Union condemns parole of man convicted in parole officer’s murder
By SHERRY HALBROOK
PEF President Wayne Spence spoke out August 31, stating, “The NYS Public Employees Federation is vehemently opposed to the parole of Perry Bellamy, who in 1985 lured Parole Officer Brian Rooney to his death by mob hit men.” PEF represents more than 1,000 state parole officers.
The state Parole Board ordered Bellamy to be released August 28 from Elmira Correctional Facility on parole.
“Releasing Bellamy is breaking the trust and united resolve that must exist between the board and parole officers. Instead of standing by us, the board has sent a signal that it does not have our backs, that our professionalism and our lives don’t matter,” said Spence, who is a NYS parole officer.
Bellamy was convicted of second degree murder in January 1987 for his role in the cold-blooded murder of Officer Rooney. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
“Bellamy showed no mercy for this dedicated parole officer,” Spence said. “The $5,000 Mr. Bellamy was paid for this heinous act mattered more to him than human life.
“It is completely irresponsible for the NYS Parole Board to have granted parole to this man who actively conspired and participated in ending the life of a brave officer, whose only fault was that he was courageous enough to charge a notorious Queens drug lord, Lorenzo (Fat Cat) Nichols, with a parole violation that sent him back to state prison.”
Nichols ordered Rooney killed by two of his lieutenants, Howard “Pappy” Mason and Chris Williams. The “contract” was executed the evening of October 10, 1985. Rooney was lured by Bellamy to the Baisley Park in Queens where Mason and Williams drove up to Rooney’s vehicle. Mason drew a gun and fired repeatedly until Rooney was dead.
“By ordering Rooney’s murder, Nichols was sending a message to all parole and law enforcement officers that they would pay with their lives if they dared to act against Nichols or his organization,” Spence said.
“Despite the dangers of the job, parole officers’ courage has never failed. We go on doing our jobs protecting the public, and that is what the Parole Board should do, too.”
Spence said, “Brian Rooney was a great officer. He was a skilled professional, dedicated and courageous. And he continues to inspire all of us today. For the Parole Board to fail him in this way, fails us all. The only people inspired by Bellamy’s parole are criminals who hold our authority and our lives in contempt.”
Now another officer must take responsibility for supervising the man who lured Rooney to his death.