WASHINGTON — The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the leading association for the nation’s millions of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes, denounces an anti-Greek ethnic slur allegedly made by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager during a settlement case in October 2018, and calls for his ouster, announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.
According to lawyer Michael Camarinos and his colleague, both of whom are Greek Americans, Justice Ostrager said, “you have a couple of old pigheaded Greek clients that don’t know what they are doing.” Ostrager made the statement in reference to Camarinos’ clients, John Pappas and Peter Skeadas, both of whom are also Greek Americans.
Supreme President Horiates, who is an attorney, stated it is upsetting to hear derogatory comments being made from officers of the court, individuals who are elected for a fair and impartial approach to complex legal issues.
“Simply stated, Justice Ostrager’s alleged ethnic slur is offensive and unacceptable,” Horiates said. “To demean the plaintiffs’ case based on their ethnic background demonstrates prejudice. Then to make a comparison, or an attempt to somehow link their intelligence with such an offensive term, is downright disgraceful. Justice Ostrager’s slur is anti-Greek and anti-American.”
Horiates added, “We are outraged and call for Ostrager’s ouster, or at least, his censure. With such a significant Greek American presence in Manhattan, Justice Ostrager is unfit to sit on the bench.”
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.