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Hackensack grand jury adds three more victims against lawyer accused of threatening judges

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: A grand jury in Hackensack has charged an Essex County lawyer awaiting trial for threatening two New Jersey judges with doing the same to a Millburn rabbi and a husband and wife who operate a high-end South Orange restaurant.

Michael L. Brendzel, 67, was in court in Hackensack last week for arguments by his attorney for written transcripts of tape-recorded phone calls for his trial when the indictment was returned.

Brendzel’s cases were transferred to Bergen County this January after he fled an Essex County warrant and was arrested in New York City, where prosecutors say he telephoned Essex County Assignment Judge Patricia Costello in January and said that he was “going to take care of [her].”

A month earlier, they said, he threatened Essex County Superior Court Judge Marilyn E. Williams.

Brendzel, who was a practicing attorney in New York but not New Jersey, remained held today on $3 million bail in the Bergen County Jail.

He is charged in the new indictment with threatening “to assault or kill” three different people “with purpose to terrorize.”

Brendzel already was facing charges of stalking, burglary, threats of violence, criminal trespassing, calling 911 without cause, aggravated assault and simple assault of law enforcement and resisting arrest, among other counts.

ALSO SEE: Lawyer accused of threatening two judges ordered held on $3 million bail in Bergen County Jail

STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

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