And the result is bad. Very bad. Although Kochanski has reportedly been fired, his, uh, "work" may have tainted the proceedings in 30 cases because official records are now missing. At least 10 of them are now being appealed, according to Time, including the trial of alleged mortgage fraudster Aaron Hand, who was also accused of hiring a hit man to kill a witness against him.
According to the Post, a source said that instead of questions and answers listed in the machine-enabled shorthand that court reporters use, the transcripts had "gibberish."
According to an interview with Claudia Trupp of the Center for Appellate Litigation, her office had never seen "a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage."
And in a scene right out of 1980's "The Shining," where Jack Nicholson's off-the-rails writer repeatedly types "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," a source said of Kochanski: "He hit random keys or wrote, 'I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job,' over and over."
The 43-year-old Kochanski was reportedly fired in March 2012 for misconduct. According to some sources, the Manhattan DA's office allegedly arrested him and tried to get him to translate the gibberish. The effort apparently failed and now judges are holding hearings to reconstruct the missing testimony. But even that effort could open the door for challenges from defendants.
The Post spoke with family members who claimed that Kochanski was an alcoholic. His ex-wife claimed that the "pressure of the job pushed him over the edge" and that he turned to drinking and lost both the job and his marriage.
According to the Post, Kochanski spoke with a reporter by phone on Wednesday claiming that he never typed gibberish and had performed his job "100 percent," but was fired because of substance abuse problems. Kochanski also said that he was in recovery and, come July, he will have been sober for a year.
Well, at least everyone can be thankful that he hadn't been typing REDRUM.