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September 8, 2000, Islip, NY,  

Maguire Acquitted

by Stewart Lilker

After a trial that began on August 22nd, Freeport ex Fire Chief, Raymond Maguire, was acquitted by a jury of all charges brought against him by the US Attorney. The jury, unimpressed by the almost two weeks of testimony by the government’s witnesses, acquitted Maguire only hours after being charged by US District Court Judge, Joanna Seybert.

All throughout the trial, Maguire was supported by his family. Every day, mother Maguire sat at the end of the isle and brought snacks for the family. Brother John sat in the front with Ray’s wife Michele, who arrived at Court after getting the children off to school. Ray’s other brothers sat behind. The Chaplain of the Fire Department, Reverend Bob Dawley, as well as other members of the Fire Department, showed up from time to time to give Maguire moral support.

At twelve o’clock, Friday afternoon, the jury retired to the jury room to begin their deliberations. At six o’clock, the jury sent a note to Judge Seybert asking for a read back of some of the testimony. In the same note the jury informed the judge that they would stay until they arrived at a verdict. At 7:45 p.m. the jury sent the Judge Seybert a note, advising the Court that they had reached a verdict. Before the jury reentered the courtroom, Judge Seybert told the audience that no matter what the verdict, they should remain calm. After the jury was seated, the family sat down and joined hands. Mother Maguire clutched her rosary beads in one hand as wife Michele closed her eyes.

The jury fore person rose as Judge Seybert asked the jury how it found on each of the three counts in succession. The fore person said, "Not guilty. Not guilty. Not guilty."

The defendant and the family unsuccessfully fought back tears as they hugged each other and Maguire’s defense attorney, Steven Scaring.

One of the alternate jurors, with tears in her eyes, summed it up from the jury box, when she looked at wife Michele a few moments after the verdict and said, "He didn’t do anything."

As your reporter was leaving the Court, he asked wife Michele if she had anything to say. She thought a moment and said quietly, "Justice has been served."



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