Thursday, January 29, 2009.
In Our Opinion...
Let Us Pray For Larry And
The People Of New York State
There can be little doubt that Andy Spano will not be running for a fourth stint as Westchester County Executive come November. Andy would be the first to acknowledge that before his Svengali, Larry Schwartz, came into his life, from Suffolk County, he couldn’t get elected dogcatcher. In fact, he once intimated that he had lost 11 elections in a row.
Having announced his resignation from his position as Deputy County Executive, effective February 2nd, in order to accept the position of First Deputy Secretary to Governor David Paterson, Larry Schwartz has made a far more compelling statement about Andy’s political future than about his own.
Over the past two and a half years, Mr. Schwartz has been the subject of any number of articles in The Guardian. And those who have read our publication, with even moderate frequency, will recall that we suggested his resignation, or dismissal, on more than one occasion. Those suggestions were never personal, despite the fact that he made it clear he viewed them that way.
We never took issue with Mr. Schwartz when he told slow-moving, elderly drivers in front of him that he was “the most powerful person in County government.” We merely took issue with his legendary heavy-handedness, his rigging and fixing of elections, even including judgeships, his participation in fraudulent schemes such as the one involving then-County Clerk Len Spano, his son, State Sen. Nick Spano, a County police officer in the pistol permit unit as well as Commissioner Tom Belfiore and a $100,000 grant to that unit that was, instead, used to provide a personal chauffer for Len Spano.
We will always wonder if the .357 Magnum that killed New York City Police Officer Daniel Enchautegui in the hands of Steven Armento might have been retrieved from Armento’s deceased father’s home had the grant to the Pistol Unit not been diverted.
We are not going to be heard singing “We hate to see you go, we hate to see you go, we hope to heck you never... .”
We will simply observe that Mr. Schwartz was highly competent, tireless worker whose energies and intelligence would have been more beneficially enjoyed by the public he was employed to serve had it not been for his power-lust and deadly vindictiveness. For his own sake, and the well-being of the People of New York State, we sincerely wish Mr. Schwartz well in his new endeavor, and pray for his ability, and willingness, to respond to his “better angels”, more often than not, in Albany.
Our Readers Respond....
Re: Paul Cote
The U.S. court system never ceases to amaze me. How the guilty and dangerous can be acquitted, and the righteous and harmless can get convicted, all based on technicalities and the interplay of words, is simply fascinating!
It is no wonder Americans are progressively losing respect for their court system. The case of Paul Cote is no exception. I am yet to understand how the case of two thieves smearing the blue uniforms that they swore to uplift as police officers (and the uniforms of all the other valiant heroes that protect our society on a daily basis, for that matter) by performing criminal activities robbing drug dealers (the Acosta case), compares, and sets a precedent, to the case of a brave man who wore his uniform with the respect it deserves, loving son, father and husband, who risked his life for twelve years as a correction officer, fulfilling his duty with an exemplary conduct both at work and in the
society he contributed to protect. I simply do not see the connection.
Mr. Cote is in this predicament due to a very unfortunate incident. A very unfortunate incident which occurred while attempting to defend a fellow officer while feeling threatened for his life and the life of the other officers, hence responding under a fight or fly mental defense
mechanism (with all its physical and psycho-social influences know to science). An unfortunate incident which very murky circumstances were never clarified under the court of law and which involved other officers who under a worse set of circumstances (being appointed as the ones causing the most and the most dangerous bodily injuries on the out of control, mentally ill, obviously dangerous inmate) were, somehow, protected and absolved of responsibility.
Incident which conviction was overturned by a righteous judge of this court system, the late Honorable Judge Brieant, whose expertise after serving in this court system for 37 years and decision were deemed insignificant. Unfortunate incident indeed, which exposed so many wrongdoings in our society and court system!
Despite the flaws of this amazing court system, being manipulated by very imperfect, ill-intended human beings, I still have faith in justice. I am confident that the very progressive Honorable Judge Karas will be able to see clearly and divide the intent of man’s heart and acknowledge
all of Mr. Cote’s losses, for merely responding to the call of duty, and the need of a fellow officer under attack, and the very unfortunate incident resulting from this.
Mrs. Prado, Mount Vernon
Re: Paul Cote
With reference to the articles “First Amendment Retaliation at Contaminated State And Federal Prosecutions” published on Jan. 8, 2009 and “Framed Former County Correction Officer Remanded To Jail, Awaiting Sentencing” published on Jan. 15, 2009, both regarding Westchester
County Correction Officer Paul Cote, I would like to give my support for this man and his family. In reading the wonderfully detailed reports of the situation, I found myself wondering, “How much more can this family endure?” The sincerity and honesty of the writer prompted me to write this letter.
Re: Paul Cote
I am writing in response to your article dated 1/8/09 entitled, “First Amendment Retaliation that Contaminated State And Federal Prosecutions”. I feel your article addresses pertinent information that should deeply be considered in cases such as Paul Cote. This, unlike
many cases, shows a course of events that ultimately leads to horrific results for such parties involved and their families.
The details brought out in your article show unfortunate acts that took place while appropriate protocol was followed. Your article shows that there is more to this conviction than meets the eye. Implicating and framing a person should never be tolerated as it can destroy the lives of many people.
I applaud Mr. Blassberg for stating necessary facts that require reflection to this case. Hopefully it will help to put an end to this very long hardship for Paul Cote who has paid for this in every way possible.
Carol Del Guidice
A Weakly Opinion
I found Ioanna Burgos’ recent article in The Guardian depressing since I’m not in favor of that increase here. I’m not Latin or Mexican, so my immigrant views may be quite unpopular. I’d want more Asian, Italian, or possibly Greek, people here instead. They could be more respectful and friendly and more open to “our” language.
I strongly dislike Latino/Mexican men.
A Weekly Reader