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Former officer nixed bid for bill pardon
[New York, NY]


February 22, 2001
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Former officer nixed bid for bill pardon
[New York, NY]

Murray Weiss and Bill Sanderson
February 20, 2001, Tuesday
Copyright 2001 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.
The New York Post
February 20, 2001, Tuesday

(NEW YORK) -- Top city police-union officials suggested seeking a presidential pardon for Charles Schwarz, the officer who claims he was wrongly convicted of helping assault Abner Louima, Schwarz's lawyer said last night.

But Schwarz and his wife shot down the idea, saying they would rather get his conviction overturned through the courts, lawyer Ron Fischetti told The Post.

"There was a discussion about possibly applying for a pardon," Fischetti said. "Charles Schwarz and his wife said they didn't want that."

Fischetti said Detective Endowment Association President Thomas Scotto and a number of others lobbied him to apply for a pardon from outgoing President Bill Clinton on behalf of Schwarz. Scotto declined to comment last night.

But Fischetti said Schwarz and his wife, Andra, reasoned that a pardon might leave open too many questions about the case.

Schwarz is appealing his 1999 federal court conviction for forcing Louima to a bathroom floor in Brooklyn's 70th Precinct while Officer Justin Volpe attacked him.

Volpe says another cop, Thomas Wiese, was with him in the bathroom during the attack - and that Schwarz was not involved.

Schwarz is serving 15 years in prison. Volpe, who pleaded guilty, is serving 30 years.

One of the jurors in Schwarz's first trial told CBS's "60 Minutes" in a report broadcast Sunday that she wouldn't have voted to convict if she knew of Volpe's statement.

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