Bill Baroni thanked his friends, family and certainly his lawyers Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in the Bridgegate scandal.
His lengthy statement included another note of gratitude — sent to those he spent time with at FCI Loretto, a federal correctional institute in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
Baroni, who was found guilty in November 2016 of fraud and conspiracy, spent nearly three months of his 18-month prison sentence in 2019 before he was released on bail when the Supreme Court agreed to consider his case.
“I have been asked: Do I regret going into prison even though I have now been vindicated? I don’t,” he said. “My fellow inmates at Loretto prison taught me so much about strength, resilience and determination. They kept me going, even on the other side of the jail bars. And I shall always be there for them. I hope and pray they are well taken care of in this perilous time of COVID-19.”
Baroni said he is concerned for their immediate well-being.
“Today is a long-awaited victory,” he said. “But, as we are all living in the time of coronavirus, my joy in being vindicated is tempered by my concern for the people with whom I served time in prison. This is a scary time for all of us; it is especially scary for people in prison who can’t self-isolate; can’t socially distance; can’t stay 6 feet apart. “
He also made a pledge to support them and others in the justice system.
“I am going to do all that I can to make sure they are not forgotten,” he said. “I have always believed in public service. And, now that the Supreme Court has ruled so clearly, I can continue my efforts to serve my community. And I am going to work to help those who are headed to prison, in prison and getting out of prison.
“I have learned much in these past seven years about our criminal justice and prison systems. And I am going to spend these next years helping those that are caught in them.”