Pam Smart and N.Y. Close to Settlement

Hampton Union, Tuesday, December 16, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Pam Smart is seen during her trial proceedings in 1991. Smart may receive a financial settlement from the state of New York to end her 2006 suit against the state.

Pamela Smart, who is serving a life sentence for recruiting her then-teenage lover from Seabrook to kill her husband, is getting closer to receiving a possible payday from the state of New York.

The New York Attorney General's Office requested and was granted an extension to finalize a settlement agreement to end Smart's 2006 civil lawsuit.

Smart, who is currently imprisoned at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York, sued the state in 2006 claiming unfair treatment by prison officials after scantily clad photos of her in a cell appeared in the National Enquirer.

In the suit, she alleges that after the photos appeared in the supermarket tabloid, she was forced to spend two months in a 23-hour-a-day lockdown facility.

Assistant Attorney General Maria Barous Hartofilis said the two sides are close to a settlement which they have been negotiating for the last three months.

"Although plaintiff's counsel, defendants and I have been diligently working on a mutually acceptable settlement, I have just received settlement authority from all the necessary parties in this case," stated Hartifild in a letter to the judge on why an extension was needed.

The judge gave both parties until Jan. 29, 2009 to finalize a deal.