Thursday, June 12, 2008
In Our Opinion...
Westchester’s Culture Of Corruption
Not only are we the most heavily-taxed county in the nation, we also rank very highly in terms of public corruption and taxpayer abuse. Does anyone doubt that Gary Kriss and his recently-exposed abuses of trust and unauthorized expenditure of our taxpayer dollars is merely the “one”? You know, the one exterminators are referring to when they tell us “When you see one, there’s 20, or 30”. And, it doesn’t matter
whether it’s rats or roaches; it’s enough to turn your stomach.
But, what should we expect, having elected one district attorney three times whose spouse was one of the most outrageous white collar criminals in the County; Pataki’s “best friend and fundraiser.” Most so-called savvy people, when asked why they voted for her, or contributed to her; those who were not on her payroll or direct beneficiaries, or fearfully vulnerable players, would often shrug their shoulders and laugh.
Intelligent observers in neighboring counties were laughing, too, but not with us, at us. Few realized the network that it required to support the proposition, Al and Jeanine Pirro, “Westchester’s Power Couple”, and all that jazz.
It took an enormous network of larcenous, greedy, essentially criminally-corrupt, lawyers, politicians, police, prosecutors, and judges; yes, judges, right up into the Appellate Division. Could Nick Spano have stolen the election of 2004 had his buddy, and former attorney, Judge Robert Spalzino not been appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Department? Jeanine and her cohorts, Larry Schwartz, and Schwartz’s front-man, Andy Spano, needed Nick in the State Senate, for one thing, so they could get their nominees on the County and Supreme Courts. You know, winners like Larry Horowitz, Andy’s “Sonny Liston” in the election of 2001.
Of course, Jeanine knew the handwriting was on the wall when Tony Castro, a virtual unknown, came within six points of her. It had nothing to do with her unwillingness to have to abandon the DA’s Office to run, as she thought she would in 2006, against Hillary. She never meant to leave the DA’s office unless it was for a higher post. However, her expensive polling operation in the spring of 2005 convinced her that she could not defeat Castro a second time.
In her stead, we have Janet DiFiore, a vindictive, arrogant; some believe protege of hers. Not really. Oh, there are similarities, each with a spouse fond of cutting corners and influence-peddling. And, neither of them have the moral authority to be Dogcatcher, much less Chief Law Enforcement Officer in a county of nearly a million residents.
When Michael Garcia, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, published his hotline telephone number 25 months ago, and received a deluge of information about public corruption, few anticipated that so much time, more than two years, would go by with so little in the way of indictments for public integrity violations, given how blatant and notorious the corruption truly is.
Many citizens are becoming discouraged and disillusioned with the Federal Government’s apparent lack of production given the abundance of public integrity violations, virtually in all of our faces. Consider the following conservative, partial listing:
• The County Executive’s Solid Waste $17-million-and-climbing giveaway;
• The fixed County-wide Elections of 2001;
• The 2000, 2002, and 2004 Nick Spano contests for State Senate;
• Police brutality in Yonkers;
• Police brutality and scandal in Harrison;
• Police coercion and subornation of perjury in Dobbs Ferry;
• The RICO-type enterprise in the Matrimonial Part of State Supreme Court;
• The District Attorney’s Office’s numerous civil rights violations;
• The $22.5 million giveaway by the County Executive’s Office to Cablevision;
• The oppressive, unlawful, Amicone Regime in Yonkers.
Given what has been accomplished in New Jersey, New York City and Connecticut to combat failures of public integrity, just how much are we, the hard-working people of Westchester, expected to tolerate before the Federal Government puts some teeth into our Constitutionally-guaranteed right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, free from interference by organized government gangsters?
Our Readers Respond...
Reader Tries Humor On Serious Concern
So, a car full of County workers stops at a bar…no, wait, wrong joke. The car is stopped at an entrance to a park. When asked the purpose of the visit, the answer is the Health Department employees are looking for mosquitoes. When advised of a chronic pooling water problem at another facility, the drivers says he’ll tell his boss. Who is? Name given. The Deputy Commissioner of Mosquitoes?
Of course, the knowing reply. Not so funny when you consider the number of superfluous Administrators in County government, and lack of background required. Then again, they don’t need any because they are told what to do and there needs to be a lot of them so no individual
has to be decisive or responsible. Depending on who you know, no experience is required, one can begin at management level. Full-time workers at seasonal jobs, generating paperwork that “justifies” more nonessential jobs. Folks often say that these wasteful practices happen everywhere. Then don’t complain about your taxes, or feel Westchester County is causing your relocation.
On that point, shouldn’t County employees at management level and above be required to live here and not Connecticut or Pennsylvania?
Knowledgeable And Disgusted