopefuls and at least three Congress members were mingling with deep-pocketed GOP donors.
“I was right at the bar area having a conversation and all of a sudden, this guy got rowdy,” said Xen Sams, an actress and radio host who says she witnessed the altercation. “He was extracted in a choke hold, he was still screaming and yelling.” She said the judge looked like “he was clearly drunk.”
“I had never seen anything like this before,” said another person who witnessed the scuffle. “It was very ugly.”
Witnesses said the donnybrook erupted while Schellace was speaking with Congresswoman Kat Cammack of Florida. She did not return messages seeking comment.
Schellace confirmed he was at the event and was involved in a “misunderstanding” sparked by “a conversation of a political nature” which he declined to discuss. But he strongly denied being intoxicated, and called such accusations “slanderous.” He said he “did not recall” being removed from Bice in a headlock.
Schellace told The Post to contact Marilyn Miller, a retired NYPD officer who was at the event with him. Miller confirmed that the judge was bounced from the restaurant and that “we all were drinking.” Miller said she found the treatment of Schellace to be excessive.
Police were not called, owner Peter Guimaraes told The Post, and the apparently juiced-up jurist was shunted off into a cab.
Schellace was attending a swanky event hosted by the Liberty Club, a business and professional association closely aligned with the Manhattan GOP — both of which are controlled by supermarket heiress Andrea Catsimatidis. Entry to Liberty costs $1,000 with “VIP” memberships going for $5,000.
“His behavior was inappropriate and a major violation of the Liberty Club’s rules of decorum. The individual in question has been stripped of his membership and is no longer welcome at any of our events,” Andrea Catsimatidis told The Post.
Also attending were newly elected GOP members of Congress, including Cammack and New York’s Nicole Malliotakis and Andrew Garbarino. Three GOP mayoral hopefuls stopped by as well, including Guardian Angels boss Curtis Sliwa and taxi and bodega advocate Fernando Mateo. Guimaraes, who presided over the affair, is also running for mayor as a Republican
“The Republican party of New York is not taken seriously because they consistently back candidates that are not qualified to run the best city in the world,” Guimaraes told The Post, touting his own experience. “To run this city it takes a business mind with discipline.”
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