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December 30, 2005

Reduced sentences recommended in S.I. ferry crash

According to published reports, Chief Probation Officer Tony Garopollo has recommended sharply reduced prison terms for two men who pleaded guily to charges related to the October 2003 Staten Island ferry crash that cost 11 lives.

Garopollo recommends that ferry pilot Richard Smith be sentenced to three months in prison and ferry supervisor Patrick Ryan get six months.

Both recommended sentences are far more lenient than sentencing guidelines would indicate.

According to a New York Times report, Garoppolo, found the "lion's share" of blame in the crash rests with the senior management at New York City's Department of Transportation.

"The D.O.T. Commissioner [Iris Weinshall] and her deputies exercised inadequate oversight of the ferry service management, and the management plan for the ferry service that the D.O.T. put in place was severely flawed," the Times quotes Garopollo as writing.