Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Advocate
Richard Blassberg

Chief David Hall And Captain Anthony Marriccini: Two Rogue Cops With Dirty Hands

Harrison Police Chief David Hall and Captain Anthony Marriccini are two police officers unworthy of command or respect. Acting in concert for many years now, they have engaged in, and covered up numerous unlawful acts, their own, and those of others, including former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, conspiring and executing schemes calculated to deprive decent fellow police officers, innocent citizens, and taxpayers of every stripe, of their Constitutionallyguaranteed right to Due Process and Equal Protection Under Law.

For the most part their crimes against the community are federal in nature, and deserve the utmost attention of federal authorities. Their connivance and lies have known no limit, extending across the boundaries of reasonableness and common decency. In April of 2002 they willingly responded to the dictates of Jeanine Pirro who unlawfully demanded that they destroy their investigation, some four hours in progress, into the assault upon, and willful neglect of a severely injured Harrison High School student, Robert Viscome, Jr. resulting in death from
serious head trauma, and failure to receive immediate emergency attention.

Despite having elicited inculpating statements, and having prepared criminal histories, and arrest reports, from several youths, including John Porzio, Jr., all materials were ordered destroyed, to protect Porzio, at whose house the assault had occurred, a house known to police as a drug “safe-house,” and other youths including Christine Pirro, daughter of Jeanine and Al Pirro.

At Hall’s and Marriccini’s command, lieutenants confiscated the reports and paperwork that had been generated by responding officers, shredding them after releasing nearly two dozen youths through the back door of Police Headquarters. Hall, whose principal function has been to serve as Marriccini’s public spokesperson, then proceeded to disseminate false information to the family and friends of Rob Viscome, and to the media and press, putting in place a huge lie, that to this day has seriously damaged not only every one of the two dozen youths involved, but also the morale, and integrity of the entire Harrison Police Department.

In the five years since the tragic incident, guilt and recrimination have added still further acrimony and tyranny to the environment of a police department already torn by the multi-faceted criminal agenda, and secrecy imposed
by Marriccini and Hall, aided and abetted by the District Attorney’s Office, and local Town Justice John Voetsch.

At times their criminal conduct has commenced upon their own initiative, as with David Hall’s forging and converting of a $2,500 check written as a con-tribution by a local country club to the Harrison Police PBA, but altered and deposited to one of Hall’s membership organizations. Of course, the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit found nothing in those facts to bring before a grand jury, nothing to prosecute.

More recently, within the last few weeks, Marriccini and Hall have, once again, been reassured of continuing support of their unlawful activities by the Westchester DA’s Office in the form of affirmative activity to bolster their malicious, and calculated harassment of Harrison Police Officer Ralph Tancredi, 42, a ten-year veteran of the force, and president of the PBA, as well as Police Officer Steven Heisler, 28, a life-long Harrison resident.

In Tancredi’s case, an incident involving the officer in his civilian capacity, in which a young man in his twenties threatened him on the street with a sawedoff baseball bat and placed his hand on the officer’s chest, as if to shove him, while in the company of Tancredi’s former girlfriend, was released by Harrison police brass, despite the fact that the responding police officer had approached the assailant, having taken his bat away, and reported no criminal conduct by Tancredi.

Tancredi, the victim, by any account, including that of the young woman present, incredibly, was detained, arrested, and suspended from work. Additionally, although that young woman insisted to Harrison police that Officer Tancredi did not act hostile, or harass either herself or her companion, and refused to sign any false statement, or complaint against him, the Harrison Police, under orders from Captain Marriccini, without her consent, obtained an Order Of Protection from the District Attorney’s Office against Tancredi.

Police Officer Steven Heisler, on the other hand, has been suspended, and is the subject of disciplinary charges brought by David Hall for supposedly failing to report promptly enough about an earlier incident in which Officer Tancredi, again in his civilian capacity, was wrongfully accosted by a drunken patron at a local bar, who later apologized for his inappropriate conduct. Having been dispatched in response to a call from the bar, Officer Heisler, in fact, proceeded to deal appropriately, and effectively with the rowdy patron, preventing matters
from escalating, and reporting back to his superiors as quickly as possible. The charges against Officer Heisler are as meritless as those against Tancredi, and constitute harassment, and Unconstitutional violations of Due Process.

