Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh Boy! The Saga Continues

This past Friday a Manhattan judge issued an arrest warrant for Boy George after the singer failed to show for a court appearance. But Judge Anthony Ferrara stayed the warrant pending his return at a later hearing.

Last year police found cocaine in Mr. O'Dowd's New York apartment after he had reported a burglary. He wound up making a plea bargain of being guilty of filing a false report. He was to enter a drug program in England and do five days of community service in Manhattan as well as pay $1,160 US dollars for fines and surcharges. In addition he was to avoid arrest for any reason during the next six months.

Judge Ferrara pointed out that George had neither paid the fine nor reported to begin fulfilling the community-service requirement. "I put people in jail who don't pay fines,'' he told O'Dowd's lawyer Louis Freeman.

The singer was scheduled to appear Friday to explain why he wants to change the terms of his sentence. His lawyer stated that he told George, who was in England, he did not have to appear Friday but should be ready to fly to New York on a moment's notice. He said the singer would be present for his next court hearing, which is on June 26.

Freedman said that O'Dowd wanted to do something more worthwhile as part of community service than sweeping New York City streets. "There's nothing wrong with that if that's part of his punishment, but it will turn into a media circus and the press will be following him every day.'' George does intend to comply with the terms of his conditional discharge, but he had hoped to work with an HIV/AIDS charity instead. The judge scoffed at George's lawyer's proposals for community service--which included holding a fashion/makeup workshop and serving as a DJ at an HIV/AIDS benefit-- but did understand the objection to street-cleaning.

Judge Ferrara said on June 26 he will issue a final order as to what O'Dowd must do.


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