Station Club Fire: Michael Derderian Applies for Parole
After pleading no contest to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter and serving one third of his four year sentence, co-owner of the Station Night Club Michael Derderian, has applied for parole.
One of the one hundred people killed in the fire was Nicholas O’Neill. Below is the statement of his parents, Joanne O’Neill and Dave Kane, to the Rhode Island Parole Board.
We, the parents of Nicholas P. O’Neill the youngest victim of the Station Nightclub fire, are writing to you to express our objections to the parole of Michael Derderian. In the period following this tragedy, facts in evidence presented to the Grand Jury have shown clearly that it was Mr. Derderian’s continuing self-interested decisions that were the chief cause of this horrible event. It was Mr. Derderian’s choice to ignore the laws pertaining to fire safety and capacity and his ability to convince city officials to assist him that was responsible for the dangerous and life ending environment that existed at the Station Nightclub.
It is important for the Parole Board to be clearly aware that Michael Derderian just doesn’t get it. He has always been about himself. He has constantly shown an attitude that the rules, regardless of whom they are meant to protect, just don’t apply to him. He has been found guilty of ignoring State law regarding Workmen’s Compensation. These were laws that would have assisted people he refers to and ‘friends’ and ‘family’. He certainly showed even less concern for the laws that would have protected the ‘strangers’ who came into his treacherous fire trap.
In addition to this, Mr. Derderian was obviously unconcerned with laws pertaining to underage drinking. We were recently informed by Nicky’s oldest brother, Christian, that Michael Derderian had on several occasions offered and indeed encouraged my 18 year old son Nicholas to ‘have a drink’. Nicky, who never drank, smoked or did any kind of drugs, declined these offers.
If this weren’t enough, Mr. Derderian’s disregard for rules and regulations has continued even while incarcerated. After receiving a stunning plea bargain, a Judge who was either incompetent or corrupt, immediately granted this man the privilege of being part of the Work Release program. However, Mr. Derderian promptly lost this unearned reward due to his inability to obey these rules. He was promptly returned to the general prison population for flaunting his disregard for the regulations relating to contraband.
Obviously, being found responsible for the deaths of 100 people, the injuring of 200 more, and the fact that he was now behind bars and in prison garb, have all failed to impress upon this man that the rules are also for Michael Derderian.
For these reason and many more, we the family of Nicholas P. O’Neill fervently plead with the Parole Board to deny Michael Derderian’s partition for parole.