San Francisco man upset with health care reform pleads guilty to threatening Pelosi

By Paul Elias, AP
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Calif. man pleads guilty to threatening Pelosi

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco man upset with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support of health care reform pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening the Democratic congresswoman and her family.

Gregory Lee Giusti, 49, admitted making more than 30 abusive and harassing phone calls to the homes and offices of Pelosi. He spoke to Pelosi directly on March 25 and threatened to destroy her Northern California home if she voted for the health care legislation.

Under a deal with prosecutors, he’ll be sentenced Dec. 2 to 21 months in prison and ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from Pelosi, her family and her staff when he’s released.

Joseph Cotchett, a prominent Silicon Valley attorney and Democratic donor, represented Pelosi during the hour-long federal court hearing in San Francisco. Cotchett told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White that the speaker approved of the plea bargain and said Pelosi would not demand Giusti pay victim restitution typically required in such cases.

A disheveled and weepy Giusti told the judge he made the phone calls because “I was upset with her passing the health care law.”

Prosecutors said Giusti used a device that allows users to make calls over the Internet and choose the area code where the calls originate.

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