Thursday, December 21, 2006

Public Enemy #1.

Everyone In County Government Knows “Nothing Happens Without Larry”.

It was only a matter of time before Deputy County Executive Larry Schwartz, forever lurking in the shadows, would spring out to sink his fangs into, and consume, yet one more morsel of power, now that his longtime co-conspirators Jeanine Pirro, and Nick Spano are history. His latest quest, however, in broad daylight, control of the issuance of pistol permits, pits him against elected County Court Judges, and would appear to signal a new, andmore brazen approach to “absolute control.” Despite his prior best efforts to remain out of sight, Schwartz, most accurately described as an evil control freak, has chosen to go quite public in this latest coupe, apparently believingthat he will appear to be holding the high ground in a County that has become overwhelmingly Democratic, and pro gun control.

In short, Larry Schwartz, prime architect of the fixed countywide elections of 2001, vindictive, cruel creature who drove a brilliant young attorney from the County Executive’s Office, to his grave, for supporting a fellowDemocrat, and not accepting Larry’s “fix for Pirro:” that Larry Schwartz is now attacking Supreme Court Justice Emmett Murphy, a highly-regarded elected official, threatening to file a complaint against him, and also threatening to disband the County Police Pistol Permit Unit. To say the least, it would seem highly inappropriate for an appointed county employee, who serves at the pleasure of an elected official, to be making threats against another elected official, particularly one who has been elected by the People to serve them for no less than fourteen years.

Perhaps Larry Schwartz has been so unaccountable to the People for so very long, and yet so influential, but untouchable, from behind the scenes, that he has begun to buy into his own imperiousness. That’s always a serious mistake. One would think he might have gone to school on Pirro’s example. In any event, his present effort to wrestle the power to grant pistol permits from the Judiciary, and place it in the hands of County Public Safety Commissioner, Thomas Belfiore, is both ill-advised and against public interest.

Mr. Schwartz must think that everyone has, by now, forgotten the fraudulent conspiracy that he, and soon-to-be former State Senator Nicolas Spano, together with Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Belfiore, pulled off in 2003 for the benefit of Nick’s father, then-County Clerk, Leonard Spano. The scheme involved the intentional total misappropriation of funds, $100,000 in state grant money, ostensibly secured by Nick Spano to aid the County Pistol Permit Unit in its effort to track down and retrieve unregistered handguns, and those for which the permits had expired.

However, under the criminal conspiracy, the taxpayer funds were used to remove Officer Terence Malone, a relative of Nick and Leonard Spano, from his duties in the Pistol Permit Unit, to become a full-time chauffeur for Leonard Spano. The scheme was executed with the full knowledge, and cooperation of Commissioner Belfiore, who Schwartz would now have us put in total control of the issuance of pistol permits. The net result of that criminal conspiracy, involving Larry Schwartz, Thomas Belfiore, and Nick Spano, was that neither the $100,000, nor Officer Malone were available to assist in the tracking and retrieval of guns for which permits had expired, and/or the permit holder had passed away.

One such handgun, a .357 Magnum, that had been registered to John Armento of Yonkers, went unaccounted for upon the elder Armento’s death, and was never retrieved until it was used by his son, Steven Armento, in the company of drug-addicted actor Lilo Brancato, in the killing of New York City Police Officer Daniel Enchautegui.Schwartz’ scheme may have had deadly consequences. One cannot say with any certainty that the murder weapon would definitely have been retrieved had the funds, and the officer, not been criminally diverted by Schwartz and Belfiore, but clearly, their conduct was both reprehensible, and regrettable given the tragic loss of Officer Enchautegui.

In light of the above facts how could anyone even think of putting the Pistol Permit Program into the hands of Thomas Belfiore, particularly, under the virtual control of Larry Schwartz? Judge Emmett Murphy, and other judges who have handled the granting of permits in Westchester for years, have demonstrated their ability to exercise discretion and restraint in honoring the Second Amendment right of honest and law-abiding citizens to “keep and bear arms.” Legally held, and registered, firearms, are not the weapons routinely used in violent crimes in Westchester.

The time has come for County Executive Andrew Spano to recognize that his deputy, Larry Schwartz, having engaged in numerous criminal conspiracies against the interest and well-being of the People of Westchester, is a serious liability whose usefulness is far outweighed by his detriment and harm.

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