Friday, August 02, 2013
Zito Approves Gregory Parole Request
Following a brief hearing this morning, Judge Leonard Zito approved defense lawyer Gary Asteak's request to release two-time PFA offender Jim Gregory on parole. This ruling follows the completion of a psychological evaluation, which Judge Zito sealed from public scrutiny at the request of Asteak. The normally loquacious Gregory said nothing today. Neither his victim nor her mother appeared in Court to voice any objection.
Asteak did the talking, claiming that Gregory has been "humbled by his experience" in jail. "He's lost a lot," added the flamboyant Easton attorney.
Judge Zito was concerned that a parole plan be established before Gregory's release. Chief probation officer Dan Tone told the Court he would have to review the evaluation before devising a plan for Gregory. That could come as early as this afternoon or Monday.
Asteak stated Gregory will agree to psychotherapy for "personality issues" revealed by the evaluation, but stressed that Gregory "poses neither a threat to himself or others."
Tone, who sat through Gregory's contempt hearings on the PFA, stated that any parole plan devised would require "intensive supervision," at least in the initial stages. Judge Zito even suggested some form of electronic monitoring.
Gregory did much better in Court with Gary Asteak at his side than when relying upon the advice of West Easton gun nut Tricia Mezzacappa, who posted their jailhouse conversations and caricatured Judge Zito on a clown wig and as himself the victim of an assault.
Mezzacappa was not in Court today.
Gregory was himself a human services caseworker who dealt with the mentally ill. A former police officer, he served as President of Bethlehem City Council several years ago and was a public sector union activist. In June, he announced an independent campaign for Bethlehem mayor. When he learned that state election laws made an independent run impossible for him, he decided to mount a write-in campaign instead.