again denied pardon
...Joseph W. Mancuso Jr., owner of Mancuso's Barber Shop and a former president of the Connellsville Area School Board, sought clemency for robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and criminal conspiracy charges.
In 1995, the pardons board unanimously recommended clemency for Mancuso
, but his
application was denied by then-Gov.Tom Ridge.
"I'm disappointed, that's all," Mancuso
...Catherine Baker Knoll, the board's chairwoman, cast the only vote of support for Mancuso, while state Attorney General Tom Corbett, Dr. Russell Walsh, a psychologist, and Louise Williams, a victims representative, voted against the application.
, 63, was part of a scandal that engulfed the Connellsville Police Department
and members of the department -- including the police chief, who was his
uncle -- were arrested for operating a burglary and robbery ring. Mancuso
was involved in two robberies.While working as a bartender in 1973 at the Sons of Italy club in Connellsville, he left the front door unlocked before leaving for the night.
Two men then entered the building, cut open a safe with an acetylene torch and took more than $2,300.
Then early in 1974, Mancuso
and two men robbed a South Connellsville man.The men entered the home and beat the occupant.Mancuso
acted as a lookout on the porch and never entered the home. After those incidents, Mancuso was hired as a Connellsville police officer.
When police began making arrests in the crimes, several members of the city's police department were charged in a string of robberies.A number of officers were convicted.Mancuso
was sentenced in 1975 to serve two concurrent terms of five to 10 years in prison.He
was paroled after serving about two years. His
criminal record didn't become an issue in his
1990 election to the Connellsville Area School Board
was re-elected in 1994, the same year he
first sought a pardon.In 1999, Mancuso
agreed to settle a lawsuit that sought to have him removed from office because of his
would not run for a third term on the school board.
In return, the courts did not rule on a request that Mancuso
had been convicted of an "infamous crime," a finding that under state law would have rendered him ineligible to hold public office. Mancuso
has denied that political aspirations are at the heart of his
latest application for clemency.He
does not plan to run for public office again, an option that may not be open to him because of his
Court records show that Mancuso
has had no other scrapes with the law since his
arrest.In the past three decades, he has cut hair in his barbershop and has served with the New Haven Hose Volunteer Fire Company, among many other volunteer ventures.
pardon application on file in Harrisburg, Mancuso
expressed remorse for his
"I am very sorry for what I did.I hurt my family and friends and the community in which I live and also everywhere that you are to be trusted," he
, though, was curious about why his
application was denied.
"All they said was they don't have to give me a reason," he
can reapply for clemency in two years, but he
does not plan to do so.
"I don't think so," he