Another successful jailhouse conversion.
Muslim chaplain 'smuggled' box-cutter blades into jail
By REUVEN BLAU and DAN MANGAN
Last Updated: 8:38 PM, February 3, 2010
A city Department of Correction Muslim chaplain who served 14 years in prison for murder and robbery was arrested today for carrying three utility blades and a pair of scissors into a lower Manhattan jail — the latest in a series of black eyes for that facility, authorities said.
The chaplain, Zulqarnain Abdu-Shahid, had the utility blades and scissors in his duffel bag when he arrived at the Manhattan Detention Complex in the morning, according to the city Department of Investigation.
The dangerous items were found after an X-ray machine alerted correction officers to the presence of metal in the bag, the DOI said.
[...]Abdu-Shahid was hired as a Muslim imam chaplain by the DOC three years ago tomorrow, and has a salary of $49,471 annually.
State Corrections Department records show that he entered state prison in September 1979 to begin serving a sentence of 15-years-to-life for a second-degree murder and a first-degree robbery committed in Manhattan. He was paroled in August 1993, and finished his parole in August 2001.
According to news accounts at the time, the cleric, a Brooklyn resident then known as Paul Pitts, was convicted with three other defendants in 1979 after the longest criminal trial in New York State Supreme Court history – one year, three months and three days. Pitts and his co-defendants had held up a Harlem supermarket on Dec. 9, 1976, and during the robbery shot and killed a 30-year-old customer named Philip Crawford.
The Post also has learned that his criminal record includes an arrest for sexual assault in Queens, but that case later was dismissed.
Abdu-Shahid’s lawyer, McQueeney, said, "He’s been out of prison since the early ’90s. He’s completely reformed."
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
From the NY Post: