Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

More Yonkers Police Brutality

Dear Editor:

I congratulate you and your publication. The facts are spoken AT LAST!!! The black community are not the only victims of the arrogance and abuse of Yonkers police. My husband got shoved violently and insulted by one of the Klan of Yonkers.

It took place years ago on our street as a multi-family house was on fire. A crowd had formed, watching the fire department arrive. The police car was blocking a fire pump and the policeman told the fireman to use the other fire pump. My husband happened to be standing in earshot so he said to the cop why doesn’t he move the car so the firefighters can do their job when he practically got thrown to the ground and was told very loudly by this lousy cop to “mind your mother f------ business!.

As short-tempered as my husband is, he bit his tongue and came home. You see, I just got out of Burke Rehabilitation with a crippling stroke and he felt if he “shoved back” he would be arrested and I would be left alone and unattended to.

I bring this up now because the Yonkers police are never held accountable for the wrong they do. There are so many incidents across the city as I have described which go unreported because everyone knows there will be nothing done about it, no justice so why bother!

Years ago, there was a beating melee at Cornyns Bar/Restaurant on South Broadway where quite a few patrons (Irish) were beaten so bad they had to be hospitalized! Yonkers police were responsible. It was on the news then you never heard about it again.

Yonkers police as well as practically all Yonkers officials get away with whatever they want and there are NO consequences for these despicables.

Thank you for allowing me to sound-off. I am embarassed to say I have two relatives in the Yonkers police.

Comment: At least the Yonkers force could do is try to stay physically fit so they can at least put on a “show of make beleive” that they are doing their job. Three-quarters of the entire Yonkers squad are obese and sloppy looking. They could not possibly chase a thief without stroking out in the process!

Don’t let me start on the female “officers” The one on Yonkers Avenue conducting ALL her personal errands, everday, with the patrol car on tax-payers time looks like she never saw or used a bar of soap and a shower in decades and is in desperate need of Jenny Craig!

You get the picture. The Yonkers police force are the REAL crime in this city!!!


Former Pirro Prosecutor: She Committed A Crime

Dear Editor:

Arguments can be made on both sides about Jeanine Pirro’s attempts to deprive accused persons of
fair trials by outrageous press releases, subornation of perjury, and frequent failures to deliver Brady material that
would likely result in acquittals. We can even argue about her involvement in tax fraud, since the U.S. Attorney
did not seek her indictment when her now estranged husband, Al Pirro, was indicted and convicted.

Nonetheless, there is one matter for which there is no question concerning her criminal conduct, and
that matter largely goes unmentioned by the media. When Ms. Pirro told former N.Y.C. Police Commissioner
Bernie Kerik to eavesdrop on her husband, she was unquestionably guilty of criminal solicitation. - at crime
is committed when someone solicits, requests, commands, importunes or otherwise attempts to cause another
person to engage in any felony, which would include unlawful eavesdropping.

While Mr. Kerik had the good sense to refuse to follow Ms. Pirro’s instructions to eavesdrop, the crime
of criminal solicitation was completed when Ms. Pirro solicited such wrongful conduct. Amazingly, she has not
been charged with this clear and serious offense. Even the court’s Grievance Committee has failed to sanction
her for this publicly-known criminal conduct. Law enforcement has some serious explaining to do with respect
to the free pass given to Ms. Pirro.

A Former Prosecutor

Thoughts and Questions About The Pirros

Dear Editor:

I am in the process of writing a letter-to-the-editor to the Journal News. Last Saturday there was a letter
of a man who complained that every time the Pirros are in the news Al’s crimes are mentioned which he considered “a black eye for every hardworking Italian American”. As far as I know both Al and Jeanine are of
Lebanese descent. Nothing against Lebanese Americans (Ralph Nader is one) but I wanted to set the record
straight and at the same time use the opportunity to express my opinion about them. Hypocrites at best and
criminals at worst but sometimes I think being a hypocrite and having a public position is worse. Most people
seem to think they are Italian-American but years ago Milton Hoffman mentioned in an editorial that they
are not. I found Jeanine’s background on line without any problem, Al’s I couldn’t find. I did learn that you
wrote a book called The Jeanine Machine. Does your book mention it? If you could let me know I’d appreciate
it. I want to get that letter out.

I went to Manhattanville last month to hear Jeffrey Deskovic speech for the ACLU. I have been in touch with him since then and hope to meet him personally. I will include his story in my letter.

Martha Conte

Editor’s Note: Jeanine Ferris Pirro made it very clear July 29, 2001 at the Yonkers Arab-American
Festival; “I am one hundred percent like you!” (Lebanese.)

As regards Al, we have it on excellent family authority that each parent is of Italian lineage.

Yonkers PD And Corporate Counsel Gang Up On Her

Dear Editor:

I was weakened from chemotherapy when I was abandoned and retaliated against by my own city’s protectors,
the Yonkers Police.

On 2-28-06, YPD Officer Dean Renzi from the Third Precinct of Southwest Yonkers appeared with his partner
after my third call to the local police. I stated that a male I now know as Robert Potanovic, related to a Yonkers of-ficer, backed his truck into my person while I was standing. He then got out of his truck and with RAGE, grabbed me and assaulted me. PO Renzi refused to arrest Potanovic saying “he personally did not witness the assault”. Renzi also failed to give me the male’s ID or insurance information even when I stated I was injured. I lost a couple of teeth, cracked other teeth, rib trauma, spinal trauma, and the trauma of the assault. A neighbor passed and Renzi shooed him away saying it was none of his concern rather than attempt to investigate. I called the Third Precinct for a supervisor. FOUR more officers came. The officers only questioned the assaulter, Potanovic. One of the new group walked over to me and said if I persist on obtaining the male’s ID or insurance
information, they could always take ME for psychiatric evaluation.

Taking that as a threat, I called the Yonkers Mayor and the Westchester DA. When the police report did not show MY statement, I complained to the DA and Marty Peterson of Mayor Amicone’s office. Mr. Peterson had Lt. Hodges from Comm. Taggert’s office contact me. Lt. Hodges had two officers take me to ADA Login at the Yonkers Cacase Justice Center in early March 2006 to address the assault. ADA Login met with the two (different) officers but he refused to meet with me, the victim of an assault.

I wondered who was this Potanovic or Renzi that the assault upon me was being covered up. Lt. Hodges interrogated me. When he stated I was changing my story and that he would stick by his officer no
matter what, I then stated that I taped us to prevent any misinterpretation of the truth. He was livid. The
DA’s office had ADA Brian Conway send a complaint dated 3-21-06, to Police Commissioner Taggert.

That was the last I heard from the DA. I sent the additional related incidents to the DA and Internal Affairs.
I tried contacting Internal Affairs, Commissioner Taggert, Commissioner Hartnet, and Mayor Amicone by certi-
fied FOIL requests to no avail. My last call to ADA Conway ended with a threat that if I pursued asking about the police misconduct, he would consider it harassment.

On May 5, 2006, while on chemotherapy, for no cause, a Yonkers officer grabbed my arm until black and blue
and stated we were going for a ride to a psychiatric hospital. He wrote I was admitted when I was not. In the ambulance he grabbed my cell phone, smirked and said, “I bet you can’t tape us now”, and “I
bet you’ll never report another officer”.

I tried reporting this to the mayor, the DA and to internal affairs but they all REFUSED to take any complaint. I have the certified letters. They tried to cover my police complaint on PO Dean Renzi by a false reports and retaliatory acts.

The night of the ex parte hearing I was not privy to on 6-14-06, at 8:45 PM, SIX male Yonkers police officers entered my home without my authorization, with NO PAPERS in hand, came to the bathroom where I was naked in my bath tub.

PO Capuano refused to get out of and away from the bathroom so I could dress. I grabbed a towel, jumped and pushed the door closed with my foot bloody. I demanded papers and a female officer. I was denied. They said if I don’t come out as is they will take me out into the street with no towel, that it was nothing to them. I said they could look at their wives but not me. I was denied any human privacy. Meanwhile I had my cell phone next to the tub and I had dialed an attorney who witnessed the entire event. The attorney wanted to speak with the police.

An officer took the phone, hung up on the lawyer and kept my phone. I was denied taking my clothes, my needed medication, my purse and any life essentials. I was intimidated, berated, and forced out of my home. Sgt. Ache gave me a countdown “10..9…8…at one you are being arrested” as he rushed me out of my own home that I own, reside and pay for with my social security to my mortgage. I was served AFTER I was removed from my home, two blocks away.

On June 30, 2006, I went to family court and entered a Petition for an order of protection protecting me from
my brother. They refused to hear me and told me to come back. I should have been heard on Friday morning. I
stated my fear and the threats that were continual and escalating. I was told to come back on Monday and denied an attorney. I was requesting that my brother receive forensic evaluation and counseling since he was accusing me of his ex-wife’s problems, making false reports, intimidation and harassment.

I was in Yonkers City Jail for THREE days, deprived of my medication, put with the men. I was told that I
had a choice. They could put me in the general population to receive my medication but they guaranteed me I would not survive. I took that as a threat. Then they said I had no choice and kept me in the city jail. Renzi and others questioned me for hours and admits he never read me my rights. I became VERY ill after being deprived of my medication, just off chemotherapy. I was taken to the emergency room twice. The first time I was thrown in the back of a police car, the second time via ambulance.

I was abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. In the emergency room I was alone with the police much of
the time. They had me in shackles and handcuffs so tight the pain was horrendous. When I asked to loosen them I was told “jail is supposed to hurt”. If I fell asleep they would kick the gurney and call me a “fuckin junkie”, laugh at the fact I’m a doctor saying “that’s a good joke”, called a “bobble head due to my neck surgeries”.

Touched inappropriately while shackled, I felt less than human. These are our protectors. Abusing his authority, Laurence Porcari, for the Corporation Council, adopted the DAs case by arguing it 15 months. Mr. Porcari was only entitled to address the city code violations that he superseded into 15-18 misdemeanors on the day of my arraignment. This was retaliation and abuse of power for suing Yonkers in the 2001 Federal lawsuit regarding the city interfering with my property. Yonkers is AGAIN affecting my property by denying me my home, denying my evidence and property, denying me ANY hearing to address my improper removal with no legal process. Not only did Mr. Porcari and the Corporation Council intentionally keep me out of my home, they auctioned a tax lien on my home failing to notify me contrary to law.

The First Amendment allows complaints on government entities without fear of reprisal. Mr. Porcari said I should have $10,000 bail for entering a complaint about a Yonkers police officer (Renzi), and for entering a motion for the chief judge to recuse. The chief judge and his son both recused themselves due to bias. Mr. Porcari is now defending Renzi and the YPD in Federal Court where he again is denying my due process by entering ex parte communication to chambers. This type of action is unethical and grossly prejudicial to a pro se disabled litigant being victimized. Mr. Porcari objected to hearing the TOPS, and objected to me even going back into my home for clothes, my evidence, managed to destroy my entire family by denying my constitutional rights putting Liberty, Property and due process at issue along with the 4th and 14th amendments.

I requested that I be given the TOP evidentiary and fact-finding hearing and for a TOP to protect me from false complaints. The courts ignored me. I also argued speedy trial grounds. The case was entered fully submitted. I then received a decision that gave Mr. Porcari 20 additional days. I sent in opposition. 20 days passed and I still received no opposition by Mr. Porcari who fought me so vehemently for 15 months. It made no sense that he now failed to enter opposition. Judge Daly on 9-28-07 entered a decision that he was dismissing the misdemeanor Mr. Porcari entered due to speedy trial grounds. My other requests were not addressed other than the judge stating that Mr. Porcari only had authority to argue his city code issues.

My home is valuable and they are keeping me from my property, denied me a speedy trial, offered me an ACD that would have ended last July but I turned it down because I’m innocent. As punishment for turning down the ACD, I was denied a trial for 1 ½ years. The City of Yonkers with the Westchester DA are aggressively
denying my property and my Constitutional rights.

I am now homeless they still refuse any hearing. As a last resort after exhausting my remedy, I entered the case into Federal Court for my constitutional rights. After Yonkers was notified on 10-12-07, a trial was finally held where the jury pick was from City of Yonkers employees and the police department. The accusatory instrument which was the statement Renzi wrote and had my 81year old mother sign after left carotid artery surgery 99% occluded, was changed mid-testimony.

