Drunk court stenographer wreaks havoc

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Alcoholic New York court stenographer Daniel Kochanski wreaked havoc on some 30 court cases after typing 'gibberish' instead of documenting speech, at one point 'going Shining' and repeatedly typing 'I hate my job'.

The actions of Kochanski, who has since been fired, have jeopardised several cases by giving felons the opportunity to claim crucial evidence is missing.

His wholly inaccurate court reporting came during some very serious cases too, with Kochanski botching transcipts during the 2010 mortgage fraud trial of Aaron Hand, who was convicted of trying to hire a hit man to take out a witness.

"It should have been questions and answers - instead it was gibberish," a source told The Post. The court reporter appeared to channel The Shining in his transcripts

Kochanski dispensed with the court's questions and answers and just randomly hit keys in several different sessions, at one point echoing The Shining's infamous 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' typewriter scene and typing: 'I hate my job.

I hate my job. I hate my job' over and over.

"I never had a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage," said Claudia Trupp, of the Center for Appellate Litigation.

The Manhattan DA's Office reportedly hauled in Kochanski and forced him to try and make sense of his gibberish transcripts, an effort that apparently failed.

"Reconstruction hearings" are now being held instead, where those involved in the case testify about what they can remember from it.

The stenographer "became an alcoholic" five years ago, according to his father Ed, with his ex-wife Heather saying the job "pushed him over the edge".

In spite of all this, Kochanski protests his innocence.

"I never typed gibberish. I always did my job 100 percent. I was let go because of substance abuse," he said.

"I'm in recovery. July will be one year I'm clean."

- UK Independent

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