The fact that disgraced judge Gerald Garson will be home for the holidays is “reprehensible” and a “mockery of justice,” a group of divorced mothers and domestic violence survivors claimed Monday as they protested the convicted septuagenarian’s early release from prison.
“Money talks and Garson walks,” screamed Karlene Gordon as she and a handful of protestors from the Voices of Women Organizing Project (VOW) stood across the street of Brooklyn Family Court on Jay Street Monday afternoon. “Gerald Garson and his partner in crime Paul Siminovsky deceived, corrupted and destroyed lives with judicial immunity and protection. Sentenced to a county club, resort-like prison, then allowed to escape his judicial slap on the wrist, Garson’s early release from jail is a slap in the faces of those lives he irreparably destroyed,” she added. “He will complete his sentence, yet the families he injured, on so many different levels, are still serving the sentence this felon imposed on them. His victims continue to suffer in silence without justice or recourse.”
Gordon said she knows about suffering in silence all too well.
Ten years ago Siminovsky helped her ex-husband get full custody of their children under what she claimed to be bogus circumstances. She’s still fighting to get custody. The case was never re-opened, despite Simonovsky’s arrest and conviction for bribing Garson.
VOW, an assemblage of domestic violence survivors working to reform the New York Family Court system, said Garson’s arrest was an example on how domestic abuse victims are further abused when they are forced to stand in front of easily swayed jurists with dollar signs in their eyes.
In 2007, Garson was convicted of bribe receiving and receiving a reward for official misconduct after he was charged with throwing divorce cases to whichever lawyer could feed his hunger for fine food and pricey vacations.
Siminovsky was one of those lawyers. In fact, after he found himself in a spot of trouble, he offered to take part in the sting that took Garson down.
At his sentencing, Garson said that he was “profoundly sorry” for his behavior and that he was “appalled, embarrassed and ashamed” of his conduct.
He was sentenced to three to seven years in prison, yet a state law passed in 1997 allowed his sentencing to be reduced by one-sixth if he holds a “good prison record and accomplishes the milestones that were set for him,” a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Correctional Services said.
“There has been 30,000 inmates who have taken advantage of this small reduction,” the spokesperson said.
Garson was transferred from Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, New York, to the Fulton Correctional Facility in Harlem back on October 2. He will remain in a temporary release program until his full release on December 23 -- six months early.
A spokesperson for the Kings County District Attorney’s office did not comment on Garson’s early release.
Last month, Michael Vecchione, chief of the DA’s Rackets Division, sent a letter to the New York Department of Parole, demanding that the early release be halted.
“This was an overwhelming case of greed, of selling his office for drinks, lunches, dinners and gifts and of violation of the trust the voters and citizens of Brooklyn placed in him,” Vecchione wrote. “He should serve all the time the law requires him to serve.”