October 24, 1942 |
New York City
Ruthann Greenzweig Aron (born October 24, 1942) is a convicted criminal, former politician and former real estate developer who ran unsuccessfully for the 1994 Republican United States Senate nomination from Maryland.
Aron was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A member of the Montgomery County Planning Board, she lost the nomination to former Tennessee Senator Bill Brock, who was in turn defeated by incumbent Paul Sarbanes. After Brock lost to Sarbanes, Aron sued Brock for slander based on comments he made about her during the primary campaign. Brock had said, at a September 1994 press conference, "She has been convicted by jury of fraud, more than once."
In reality, juries had ruled against Aron in two civil lawsuits in which former business partners accused her of fraud or other offenses. A federal judge overturned one of the verdicts, and Aron settled both suits out of court after agreeing to pay about $175,000 in each case. At the slander trial, Aron cited Brock's use of the term "convicted" for verdicts that had come in civil court. Lawyer Arthur Kahn, who had prosecuted one of the fraud cases, testified against Aron at the February 1996 trial, which Aron lost. Nonetheless, it was the first time that a losing federal candidate was able to get the winner into court over words spoken in a campaign.
Aron was arrested in June 1997 for trying to hire a hitman, William "Billy" Mossberg, a local landfill owner who immediately went to the police. The police asked Mossberg to work with them and he then agreed to murder her husband and Kahn. She was ousted from the Planning Board in August 1997. At the time of her arrest, she was planning to run, as a Democrat, for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council. In her first trial, she used nine psychiatrists/psychologists to argue that a brain injury and her childhood abuse had rendered her incapable of realizing that what she was doing was illegal. Aron was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder by multiple psychiatrists. One juror held out on her behalf, and a mistrial was declared. In July 1998, Aron pleaded no contest, and in November 1998 she was sentenced to two consecutive 18-month prison sentences.
She was released in 2001 and said she moved to New York City. Her son, Joshua Todd Aron, was a graduate of Cornell University who was working at Cantor Fitzgerald at the time of his death, which came on September 11, 2001, in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Aron's daughter, Dana Aron Weiner, is a psychologist who works at Northwestern University in Chicago. At Aron's trial, Weiner cried to the judge that her mother should be set free with no jail time.
Aron still lives in New York City. In 2004, Aron's case was profiled on the Oxygen Network series Snapped, which profiles female criminals, and also on the truTV series Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice. In 2006, her case was profiled in an episode of City Confidential.
- "GOP Senate Foes Trade Shots". The Washington Post. 8 September 1994. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Aron Gets Three Years in Murder Plot". The Washington Post. November 24, 1998.
- "The Mystery of Ruthann Aron". The Washington Post. February 26, 1998.
- "Aron Released From Mental Hospital". The Washington Post. February 15, 1998.
- The Washington Post. November 24, 1998 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/aron/aron.htm
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