Michael Castaldi – 1904

Michael Castaldi, 90, Ex-Special Prosecutor, Dies

Published: January 12, 1995 New York Times

Michael A. Castaldi, a former New York City special prosecutor and State Supreme Court justice, died on Monday at the Heartland Health Care Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. A former resident of Flushing, Queens, he was 90 and lived in Jupiter, Fla.

He had been in declining health for several months, according to the Aycock Funeral Home in Jupiter.

Mr. Castaldi was in private practice in Queens until 1946, when he was named assistant corporation counsel in charge of the education division. There, he handled legal matters for the Boards of Education and Higher Education. Representing the Board of Education at departmental trials, he prosecuted accused Communists whom the Board sought to dismiss from the schools.

In 1951, Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri promoted him to First Assistant Corporation Counsel. For a time, he also served as acting head of the city’s law department.

In 1953, the Board of Regents in Albany declared the Communist Party subversive, thereby barring its members from any position in the state’s public school systems. Mr. Castaldi, an expert in loyalty matters, was retained by the Board of Higher Education as a special counsel in charge of its “red inquiry.”

He investigated faculty and staff members at the city’s colleges who were accused of disloyalty. Some of those suspected resigned under fire, and others were removed as a result of the investigation.

In 1959, Mr. Castaldi was chief assistant counsel for a judicial inquiry into ambulance chasing. He then returned to private practice.

He was back in the news after Mayor Robert F. Wagner broke with the old-line Democratic leaders who tried to derail his renomination in 1961, among them the Queens County chairman. When the chairman subsequently resigned, Mr. Castaldi joined a triumvirate that managed the Queens party for nearly a year.

Mayor Wagner rewarded him with a seat on the Criminal Court bench in 1964. He became a judge of the Civil Court the next year and served on the State Supreme Court from 1969 until his retirement in 1977.

He was born in Campobasso, Italy, and was brought to the United States as a a boy. Mr. Castaldi graduated from St. Lawrence University and, in 1927, Brooklyn Law School.

Mr. Castaldi is survived by his wife, Mary Capozzoli Castaldi; a daughter, Carole C. Paduto, of Binghamton, N.Y.; a son, Michael A. Jr., of Hobe Sound, Fla.; a brother, Nicholas, of  Tequesta, Fla.; three sisters, Carmella C. Baldo and Katherine C. Wiley of Tequesta, and Josephine C. Buerkert, of Lake Park, Fla.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Michael Castaldi was born August 3, 1904 and passed away January 9, 1955,

Published on August 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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