Thursday, January 31, 2008
Needed: A Search For The Truth
In the May 17, 2007 edition of The Guardian, a front-page headline declared, “Perez Killing Demands FBI Investigation”. In the In Our Opinion editorial, we opined, “It doesn’t require the wisdom of Solomon to recognize that neither the Mount Kisco Village Police, nor the Bedford Town Police Department, should be actively engaged in the investigation of the ‘Death by Homicide’, as determined by the Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office, of Rene Perez in the early morning hours of April 29.”
In our September 29, 2007 issue, the front page headline declared, “Bubaris Indictment: Many More Questions; Few, If Any, Answers.” The Advocate column, in that issue, asked, “Will Officer Bubaris be sacrificed for the sins of many?” We were concerned then, and we are increasingly concerned now, that investigation by the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, an of-fice that, over the years, has knowingly,
and maliciously, sent several innocent police officers like Matthew McKerrick, and Richard DiGuglielmo, to prison; an office that has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to sacrifice rank and file police officers to cover the criminal conduct of high-ranking brass, as
in their present harrassment of Harrison Police Officer Ralph Tancredi, would be a serious mistake.
In the September 20 issue we voiced our further concern over Assistant District Attorney Michael Hughes’ direct involvement in the Bubaris prosecution, as we indicated, “given his correspondence in the McKerrick case, suggesting (to the brother of Officer McKerrick) that it didn’t matter if the DA’s Office knew the man they prosecuted and sent to prison was innocent.”
The release, last week, to the media of taped conversations between two Bedford Police Of-ficers and a third unidentified party, in which
the exchange of comments reflected a callous lack of concern, a lack of feeling with respect to undocumented alien Rene Perez’s loss of
life, and the responses of Officer Bubaris’ attorney, Edward Hayes, as well as the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, deepens our concern with respect to the investigation. Attorney Hayes, who has conceded that his client, Officer Bubaris, in fact, drove Rene Perez out to the area on Byram Lake Road, near where he was later found, weak and near death, had issued numerous subpoenas in an effort to get to the truth. The Westchester District Attorney’s Office, not surprisingly, was attempting to quash every one of them.
We have a serious problem with a Prosecutor’s Office that is not willing to permit the truth to surface, an office that says, in effect, “Our mind is made up, don’t confuse us with facts.” We have a serious problem with an of-fice that not only has a bad record in its treatment of innocent rank and file police officers, but furthermore, has been cited as having committed the worst Brady violation (the intentional withholding of exculpatory information) ever seen in 12 years on the bench by United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Calabresi, as so declared in the Anthony Disimone decision.
Three hundred seventy six pages, fifty two boxes, and miles of exculpatory tapes were intentionally withheld from an innocent man, Anthony Disimone, for 13 years, seven of which he spent in State Prison. Every individual involved in that conspiracy, in that prosecutorial
misconduct, top to bottom, should be jailed.
Under the circumstances, it is not acceptable for the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI to continue to leave the investigation and prosecution of Rene Perez’ death by homicide in the hands of the Westchester DA’s Office. That Office’s record, with regard to prosecutorial misconduct, in the malicious prosecution of innocent rank and file police officers, coupled with their “legendary withholding” of Brady material, is surely known to federal authorities and compels an immediate takeover of the investigation.
With regard to Defense Attorney Hayes’ attempt, by subpoena, to gather vital discovery material concerning certain officers of the Bedford Town Police Department, last Thursday, January 24th, appearing before State Supreme Court Justice Les Adler, Hayes agreed to withdraw his subpoenas and submit a motion to the Court by Monday, January 28. Judge Adler, keenly aware of the importance of such materials to the mounting of a competent defense, particularly in light of the recently leaked tapes, instructed Prosecutors that he expected their prompt answer the following day.