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Vessel Owner Sentenced in Drowning Case

Joseph Mitlof, owner of Hudson Valley Waterways, in Valley Cottage, NY, was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in White Plains, NY, after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter and false advertising in connection with a fatal ferry accident on the Hudson River near Nyack, NY, in August 1998. Mitlof had advertised that his company operated Coast Guard-certified vessels, but was charged that the ferry had various physical deficiencies rendering it unfit to carry passengers on the Hudson River. Now terminally ill, Mitlof was sentenced to 2 years’ probation. Daniel Sheehan, who was piloting the boat, and earlier pleaded guilty, was sentenced in December 2001 to 4 months' home confinement and a $3,000 fine. OIG investigated this case with the U.S. Coast Guard and New York State Park Police.