By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The following day, Brackman called Greathead, telling him, "Alan would prefer this all not be made public." Greathead told him he wouldn't have a choice and that the statement would have to go into the public court file. Brackman responded, "You have to do what you have to do," according to Greathead.
It wasn't until Greathead sent Brackman a new affidavit he had prepared for the case that he received a letter from Brackman accusing him of threatening Hevesi with exposing the bribe allegation in exchange for help with his lawsuit against the Lowingers.
The description of Greathead as a would-be extortionist is startling to those who know him through his human rights activities, which include a 20-year battle to bring to justice those who murdered four American nuns in El Salvador in 1980, as well as those who killed a half dozen Jesuit missionaries there a decade later.
Hevesi presented his relationship with Maurice Lowinger as a hallowed tie dating to the pre-Holocaust days in Hungary, where their families were friends. But the postwar relationship is more complicated than that. Not only did Lowinger family members give more than $60,000 to Hevesi's campaigns, but they also gave $6000 to Hevesi's protégé and ally, Melinda Katz, in a 1998 congressional race and another $750 to campaigns by Hevesi's son Dan.
There were other favors as well. Without providing specifics, the comptroller's office acknowledged that Chartier "reached out to a friend in the private sector" to help Lowinger's son Louis, who had twice flunked out of medical school, win a medical internship.
Louis, whose wife and children are suing the family for support, was picked up twice by police after charges were filed against him by two Latina women he met while serving as a medical resident at St. Barnabus Hospital in the Bronx. One said she was abducted; another claimed he raped her. The criminal disposition of the cases is unclear, but the charges were alarming enough that this March the state's Office of Professional Medical Conduct revoked Lowinger's medical license, citing his moral unfitness to practice and patient abuse.
Lowinger's attorney was away and could not be reached for comment.