Lawyers for Jordan Hart, the son of a former longtime New York Islander standout, have asked for no jail time on his drug conviction in a letter to a federal judge that repeated claims he did not supply painkillers that led to the overdose death of Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard.
The Sept. 19 letter to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, released publicly after a Newsday request, said Hart had been punished enough by losing his reputation and his job as a result of a 2014 indictment that “insinuated” he caused Boogaard’s death.
“The personal (loss of job, loss of marriage, loss of career in finance), emotional (stigma caused to Mr. Hart and his family from the extensive media reporting) and financial tolls caused by the indictment have been severe,” the letter said. “No further punishment is necessary.”
Hart, 33, of Huntington, the son of ex-Islander defenseman Gerry Hart, was charged in 2014 with conspiracy to distribute painkillers. Prosecutors said Jordan Hart provided pills to Rangers fan-favorite Boogaard, fueling the addiction that led to the winger’s death in 2011 from oxycodone and alcohol, two weeks after his last transaction with Hart.
In June, prosecutors let Hart plead to a misdemeanor of illegally possessing Percocet and Vicodin, with no mention of Boogaard. He faces a maximum of a year in jail at sentencing on Oct. 6. Boogaard’s family has asked to speak, and Hart has opposed it. Buchwald has not decided.
In the letter, Hart’s lawyers said his crime was the result of an addiction he developed to painkillers coping with a bad shoulder while a minor league hockey player for the Utah Grizzlies in 2009, forcing him to endure excruciating pain until he had shoulder replacement surgery and kicked his habit in late 2011.
“Well before his arrest, Mr. Hart realized that he needed to change his life by seeking treatment for his pain and stopping his use of painkillers,” his lawyers argued.
The letter said the pills Hart provided to Boogaard were a “favor for a friend and fellow addict.” It noted that Boogaard’s toxicology report said he had ingested OxyContin before his death, while Hart had supplied Vicodin or Percocet bought on the street.
“He did not provide Mr. Boogaard the drug that caused his death,” the lawyers told Buchwald, repeating an assertion in a letter last week opposing the request from Boogaard’s family to appear.
Hart was fired from his job as a private wealth manager at J.P. Morgan after he was charged, and now works for an electrical contractor in Florida and as a consultant to a company owned by his father that operates an ice rink in North Carolina.
Federal sentencing guidelines call for him to serve zero to six months, and probation officials have recommended that he do no time, the letter said. Prosecutors have yet to weigh in on the sentence.