Convicted former Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Gerald P. Garson has been granted parole, 25 months after he began serving a 3 to 10-year prison term for bribery and receiving rewards for official misconduct.
Garson, 77, had been convicted in April 2007 of fixing divorce cases and accepting a box of Dominican cigars worth $250 and $1,000 in cash. He had turned down a plea deal in October 2006 that would have given him 16 months in jail in exchange for a guilty plea to bribery charges.
Garson’s release has been sent for Dec. 23 by the state Parole Board. The board has stipulated that following his release, he is prohibited from being affiliated with any law firm. Garson has been disbarred due to his felony convictions. He is also required to participate in an alcohol abuse treatment program and to submit to substance abuse testing.
Garson had gotten a 12-day reprieve on reporting to prison in June 2007 so that he could “dry out”. He has been in state prison since July 7, 2007.
Garson, former leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, had argued that his bladder cancer, heart condition as well as admitted severe alcoholism would likely result in his death should he be incarcerated.
Garson’s release was “strongly opposed” by the Kings County district attorney’s office.
Michael F. Vecchione, chief of the district attorney’s Rackets Division who was the lead prosecutor at Garson’s trial said “This was an overwhelming case of greed, of him selling his office for drinks, lunches, dinners and gifts and a violation of the trust voters and citizens of Brooklyn placed in him”.