Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cops: Ramapo podiatrist plotted to kill wife, assault investigators 

A podiatrist and his girlfriend plotted to kill his wife and have two insurance investigators looking into his business beaten up, Ramapo police said Tuesday.

Police arrested Dr. Ira Bernstein, 41, and Kelly Myzner Grideluk, 36, on Monday night following a month-long investigation they said was sparked when the person the pair allegedly hired to kill Bernstein's wife reported their plot the police.

Detective Lt. Mark Emma said Bernstein and Grideluk falsely assumed the man they approached was in the business of committing murder and assaults.

"This person had some sought of relationship with one of them," Emma said. "They asked him to cause injury to Bernstein's wife to result in her death. They made an assumption he could help them. He doesn't do those things."

Bernstein and Grideluk are scheduled for arraignment today in Ramapo Justice Court.

Ramapo police will hold a news conference on the arrests at 1 p.m.

Police said Bernstein and Grideluk also are charged with looking to have two United Healthcare insurance investigators beaten up. Emma said details would be released at the news conference.

Ramapo police charged Bernstein and Grideluk with felony counts of second-degree conspiracy, second-degree solicitation, and fourth-degree conspiracy, and a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree solicitation.

Bernstein has operated podiatry offices in Ramapo and Bardonia. He's lost two malpractice lawsuits in recent years.

A Rockland County jury found Bernstein negligent  in 2015 when it awarded $1.4 million to a 12-year-old girl for injuries when Bernstein operated on her for bunions and fused her growth plates, leaving her foot deformed and unstable during a growth spurt. The girl's lawyer argued the operation was unnecessary.

In 2014, Bernstein forked over $775,000 to a Nyack woman after a botched bunion operation on her feet when she was 16. The woman is now a teacher and reportedly can't stand without pain.

Grideluk's child custody battle with her former husband had been made headlines in The Jewish Week. She's a former Satmar Hasidic Jew from Monsey who claimed her former husband abused her. Guillermo Gribeluk's attorney, Eric Thorsen, told the newspaper that his client "vehemently and unequivocally denies" all the allegations of abuse.

Gridulek, who was raised in a secular home and became religious at age 21, claimed Rockland Family Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress favored her ex-husband to maintain her three children's religious upbringing.

Her case became a rallying cry for religious parents who lost their children in custody fights.

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