PEOPLE v. BERMUDEZ

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Carlos BERMUDEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Decided: November 21, 2002

SAXE, J.P., BUCKLEY, ROSENBERGER, LERNER, and GONZALEZ, JJ. Zaharah R. Markoe, for Respondent. Jeffrey Dellheim, for Defendant-Appellant.

Judgment, Supreme Court, Bronx County (William Mogulescu, J.), rendered August 23, 1999, convicting defendant, after a nonjury trial, of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds (two counts) and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, and sentencing him, as a second felony offender, to an aggregate term of 5 1/212 to 11 years, unanimously affirmed.

The court properly exercised its discretion in permitting the People to cross-examine defendant briefly concerning his work history, since defendant had mentioned his place of employment on direct examination and, under the facts of this case, his work background was relevant to his credibility (see People v. Schwartzman, 24 N.Y.2d 241, 244, 299 N.Y.S.2d 817, 247 N.E.2d 642, cert. denied 396 U.S. 846, 90 S.Ct. 103, 24 L.Ed.2d 96;  People v. Delfyette, 223 A.D.2d 453, 636 N.Y.S.2d 782, lv. denied 88 N.Y.2d 965, 647 N.Y.S.2d 719, 670 N.E.2d 1351).   The record fails to support defendant's suggestion that the prosecutor was seeking to establish that defendant was ill-paid or impoverished, and thus likely to sell drugs in order to supplement his income.   In any event, there is no reasonable possibility that the court, in this nonjury trial, would have drawn such an inference.