Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Readers Respond...

Dear Editor:

Mrs. Frishman’s comments on ALS have always been a moving target. I will comment only on one aspect of her statements to you. At public meetings she has stated variously that we should have anywhere from a 2-to-7-minute response ttime, even though there are no national standards. Westchester EMS covers an area of approximately 30 square miles in New Castle. From 40 years of driving emergency vehicles, the traffic and road conditions make it impossible to meet these times with one vehicle. Using a mandatory 2-minute response would require pre-positioning of some eight to 10 ambulances, 5 minutes to three to five ambulances and two ambulances for seven minutes. It is only when you allow nine to 10 minutes response can you use one vehicle.

No meaningful discussion of cost-saving can take place until the number of rigs is determined based on a definitive standard. In 40 years of emergency responses I cannot think of a single case where saving two minutes would have made a difference in the outcome. As it is, it is not unusual to have two paramedics provided by Westchester EMS for a serious problem.

Erik Nicolaysen

Dear Editor:

We don’t have to go back to the Wild West days and Judge Roy Bean to deal with biased, kangaroo courts. The Westchester Supreme Court is carrying on the tradition.

We, too, have been suffering from severe personal and financial injury because of due process, and equal protection violations, even though our issues are not matrimonial ones. We are on the brink of losing our home any day now because of corruption, abuse by the court, unethical lawyers, the District Attorney’s office headed by Jeanine Pirro and Janet Fiore, and a host of characters, including my sister in law, her purported lover-employer who is the salaried chairman of a non- for- profit museum, and questionable lawyers who, in concert, committed the crimes of fraud, forgery, conspiracy, perjury, identity theft, grand Larceny, misprision, who the DA’s office excused from criminal prosecution. Even the local police wouldn’t do anything about the crimes because they said they had to get orders from the DA’s office first. No wonder Mortgage Fraud is on the rise.
Whose gonna bother the thieves?!

Subsequently, a crass, and unruly judge made up her own facts, and ordered the house sold at auction, though it’s not a foreclosure. It’s time for a shakeup-who oversees the crooked overseersthose in power-the shady judges and law enforcers who could ruin a family’s entire life for a few bucks in their own pockets, or for political favors?

Who told them they are the law rather than the protectors of it? Although every lawyer and other Legal Beagle who knows of our situation said what’s being done to us is totally illegal, and the crooks can’t get away with it, those legal beagles in power the FBI, said they don’t have the budget to pursue crimes that concerns less than a million dollars! Hey people, where are the rights of the everyday working honest man and woman that the
constitution was framed for?

Suzanne Fiore

In Our Opinion...

Last Tuesday The Westchester Guardian was present when the “White Sergeant,” a correction officer with the Westchester County Department of Corrections, Sergeant Paul Schartau, appeared at the County Attorney’s Office for a hearing “in accordance with the provisions of Section 75 of the New York State Civil Service Law.”

Mr. Schartau, had sent two letters to The Guardian, detailing circumstances at the County Jail, and what he felt were the underlying, retaliatory, reasons for his disciplinary hearing. The Guardian’s sole purpose in attending
the first of several sessions was to make an independent determination that Paul Schartau would, in fact, be given Due Process.

It was evident Mr. Schartau was not abandoned by either his union, or their legal counsel. Prior to the opening of the formal hearing before Hearing Officer Steven Sledzik, Robert Buckley, President of the SOA, (Superior Officers Association, representing all Correction Officers with rank of sergeant or above), and union attorney Frank Marocco, spoke privately with him at length. Additionally, once in the hearing room, in the presence of Assistant County Attorney James Wenzel, and Hearing Office Sledzik, more than half an hour was spent in
establishing pre-hearing understandings, stipulations, and protocols.

Sergeant Schartau, a sixteen-year veteran of the Department, with nine years to go for retirement, has a great deal riding on the outcome of the hearing. If found guilty of any of the 31 charges contained in the Notice of Charges, dated November 20th, signed by Deputy Commissioner Joseph Miranda, over the printed name of Rocco Pozzi, the Department has informed him, “the penalty or punishment imposed upon you may consist of dismissal from service, demotion in grade and title, suspension without pay for a period not exceeding
two months, a fine not exceeding $100.00, or a reprimand.”

We believe, based on our observations, that Sergeant Schartau would receive a fair hearing. Hearing Officer Sledzik came across as impartial, and very careful not to compromise the rights or interests of any of the parties.
Assistant County Attorney Wenzel, likewise, appeared objective, and professional, in his presentation, and witness examination. Schartau’s attorney, Frank Marocco, very experienced in such matters, impressed us with
his diligence and attention to detail in his protection of his client’s rights.

It was likely that the process would be conducted over several days. Schartau informed The Guardian that he intended to present some thirteen witnesses. The nature of correctional work is stressful, and often a precursor of problems both at, and away from, the job. Naturally, with 720 correction officers employed by the County, there are bound to be any number of fact-finding and disciplinary hearings over time. It is important to know that such procedures are conducted fairly, impartially, and without political, or personal motive.

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