Honorable Stanley R. Chesler, U.S.D.J.

United States District Court

Frank R. Lautenberg U.S. Post Office & Courthouse

2 Federal Square

Newark, New Jersey 07102


United States v. Gary Vitta

Crim. No. 15-01


Dear Judge Chesler,


I am writing this letter in support of my friend and next door neighbor Dr. Gary Vitta. I am hoping that my letter will help you understand what a wonderful person Gary is, and that if any person was deserving of leniency from the court, it would be Dr. Vitta. Since Gary has had these charges to contend with, all has not been right in our wonderful neighborhood.  Mostly that is because Gary is not only the glue that binds many of us in the neighbor together, but his love of life and friends helps create a great community.

It is best for me to explain this through some of my interactions with Gary over the last 9 years. Many people know of the public figure, Dr. Vitta, who has given part of his salary up to help fund school programs. But few know the small things Gary does on a regular basis.  Gary was one of the first neighbors to welcome us to the community. He came to my house to welcome us with a bottle of wine. Despite several years difference between Gary and myself in age, he invited me to meet the other guys in the neighborhood at his house for cards. And ever since, he has been involving my family in holiday parties and even his daughter’s wedding.

My eldest child is a 9 year old boy, with ADHD. He always greets Gary in the back yard. Gary always takes the time to talk with him and make him feel special. Recently, we were faced with the hard decision to place our son on medications for his ADHD. His teachers felt that my son was bright but not living up to his potential. Gary caught wind of the situation, and reached out to myself and my wife. Gary, as a retired educator, offered to talk to us and give us advice. He evaluated our son for us, and then, guided us forward. He did this out of friendship and concern for a child.  Not until now has he been credited with helping us, it was just one of those things Gary does for those around him.

Gary loves the holidays and being with his family and friends to celebrate. He always had a Christmas party at his house, lights go up and friends come over. He sends emails out reminding us to save the date, 1 year, 6 months and more frequently as the day approaches. Unfortunately, this party was canceled this past year. My wife and I, the Jewish neighbors were always there and warmly welcomed, along with the other guests from all parts of Gary’s life. Gary would always include us and always, make sure to wish us Happy Holidays on our Holidays too.  Another selfless, act by Gary, involves of all things, a tree. One of the items Gary always loved was this giant blue spruce tree, along the driveway leading up to his house. It was a beautiful tree, and Gary would call it his Christmas tree. He was fond of it. Unfortunately, it blocked the magnificent view from my dining room out to the valley in the distance. I once jokingly asked Gary if he would mind if I cut it down, to enhance my view. He was not happy with cutting down such a beautiful tree, especially his Christmas tree, but he said, “if you really wish to cut it down, please go ahead.” This is a truly giving man, who was willing to let me cut down, his favorite tree, so I could have a better view that he would not get to enjoy.

I could go on and on about small and larger things this wonderful man has done, for myself, my family, and our neighborhood. Our neighborhood has not been the same since Gary has been under this cloud. He has truly done a lot for many people and brought education and joy to those he has touched. I wish, I could do more to help him in his time of need, more than writing this letter. Gary has certainly paid it forward for his whole life. And for it he, has made his corner of the world a better place. I hope this one time he can have the favor returned to him, and maybe the court can show leniency upon Gary and lift this cloud. It would not only be a favor to Gary and his wonderful family, but you would be doing a favor to our whole community and returning it to the way it was before this cloud descended upon all of us.


Thank you for your consideration


Michael Gutkin, M.D.