WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The mother of a 5-year-old girl who drowned at a Boys and Girls Club pool said she's outraged that the club's former head blames his theft from the organization on alcohol abuse that began after the 2008 drowning.
Robert Generali's lawyer asked a judge to spare his client a lengthy term when he's sentenced next month. Generali pleaded guilty in February to theft, wire fraud and tax charges.
Generali's attorney, Alex Hernandez, said in court papers he has been in an "alcoholic fog" since the drowning and his life and criminal activity spun out of control. He said Generali is deeply remorseful for what he did.
Generali "lived a positive life. Save for this offense, a substantial portion of which was committed while suffering under the tremendous sense of guilt and failure arising from a tragic drowning at the club, and which resulted in out-of control abuse of alcohol," his attorney wrote.
Retemar Robinson, whose daughter Brianna Murray drowned in the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury pool, said she's received no apology and the club hasn't changed the way its pool is run.
"I was really outraged," Robinson said when she learned of the arguments. "I cannot believe that he would be such a coward to blame my daughter's death on his theft and his alcohol use."
Messages seeking comment from Hernandez weren't immediately returned Tuesday.
Robinson is suing the club. The lawsuit, filed in 2009, said the club failed to properly train its lifeguards, have the proper number of guards on duty and have a proper emergency plan.
Robinson's attorney, Kathleen Nastri, said her side offered twice to settle the case for limits of the club's liability insurance but the club continued to deny responsibility and refused to seriously discuss settlement.
"Mr. Generali's actions do not reflect those of a man who feels guilt or remorse about Brianna's tragic drowning," Nastri said. "He has had ample opportunity to take responsibility and do the right thing by apologizing to the (Robinson) family and settling the case, which would allow him to move forward with his life. By saying that his guilt over this young girl's drowning has led to his criminal behavior is both shocking and shameful."
The club's attorney, Greg Anderson, said the club could not have prevented the tragedy and there was no evidence the club did anything wrong. He said he could not discuss any settlement talks under the state's rules of evidence, but he said generally there is an attempt to resolve cases regardless of liability.
Information from: Republican-American
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