County Executive’s Corner: “Justice for Paula”

By County Executive Ed Day

Justice has been stolen. Ripped from the hearts of the friends and family of Paula Bohovesky. Torn away from the Pearl River and Rockland community. The New York State Parole Board has decided to release Richard LaBarbera; one of the men convicted of brutally murdering 16-year-old Paula in the fall of 1980.

This beast of a man, responsible for taking away all of Paula’s tomorrows and stealing her right to a future filled with hopes and dreams, will soon walk free. Possibly here in Pearl River, a hamlet victimized by his actions nearly 40 years ago.

For reasons unknown, a broken parole system charged to be a purveyor of justice has instead given us a perversion of justice. Worse yet is that many believe this same Parole Board is poised to repeat this utter abomination by giving freedom to Robert McCain, the other cretin who was part of Paula’s vicious murder.

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at a protest in Pearl River and have spoken about this issue on Fox News to draw National attention to our community. My message and the message of others has been clear.

To paraphrase Irish statesman Edmund Burke, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” In Pearl River we stood together, more than 1,600 strong to say enough!

The good people of Pearl River and of Rockland County will never “do nothing.” We place the responsibility for righting this grievous wrong squarely on the shoulders of the man responsible for appointing the members of the Parole Board; Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Right now, we need to look past what we are feeling; shock, anger, pain, betrayal, hatred, disbelief, and more. We must suspend these understandable reactions while we focus our hearts and minds on restoring justice for Paula.

The Governor is known as a man who gets things done. He is the only person in position to right this wrong. I ask you all now to join me in this, please call Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office at (518) 474-8390, and press “2” and wait to speak to a person, or press “1” to get to the answering machine.

While the Governor cannot directly overrule the Parole Board, he can ask that they hear these parole cases in front of the entire Board instead of just the 3-member panel which already granted LaBarbera parole.

I ask the Governor, as a father of three daughters, to let Paula’s final moments on this earth weigh as heavily on your mind as it does on all of ours. Then take the action you know in your heart must be done. Justice must be restored. To do any less is both a disgrace and an outrage.

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