BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Supreme Court Judge John Michalski was found dead Tuesday.
Michalski's attorney, Terry Connors, confirmed to 7 News the judge died by suicide at his Amherst home Tuesday.
In March, investigators from multiple agencies converged on his Amherst home. Connors confirmed to 7 News that a search warrant was executed at the home, and that Michalski and his wife were cooperating with authorities. Michalski was not taken into custody and investigators did not announce any charges against him or in connection to the search warrant.
In January, Michalski returned to the bench for the first time in nearly a year. He was reinstated following a medical leave. Michalski was injured in an incident involving a train in February 2021. He was hospitalized for more than a week with a dislocated kneecap.
A month after the incident involving the train, 7 News learned that federal authorities had called Michalski to look into his decades-long friendship with Peter Gerace.
Gerace, owner of Pharoah's Gentlemen's Club in Cheektowaga, was arrested on federal charges related to drugs, bribery and sex trafficking. The incident involving the train in which Michalski was injured happened on the same day.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn released a statement Wednesday morning on Michalski's passing, writing:
I am saddened to learn of the passing of State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski. I, along with my colleagues at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, extend our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can utilize the following resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Services 24-hour crisis hotline: (716) 834-3131
Crisis Services 24-hour crisis text hotline: (716) 300-2338
NYS/Crisis Text Line Partnership: text “Got5” to 741-741