BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski, who was seen on video stepping in front of a train in February 2021, has been reinstated back to the bench.
Michalski, who was on medical leave for a serious leg injury from the train incident, formally requested to return to his job as a judge in November 2021. The State Court system confirmed to News 4 at the time that he still needed to satisfy conditions set by the court system before he could return.
Michalski has been a state supreme court judge since July 2006, according to his LinkedIn account.
Michalski’s attorney Terry Connors confirmed the judge is cleared to return to the bench immediately.
Shortly after the train video emerged, News 4 Investigates confirmed federal prosecutors opened a probe into the relationship between Michalski and Peter G. Gerace Jr., a family friend, who operates Cheektowaga’s Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club.
Gerace Jr. was charged with distribution of drugs, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and paying bribes to former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Joseph Bongiovanni.
Michalski is not facing any charges.
News 4 obtained the video of Michalski running in front of the slow-moving CSX tanker train in Depew from a trainspotter.
In March 2021 we interviewed the man who took the video who described the scene.
“He was on the platform basically looking back and forth to see if there was a train coming, which kind of did look a bit weird,” he said. “I thought he might have been a rail fan like us, but I had a little bit of concern when he walked out onto the tracks and when he lay on the tracks, I was like ‘oh, no, this isn’t good.’”
After the incident, Michalski was hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center with a serious leg injury, an ECMC spokesperson told us.
Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.