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Friday, January 30, 2009

Westporter’s Final Act as Federal Judge: Freedom for Prisoner

After 23 years on the bench, Westporter Alan H. Nevas retired today as a Senior U.S. District Judge in Bridgeport.WestportNow.com Image
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas (pictured at a Y’s Men meeting last October): “I feel a surge of generosity.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

His last act in his second floor courtroom where a large oil portrait of him overhangs the jury box was to commute the sentence of a drug dealer who had been beaten in prison because he had cooperated with authorities.

“This is the last official act I will perform as a federal judge,” Nevas told Jose Rodriguez, 30, of Bridgeport. “I feel a surge of generosity.”

He said after processing Rodriguez was free to leave the building. The judge’s words brought sobs from the prisoner and a standing ovation from people in the courtroom, many of them federal employees.

“It will be hard leaving,” Nevas said Thursday as he mingled with court employees, friends and associates at a goodbye reception in his courtroom.

“I’m going to miss it, especially the people.”

Nevas, who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, previously served as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, a state representative
from Westport, and at one time was chair of Westport’s Board of Finance.

The 80-year-old Nevas said he plans to work as an arbitrator and mediator to help resolve legal matters without trial or long proceedings.

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Posted 01/30/09 at 10:13 PM  Permalink



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Alan, thank you for your many years of service. Your presence on the bench will be greatly missed. Best of luck in your new venture old friend.

Al Beasley. M.D.

Posted by Albert S. Beasley, M.D. on January 31, 2009 at 05:38 PM | #