LA police union writes Schwarzenegger about Olson

LOS ANGELES (AP) âÄî The city police union has asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to review the legality of former 1970s radical Sara Jane Olson’s release to the state of Minnesota for her parole. Olson, who was imprisoned for trying to bomb police cars and participating in a fatal bank robbery, should not be allowed to go to Minnesota given that she was a fugitive and not a legal resident at the time of her 1999 arrest, the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement Wednesday. The California penal code states parolees can be transferred to another state only if the offender was a legal resident of the other state prior to incarceration, the league said. The organization also questioned whether Olson’s release to Minnesota was in the public’s interest because her family there could be motivated to cover for her if she violates the terms of her parole. The league wrote Schwarzenegger late Tuesday asking him to review the legality of the parole. Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Lisa Page said the letter had not yet been received. Olson, 62, was freed Tuesday from the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla and was allowed to serve her yearlong parole in Minnesota, where she lived during her 24 years as a fugitive. She served half her 14-year sentence after pleading guilty to helping place pipe bombs under Los Angeles Police Department patrol cars and participating in the deadly 1975 robbery of a bank in a Sacramento suburb. The union agues parole is an extension of punitive prison time, so Olson should not be allowed to return to her family. Olson was named Kathleen Soliah in the 1970s when she was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a violent revolutionary group. As a fugitive, she adopted the name Sara Jane Olson and became a Minnesota housewife, married to a physician and mother of three daughters. The police union and others still refer to her as Soliah. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has also asked Schwarzenegger to ensure Olson stays in California. In a response to Pawlenty dated Tuesday, Schwarzenegger said he decided not to override the decision by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Department officials found “it is in the best interest of the public that Ms. Soliah serve her parole in Minnesota,” Schwarzenegger said in a letter. He said studies have shown that reuniting families protects the public by reducing the chances ex-convicts will commit new crimes. Schwarzenegger said Olson meets the requirements of an interstate compact “for mandatory acceptance by the receiving state.” “Ms. Soliah’s case received no special courtesy” from the Corrections Department, Schwarzenegger wrote. He noted the Minnesota Department of Corrections formally accepted her parole supervision on March 9.