The judge allowed it. I had no witnesses testify for me, my attorney did not allow me to take the stand, and my attorney did not even cross Renzi on the fact that I reported him for misconduct and that his actions were retaliatory. After the trial I was asked by my attorney if I was going to sell my property now. I was shocked.

He had given me his word he would state my version and bring in the police actions. He did nothing to defend me or state my side, the facts. He is refusing to enter a 330 pre sentencing motion, doing nothing about the fact that the DA withheld vital evidence and police notes in violation of Brady and Rosario laws.

Dr. Sherry Bobrowski

In Our Opinion...

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Back in August of last year, in The Advocate column of our August 24, 2006 issue, to be precise, We discussed many reasons why We were concerned about the probable election of Eliot Spitzer. In a piece entitled, “It’s High Time Eliot Spitzer Disavows Jeanine Pirro,” we pointed out some little-known ‘markers’, activities while State Attorney General, in some instances involving Pirro that We felt did not auger well for a governor who we were being told was going to “clean up the corruption and get state government functioning once again.”

We noted the fact that Pirro, for her part, was saying she would be an attorney general in Spitzer’s mold, and, that she was not willing to endorse John Faso, her Republican running mate, for governor. Spitzer, on the other hand, was making no effort to promote his running mate, Andrew Cuomo, Pirro’s opponent for the seat Spitzer was vacating, State Attorney General. However, their history of mutual back-scratching extended back several years.

In May 2001 Spitzer, as Attorney General, went after Robert Boyle, Al Pirro’s partner-in-crime for his share of the wrongfully-gotten profits from their “rip-off” of the Hudson Valley Hospital Center, Peekskill. The conspiracy which netted more than $600,000 involved corporate fraud, breach of fiduciary responsibility, and kickbacks. And, while Spitzer would ultimately accept $50,000 in restitution from Boyle, who cried poverty, the Attorney General failed to go after Pirro at all.

Two years later Spitzer chose to totally ignore a 14-page letter of accusation, drafted by Yonkers Corporate Counsel, as per Spitzer’s own request upon earlier contact from Yonkers Mayor John Spencer. That document, which detailed election fraud and manipulation, as well as numerous other criminal practices by Pirro, was never acted upon although its existence and its receipt were acknowledged by Peter Drago, Spitzer’s Director of Public Information and Correspondence, Darren Dopp’s predecessor.

We also pointed out that in 2004 Spitzer and Jeanine Pirro had been caught in a private liaison in New York on FBI surveillance tape, shortly after which he stepped into the prosecution by the Ulster County District Attorney of Jack Gaffney, who had been George Pataki’s appointee as Chair of the State Bridge Authority, and who was
under indictment for the unlawful taking of more than $188,000 dollars in taxpayer funds by means of bogus travel expenses and fraudulent claims. Spitzer permitted Gaffney, father of Pirro’s campaign director, Sarah Gaffney Mahoney, to plead to a misdemeanor involving a mere $16,000 overcharge without serving jail time.
Apart from his telltale actions involved with Jeanine Pirro, We were also very concerned with Spitzer’s activities as Attorney General with respect to the insurance industry.

His heavy-handed dealings with A.I.G. and Marsh & McLennan were most indicative of his governing style and things to come. He compelled Marsh & McLennan to purchase Kroll Investigations, a company actually worth $790 million, for $2 billion, a maneuver that resulted in a windfall of $30 million for his “old buddy’ Mike Chakasky, who had been his boss in Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau’s office and who was an executive at Kroll, heavily endowed with stock options.

Certainly, no one could have predicted, a year ago, that the Governor, who had just been elected with 70 percent of the vote, would now be sporting a 25 percent approval rating. But, his “steamroller” tactics, his career as a prosecutor, with all of the arrogance, insulation, and immunity that he was accustomed to operating with, surely was not the ideal training environment for the executive role he as about to assume.

When he said, “From Day One, everything changes,” few realized it wouldn’t be for the better. As out-of-step with most assessments of Eliot Spitzer as We might have seemed little more than a year ago, We now say, “Don’t say We didn’t warn you.”

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