NEW YORK — Outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spit in the face of law enforcement during his final day in office on Monday. The disgraced governor handed out four sentence commutations and one pardon. Yet most noteworthy to the police community is that he also made a parole board referral for a 76-year-old man over his role in the deadly 1981 Brink’s armored car robbery that resulted in the murder two police officers and a Brink’s guard.
Cuomo said he would be referring David Gilbert to the Parole Board for potential release. Gilbert was a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist organization, according to the FBI. He was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery for his role in the crime which resulted in the deaths of Nyack Police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Officer Waverly Brown and Brink’s guard Peter Paige. He was serving a sentence of 75 years to life in prison with no possibility of parole until 2056, New York Post reported.
Gilbert’s son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, had lobbied Cuomo for his release.
Boudin’s mother, Kathy, also took part in the robbery. She pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery charges and was paroled in 2003.
Boudin has angered the San Francisco Police Officers Association as well as local residents who are exasperated with his policies, Law Officer reported.
SFPOA President Tony Montoya said Boudin’s “swiftest revolving door in criminal justice” sends the message to offenders that there are no consequences for their actions.
“Police are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys in the mind of a progressive,” Montoya said. “Chesa’s good at the blame game. We’re going to call him Mr. Deflector because he’s always pointing the finger left or right and never at the man in the mirror.”
“The perception out there is that are zero consequences for illegal or bad behavior. They know if they get caught, they’ll be out sooner than it takes the officer to write their police report,” Montoya continued. “Rather than the politicians becoming numb to it, I think they’re in denial. They are flat out in denial that it’s occurring. It’s not secret we have an open air drug market.”
Meanwhile, Cuomo ordered the release of four other prisoners, including 68-year-old Paul Mingo, who was sentenced in 1983 to serve 50-to-life in the 1980 robbery-murder of a Queens couple, the New York Post reported.
Another clemency recipient was 62-year-old Robert Ehrenberg, who received a 50-to-life sentence after he shot and killed a man during a 1992 robbery.
The fourth commutation recipient was 66-year-old Ulysses Boyd, who was convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a 1986 killing at a Harlem crack house.
The fifth was 59-year-old Paul Clark, convicted of second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons possession after shooting and killing a 17-year-old at a block party near his Brooklyn home in 1980.
Cuomo also handed a pardon to Lawrence Penn III, the founder of private equity firm Camelot Acquisitions who served two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2015 to stealing more than $9 million from investors.
In his statement, the outgoing governor lauded the accomplishments of the men while they were incarcerated.
Last week, Cuomo granted clemency and pardons to 10 convicted felons, three of whom had been jailed for murder, according to the New York Post. He announced his resignation Aug. 10 amid the mounting pressure from the ongoing sexual assault allegations, Law Officer reported. The decision came after a report released by the state attorney general’s office showed he had sexually harassed 11 women—including nine current or former state employees—in violation of state and federal law.