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Peekskill Mayor Rips City Judge Following Assaults

Frank Catalina
Frank Catalina Photo Credit: Contributed

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Mayor Frank Catalina ripped a Peekskill City Judge after twin brothers were involved in two different assaults in the city.

Catalina ripped Peekskill City Judge Melissa Loehr for allowing Ishmail McGougain and Essa McGougain to be released on their own recognizance following a July 14 assault arrest, only for them to be arrested for another assault.

Akeem Joseph, who was also arrested and charged with assault, had bail set at $2,000. All three bail amounts were lower than what the district attorney recommended, Catalina said.

Two days later, the McGougain twins were arrested in connection with another assault and robbery of two Hispanic men by three males who matched the description of the McGougains and Joseph. Ishmail was charged with felony assault and robbery, while Essa was charged with disorderly connect for interfering in the police investigation.

"These crimes were compounded by a sitting judge who released them to prey on other citizens despite their records and despite being told they were the prime suspects in an even more vicious assault on Friday night," Catalina said.

Following the second arrest, Loehr set bail for $10,000 for Ishmail and $500 for Essa.

Catalina said Loehr has a bias against police officers. Catalina said Loehr told him the most pressing issue in Peekskill was police profiling and misconduct and her most satisfying career case was getting a career criminal off on a technicality.

"Her conduct was so outrageous," Catalina said. "In my opinion, it not only called into question her judgment, but [also] her competence."

Catalina also said there were allegations on social media about one of the defendants having a relationship with Loehr's daughter. Catalina said the city is investigating the allegations.

"If true, they will be reported to the appropriate state judicial authorities and district attorney's office for possible prosecution," Catalina said.

Loehr was appointed last year by 4-3 by the Common Council, with four Democrats supporting her. Catalina, a Republican, voted against her.

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