Judith Clark featured in Times magazine article

Convicted murderer Judith Clark is featured in a New York Times Magazine article this week. She’s on the cover, complete with then and now photos.
The article  written an old friend of hers  – investigative reporter Tom Robbins –  is a then and now, as well.

Robbins focuses on the former radical’s life in prison since 1983 and her relationship with her daughter, whom Clark left as an infant on Oct. 20, 1981, to take part in the robbery of a Brinks armored car in Rockland. The article discusses Clark’s positive work with her fellow inmates and her educational growth behind bars.

On Oct. 20, 1981, Brinks guard Peter Paige and two Nyack police officers – Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown – were murdered by a band of self-proclaimed revolutionaries. Brinks guard Joseph Trombino was seriously wounded. Nyack Officers Arthur Keenan and Brian Lennon were injured.
Clark is serving a 75 year to life prison for three murder convictions for a role as a getaway driver in the robbery.Paig was killed at the Nanuet Mall when gunman robbed $1.8 million. O’Grady and Brown were murdered at a roadblock leading onto the Thruway when gunmen burst out of a van driven by David Gilbert with Kathy Boudin as a passenger. Clark drove one of the get-away cars.

The families of those killed have opposed parole for the Brinks participants,  though Boudin was released despite their opposition in 2003 after serving 23 years.

Written by investigative reporter Tom Robbins, a friend who interviewed her several times inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, the article discusses her life as a revolutionary to her personal repentance.
Much of her personal redemption came through her relationship with her daughter, Harriet, who was brought to visit her mother in prison. Clark, according to the article, came to face the reality she not only left her daughter motherless, but the three men killed during the Brinks robbery left behind children who were now fatherless.
At one point, she breaks down after being told: “You can’t cry for yourself and Harriet and not see that the children of the men who were killed cried the same way for their fathers.”
Boudin also left her son with a babysitter to take part in the Brinks robbery. Boudin developed a relationship with her son Cheasa while at Bedford Hills.
Clark has lost federal appeals for a new trial. She argued her rights to fair trail were violated because the judge should not have allowed her to go without a lawyer and boycott the proceeding. At trial, Clark and her co-defendents, David Gilbert, a former Weather Underground radical who fathered a child with Boudin, and former Black Panther Kuwasi Balagoon, considered themselves political prisoners.
She gives a spin to her capture after crashing the getaway car into the wall on Broadway in Nyack near Helen Hayes’ “Pretty Penny.” South Nyack-Grand View Police Chief Alan Colsey, who had pursued the vehicle, said he saw Clark reach for a gun as Sam Brown was injured. Gilbert was asking Colsey for an ambulance. Clark said she re-injured a bad shoulder injury in the crash. They had a standoff with Colsey threatening to shoot them until more officers arrived to aid Colsey.
The article quotes O’Grady’s nephew, John Hanchar, now a Clarkstown cop, saying, “One thing about Judith Clark I will never forget was her smiling face as she was led out of the police station in Nyack into the back of that car.”

Upper Right Photos:

Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady

David Gilbert sandwiched by Kathy Boudin and Judith Clark in Nyack on the night after their arrest

Want legal ethics advice? There’s an app for that

The New York State Bar Association has introduced a mobile app that gives judges, lawyers, law students and the public at large instant answers to legal ethics questions on their smartphones.

The app contains more than 900 searchable ethics opinions, dating back to 1964, on legal issues in categories from acceptance of employment to zoning board issues. Decisions can be searched by keyword, category or opinion number.

“Ethics questions can arise in many different contexts. The NYSBA Mobile Ethics App will allow judges, lawyers and others to access the opinions of the Association’s Professional Ethics Committee on the spot from the convenience of their mobile devices,” Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III said in a statement. “The State Bar is pleased to provide this service to its members and the legal community.”

This is the Bar’s latest foray into making the law accessible online. Last year, it launched the eLAP website, a secure portal for accessing lawyer assistance information and services. The Bar also improved its website’s search engine and offered its members discount subscriptions to Clio, a cloud-based practice management system designed for solo practitioners and small law firms.

The Ethics app is available on Apple’s App Store, the Android Market, BlackBerry’s App World and on the state bar website at www.nysba.org/ethicsapp.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association,  founded in 1876, is the largest voluntary bar association in the nation.

Guilty plea in parking lot payroll scam at Westchester Medical Center

A Queens man who managed private parking lots at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla admitted today that he bilked his employer out of more than $75,000 over a two-year period.

James Lozada, 36, pleaded guilty at his arraignment in Westchester County court to a reduced felony charge of third-degree grand larceny. He was ordered to pay $75,860 in restitution and remains free on $50,000 bail.

How much, if any, time Lozada serves behind bars will depend (as it usually does) on how much he can pay back before his sentencing on April 9. If he pays back the full amount, he will serve five years of probation with no jail time. If he pays back half of it, he will serve five years’ probation with four months of weekends in jail. If he pays back nothing, he goes to state prison for 1 to 3 years.

He was facing up to seven years in state prison had he been convicted at trial of third-degree grand larceny, and up to 15 years wif convicted of second-degree grand larceny, the original charge.

Lozada, an ex-regional manager for Healthcare Parking Systems of America, started submitting phony payroll information in February 2009, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s office. He used the names of past employees to get the company to cut fradulent paychecks, and then deposited the checks into his own bank account, as well as the account of his girlfriend.

His attorney, Raymond Cash, declined to comment without his client’s approval.

This week in Westchester courts: January 3-6

The end of the December holidays means court is back in earnest with several cases of interest on the docket this week:

1. Pretrial hearings begin Wednesday for Brian Roach and Daniel Sanchez, who are facing life in prison in the slayings of two men, one a local gang leader, and the shootings of four others in a Yonkers apartment in 2010.

Roach, 21, of Yonkers (far left) and Sanchez, 23, of Brooklyn (left), have been indicted on charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery, burglary and weapon possession. Their trial could start as early as next week.

The pair is accused of breaking into an apartment in Cromwell Towers on Locust Hill Avenue on July 7, 2010 for a robbery and killing 21-year-old Kasheem Little, the leader of the Strip Boyz gang known as “Killa Kash” as well as 23-year-old Carlton McLeod.  A 5-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and two men, ages 33 and 56, were all shot but survived.

Police are still searching for a third suspect, 23-year-old Ronnell Jones. Police said Jones has been dressing like a woman to avoid arrest.

2. Two men accused of grand larceny are set to make court appearances this week. Former parking lot manager James Lozada of Queens is scheduled to be arraigned by Superior Court Information on Wednesday while Frank Degrasse, a disbarred lawyer from South Salem, is to be sentenced on Thursday.

Lozada, 36, who managed a parking lot at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, is accused of keeping past employees names on the payroll from February 2009 to February 2011 so he could cash their paychecks and deposit others into his girlfriend’s bank account, according to the county District Attorney’s office.

Degrasse, who is a former New York City police detective, pleaded guilty Oct. 4 to first-degree scheme to defraud, a charge punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison. The plea covered the entire 31-count indictment that he was facing, which included charges of second-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a forged instrument, identity theft and falsifying business records, all felonies.

3. The convicted sex offender known as “Dr. Hunter” is due to make another pretrial court appearance on Thursday.

Lawrence Bottone, 53, (left) is accused of torturing five young minority men in a phony security-training program and faces numerous charges of assault, unlawful imprisonment and criminal impersonation.

Prosecutors say Bottone, from Stamford, Conn., brutalized men in their late teens and early 20s with broom handles, chains and pins in an elaborate scheme in which he posed as a security force trainer in Westchester.  He is being held on $250,000 bail and faces decades in prison if convicted.