For the third time in less than a month, a Rikers Island inmate was mistakenly released — this one a deadbeat dad and golf pro who walked out of jail with coronavirus.
James Reino’s release was the subject of a jaw-dropping hearing Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Reino, 55, was supposed to have attended the hearing via video from jail after avoiding for 13 months Justice Matthew Cooper’s contempt order for failure to pay $85,000 in child support.
But Department of Correction staff — apparently amid confusion over Reino’s cases in matrimonial court, family court and criminal court — released him late Thursday.
“This was important to me — that he not be released from custody until money was forthcoming to Ms. Reino,” Judge Matthew Cooper said.
“For some reason Corrections says it’s unaware my arrest order is still in effect.”
Reino was also confused — especially since he hadn’t completed quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 at Rikers.
“He rang me this morning and said he was out and that he didn’t know why,” said Reino’s attorney, Stephanie Conners. “He is actually supposed to be in quarantine. He has indicated to me he has seven days left on that quarantine.”
Nevertheless Reino was handed a MetroCard and released in the middle of the night.
“If there were other people on the subway, who was near him? How do you expose people to that? It’s a little bit insane,” said Gary Rosen, a lawyer for Reino’s second wife, with whom he shares four kids between the ages of 14 and 20.
Cooper said he understood that Reino was quarantining at his sister’s home on Long Island.
So this guy was on NYC Transit and the LIRR. Plus there are about 3 or 4 variants out there. This might make the city's recovery a little more problematic.