By Steve Plunkett

    Former Ocean Ridge Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella’s trial will start no sooner than February.
    His defense attorney, Marc Shiner, and Assistant State Attorney Danielle Grundt both agreed last month to the postponement — the trial’s third delay. Circuit Judge Charles Burton rescheduled the case for Feb. 19.
7960728875?profile=original    Shiner also complained that Police Officer Nubia Plesnik’s lawyer, Richard Slinkman, was making it impossible for him to conduct a crucial deposition.
    Plesnik, one of the arresting officers, has filed a civil lawsuit against Lucibella claiming he intentionally pushed and injured her. That means Slinkman “is not a party” to the criminal case and can only make objections if a question infringes on attorney-client privilege, Shiner’s partner Heidi Perlet argued.
    “Slinkman repeatedly objected on numerous other grounds,” Perlet wrote. “He interrupted the proceedings to the point that it was not possible to proceed with the deposition.”
But the judge denied their request that he prohibit Slinkman from attending the deposition or order him to follow court rules on objections.
    Slinkman called Shiner’s depiction of his behavior “absurd and totally inaccurate.”
    “There was absolutely nothing wrong with the objections made,” Slinkman said. “It was simply another attempt for Lucibella and his attorneys to try to bully Officer Plesnik.”
    Lucibella, 64, is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence — both felonies — and a misdemeanor count of using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. He has pleaded not guilty.
    Plesnik, fellow Officer Richard Ermeri and Sgt. William Hallahan went to Lucibella’s home Oct. 22, 2016, after neighbors heard gunfire. They confiscated a .40-caliber handgun and found five spent shell casings on the backyard patio.
    They later determined the confiscated handgun belonged to Lt. Steven Wohlfiel, their supervisor, who was with Lucibella during the incident. Both men were “obviously intoxicated,” Ermeri said in his arrest report.
    Lucibella’s criminal trial was originally set to begin in April, then pushed back to June and then October to give Grundt and Shiner time to question all the witnesses.
    Shiner scheduled depositions of Hallahan and Lt. Richard Jones, who conducted the internal affairs investigation of the incident, for Nov. 7 and for Plesnik on Dec. 6.
    He also filed a list of 46 people he may ask to testify at the trial, including an expert witness on the use of force and another expert on police procedures.

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