Perhaps of more urgent concern to Harrison residents and taxpayers is the squandering of enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars by the Harrison Police Department at the direction of Captain Marriccini. For openers, the Captain, the Chief, six Lieutenants, four canine officers, and one Police Academy officer, thirteen individuals in all, take taxpayer-paid-for police vehicles, filled with taxpayerpaid-for gas, home every night, and every weekend, to places as far away from Harrison as Carmel, New York. However, as serious as this taxpayer abuse may be, perhaps involving several hundred thousand dollars each year, it is minor when compared with the $4 million wasted on overtime, and other unnecessary expenses incurred in the so-called Fugasi Gambling Investigation.

The investigation was bogus, intended as a method by which Captain Marriccini could pay out enormous amounts of overtime to four or five executives of the PBA and some 15 other PBA members in his effort to bribe, and win over their support following the filing of a federal lawsuit by some twelve Harrison Police Officers who had been unlawfully subjected to the taping and recording of their locker room activities, in March of last year.

The involvement of some twenty officers in the bogus operation caused normal tours to frequently run short of manpower. Where six officers had normally been on the road three or four were compelled to cover, clearly an unwarranted safety risk for Harrison residents. After many months, and the squandering of four million dollars, only one Harrison resident was arrested. There was one gun arrest, and a number of misdemeanor gambling charges; pitifully little. Furthermore, the huge investment netted less than $800,000 in gambling proceeds.

Seeking to help Hall and Mariccini justify their unwarranted, wasteful scheme, once again the Westchester District Attorney’s Office stepped in seeking to lay blame on Officers Mike and Arty Marinelli, claiming they had somehow tipped off the operators of the gambling operation.

Captain Marriccini has instituted a RICO-type enterprise. In an effort to directly and indirectly support his homebuilding, and other enterprises, by obligating certain businesses, in and around Harrison, he has instructed officers on road patrols to issue thousands of dollars in truck violations to certain companies, routinely passing through Harrison. Town Attorneys Jonathan Kraut, and Frank Allegretti reportedly are each being paid $10,000 annual stipends in addition to their salaries, to handle the negotiations with these firms over their commercial vehicle violations.

Chief Hall is fully aware of all of the above unlawful, and taxpayer-abusive, conduct. In truth he serves at the pleasure of Captain Marriccini and his connections. He is little more than a corrupt front man. Almost laughably, Marriccini is the Internal Affairs Officer. Talk about the ‘fox in the henhouse’!

Having been informed of the unlawful goings-on, the State Investigation Commission has done nothing, as usual. Given that fact, as well as the conspicuous collusion between Hall and Marriccini, and the District Attorney’s Office, the above issues, by all accounts a small fraction of what is known, cry out for the immediate attention of the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office.

As Chief Hall and his partner in crime, Captain Marriccini will soon discover, the truth speaks for itself, once stated, it stands on its own. But a lie, especially a BIG LIE, such as was told about the conduct of some two dozen young adults, including the daughter of the DA, who made a very bad decision that may very well have cost the life of their friend; that kind of lie needs constant propping and support forever. But still the ugly truth emerges.

Does the Captain and his official mouthpiece, Chief Hall, really believe that there are any intelligent Harrison residents who do not realize what happened to Rob Viscome, five years ago, and what’s happening to Officers Tancredi and Heisler right now? How stupid do they think people are?

They’re not so stupid as to think that a man obtains yachts, ultra-expensive cars, and McMansion homes on an honest policeman’s salary, not even an over-paid Captain’s. They know there have been many lies, and that beneath the silent surface induced by intimidation, rests a willingness everywhere to come forward with the truth, if only to lay down one’s heavy burden, and finally relieve one’s conscience. Many already have begun, and the truth is percolating to the surface everywhere throughout Westchester, including Harrison. People are waking up and smelling the coffee as Hall and Marriccini will soon discover.

At Officer Tancredi's arraignment in Harrison Town Court Friday, Aug. 17, his attorney, Jonathan Lovett, requested a change of venue, as well as the removal of temporary Orders Of Protection from his client. He indicated that he will be going into Federal Court with the matter to address serious violations of his client's Constitutional rights.

Judge Mark Lust adjourned the proceeding until Friday, Aug. 24th and, over the objections of the District Attorney’s Office, refused to continue the Orders of Protection beyond one more week. It was clear to those present in Court that Of-ficer Tancredi has an enormous base of support amongst rank and file police officers and that Captain Marriccini and Chief Hall will not be getting away with it this time.

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