Finkelstein comments: In his last Court appearance on 8 September 2017, Dr Baldeo requested the right to read a statement. He was unable to read it, however, as attorneys Michael Chetkof and Allyson Burger objected. An abridged version of Dr Baldeo’s lengthy statement is reproduced below. On a related matter, I have been alerting every matrimonial lawyer in the New York-Long Island area to the insidious tactics of that Dracula-like duo of bloodsuckers, Chetkof and Burger. A few of the lawyers replied. None speaks too highly of Chetkof. Here’s a typical correspondence with one of Chetkof’s colleagues:
Lawyer: I am very familiar with Mr. Chetkof, but I will say nothing bad about him.
Me: I take note that you also don’t say anything good about him.
Lawyer: As for saying anything, I make it a practice to not say anything if I can’t say something positive. Enough said.
Enough said, indeed!
I AM ASKING YOU TO SIGN THIS PETITION IN SUPPORT OF MY COMPLAINT AGAINST CHETKOF AND BURGER.
Your Honor, Judge Stacy D. Bennett,
I wish to make a statement to the Court.
Since the inception of these divorce proceedings I have sought a fair and equitable settlement.
I initially begged Azimoon Baldeo to join me in marital counseling so as to save the marriage for our sake and, especially, for the sake of our beautiful, smart and talented three children. But Azimoon refused to seek counseling, so I had to reconcile myself to the inevitable: we were getting divorced.
Once the point of no return in our marriage was reached, I wanted to be just. However much animosity might exist between Azimoon and myself, she is still the Mother of our children, so I would never wish ill on her. I told Azimoon that I wanted to divide our marital assets right down the middle, 50-50, excluding the two Queens properties that belong to my sister and niece. I regret to inform the Court that Allyson Burger repeatedly misinformed and misled the Court by asserting that I coveted all the marital assets for myself.
I then proposed to Azimoon that we earmark part of our savings for our children’s education. I have put in 80-hour work weeks in order to secure our children’s future, so they wouldn’t have to endure the hardships that Azimoon and I suffered growing up, and the hardships I endured in order to become a physician. But Azimoon also rejected this proposal.
At this point, I became the recipient of a barrage of Court papers contrived by Allyson Burger in which she alleged that I had inflicted “countless” acts of “unspeakable violence” on Azimoon for a quarter century. She claimed to possess “documented” evidence to substantiate this sensational claim. But Burger never presented to the Court any police records, medical records, counseling records, or eyewitness testimony. She couldn’t present “documented” evidence because the “countless” acts of “unspeakable violence” never happened. I regret to inform the Court that Allyson Burger again repeatedly misinformed and misled the Court.
Unfortunately, the attorneys fees started piling up (as I was constantly reminded), and everyone around me began expressing impatience. I therefore never had my day in Court. Not only did I not get to testify, we never even got to cross-examine the first witness.
In the end, I was compelled to sign the Stipulation under extreme duress before I even had an opportunity to read it.
As I stated in my sworn Court testimony on August 24, 2017:
A copy of the 100-page Stipulation drawn up by Burger and Chetkof was handed to me at 2:00 p.m. during the Court break. I myself came directly to the Courthouse that morning after serving a long night in a busy Emergency Room. Still, I pleaded with my lawyers that we go over the Stipulation before I signed it.
We started reviewing the Stipulation line by line. When we got to page 16, I noticed that one of the key figures in the Stipulation was significantly wrong. It alleged that I had $300,000 in my Chase bank account whereas I distinctly remembered that the account contained $250,000. I was pressed to contact that bank on the spot. It took a half hour over the phone to confirm that I was right.
Unfortunately, Burger and Chetkof refused to make fully good even on this gross misrepresentation in the Stipulation. They started to carry on as if we were in a Middle East bazaar, offering me a little “credit” here and a little “credit” there. Indeed, I agreed to sign the Stipulation when Chetkof put his new attorneys fees at $50,000, but after lunch an hour later he demanded $80,000 in new attorneys fees. He presented no bills, no itemization. He just plucked the figure from thin air. I am a salaried Emergency medical doctor. The hospital has to itemize every last penny when we bill clients.
The honest truth is that page 16 is as far as we got in the Stipulation before unbearable pressure was exerted on me to “sign, sign, sign.” I didn’t feel I had any choice except to go along even as in my heart I knew this was so wrong.
I am not asking the Court to reopen the whole case. The divorce has been granted. I have reluctantly reconciled to this verdict. I am simply asking the Court to be fair and just.
I was framed with the allegation that I had committed “countless” acts of “unspeakable violence” on my wife. I was then blackmailed with the dreadful prospect that I would lose my medical license and go to jail. Then, on August 10, 2017, just six days after the Stipulation was signed, Chetkof threatened to “open Pandora’s Box” and destroy me “Personally and Professionally” if I didn’t stop Professor Norman G Finkelstein from writing an article in a major publication documenting what has been done to me (see attachment). But I cannot control Professor Finkelstein. He is his own man. He will publish the article whatever I say if he believes an injustice has been done. That’s his nature and calling. Should I be destroyed on account of someone else’s actions?
Was this divorce proceeding fair?
Was it just?
Is this the rule of law?
Is this America?
I plead with the Court to use its wisdom and judgment to right the wrongs inflicted on me and to preside over a fair and just settlement.