The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


We don't want to belabor the Mirch-No Show Job issue....who the hell are we kidding. Yes we do.

Alleged Public Servant Bob Mirch collects three (3) paychecks at the tax payers expense. He pockets $75,000 as Commisar of the Troy DPW, $20,000 as a Rensselaer County Legislator and $30,000 as....political whore for Joe Bruno (we're not sure if Bruno would technically be classified as Mirch's Pimp but we like the way it sounds). We have even heard a rumor that Mirch will have his own suite at the proposed Jo-Ho Hotel in downtown Troy, complete with red light, satin sheets and hourly rates.

So, in return for all of his service, Mirch pockets $125,000. We can't begrudge him the $20,000 as County Legislator, after all he earned that by running for office and winning. The DPW job is an obvious pay-off for helping Harry waddle into City Hall. We suppose that happens on both sides so fair is fair, although it is a bit steep for a glorified garbage man.

The $30,000 salary for the No-Show job is simply too much. Last we knew, Public Servants did their job as, well, a public service. Traditionally, a capable person entered public service for a trade-off: lower pay but good benefits. It was a trade off based on the theory that a capable person could get more in the private sector and was sacrificing something in order to serve the public.

Mirch, Crawley, Tutunjian would last about five minutes in the private sector. They simply would not be able to compete. Therefore, they have to pad their retirement accounts at our expense. They all do it, Republican and Democrat alike. Mirch is merely the symptom (an egregious symptom, true) of a larger problem.

The Troy Polloi is now throwing it's full editorial weight behind a call for Mirch's resignation. Our streets and wallets are not safe with Mr. Mirch on the loose. We also call on DA DeAngelis, DA Soares and the Rensselaer County Legislature to conduct a full investigation into No-Show Bob.

It may interest people to see a comparison of what a Public Servant earns as opposed to an average Trojan. According to the 2000 Census, 1.5% of Troy households earned $100,000 or more. Sweet deal that public service stuff. We also changed Mirch's photo under Peanut Gallery (over on the right) to better reflect the true nature of his public service.

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Troy's DPW Commissioner after a hard day at work*

*No Republicans were hurt during the taking of the photograph

Monday, August 29, 2005


Michelle Bolton has beaten the Democrats to the punch over Mirch's no-show Senate job. The Troy Polloi has learned that Democrats had already sent Foil requests earlier this year to the Senate requesting information on Mirch's Senate "job". Now, the cat's out of the bag.

It looks as if Mirch's political whoring for a few bucks is not limited to taking Troy and Rensselaer County tax-payer money. Not content with that, the Man-Whore is now turning tricks for Joe Bruno. The only trough Mirch hasn't got his snout in is the Federal Government trough. Maybe Sweeney can hook him up with something. Come on John, Mirch needs a few more dollars to feather his retirement nest.

Mirch, 56, is Troy's $75,000-a-year commissioner of public works. He's the Rensselaer County Legislature's $20,000-a-year elected majority leader. And, though not widely known, he's a $30,000-a-year constituent liaison for state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick.

"I don't see it as a conflict, I see it as a public service," Mirch told the Times Union in a phone interview Friday -- an interview from his cellphone while he drove.

"That's the way my parents raised me," Mirch said. "I take calls on a range of issues pretty much seven days a week. I represent the majority leader in his district. People come to me with problems."

If you've had any dealings with Mirch you can't help but listen to him babble on about: being on duty 24-7 as Troy DPW Commisar; how he works for Troy a gazillion hours every day; how he's in bed by 9:00PM. Of course, everyone knows that he spends every weekend in his Lake George trailer. Blah, blah, blah.

Where does he find time for two full-time positions as well as his County legislative duties, his Conservative Party duties and his private business, "Victory Lane" a consulting firm?

Mirch's constituent relations position with the Senate has never been publicized. In fact, it's a fairly well-kept secret, though Mirch did list it on his most recent city financial disclosure. Mirch claims folks around Rensselaer County know they can call him when they need Bruno's ear.
He said he works seven days a week, nearly 24 hours a day in all three of his public jobs, with at least two hours a day dedicated to calls pertaining to Bruno.

The public has the right to see these alleged time sheets. In fact, given that his snout is so far wedged into the tax payers wallet, Mirch should account for all his time. Now for some follow-up:

1) If some one calls about a problem in the County, is Mirch acting as a legislator or Bruno lackey? Isn't he obligated to help them as a County Legislator?

2) Same for Troy. Isn't that his job anyway, either as DPW Commisar or a County Legislator?

3) If his job with Joe is such a service to the citizens, why was it such a well kept secret? Why not advertise the fact that Uncle Joe has such wonderful services?

You know what this smells like? You got it!

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People actually support this guy? We at the Troy Polloi say support whomever you like, but just know that public servant Mirch is laughing all the way to the bank.

Friday, August 26, 2005


It's Friday and time for some fun.

First, The Record has finally admitted it's a tabloid! Of course we've known it all along. We're glad to see that they have finally embraced their true journalistic station in life. Well done. Look out National Enquirer. We wish them luck with the new format.

We like to tease The Record but they do have some positives. Sound Off is a true gem and provides us with a good laugh. The sports section is well-done as are the reprint of stories from 1905. Reading stories from one hundred years ago teaches you that the essence of who we are changes very little over the course of a decade.

Finally, Talespin is always filled with useful political gossip which we always plunder.

Also in the know thy self category is Mirch. He finally admitted he's a law breaker. Again, we knew it all along. Glad to see he's finally on board.

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Mirch pledged to fight the two tickets in court (one ticket for using his cell phone and one for rolling through a stop sign) and true to his word, pled guilty. According to witnesses, Mirch threw himself on the mercy of the court, telling the judge that he couldn't do time because orange jumpsuits make his ass look fat.

True to his nature, he went on to whine about how hard he works and how services in Troy are so much better - all because Mirch has a cell-phone.
He said, "It's a convenience to the public. Say Mrs. Jones has a problem on her street. It's not a big problem, but to Mrs. Jones, it's the world. She can call me and we can get there in a few minutes."

Mrs. Jones, recently run down by a driver talking on a cell-phone, could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


The real election season is almost here. Most good candidates have been out making the rounds, going door-to-door and leaving those annoying palm cards in your door, laying the groundwork for their campaign. Labor Day is the traditional starting point of the public campaign and according to my calendar, Labor Day is almost here.

The Democrats face an uphill fight in Troy and in Rensselaer County. A seat or two will not put them in a much better position than they're already in currently. How do they go about winning three or four seats on the Troy City Council and six or seven seats in the County race?

Individual races will have their own dynamic. To create a major change in power balance the Democrats need a few overall themes in this campaign. They will need to put forth their own ideas and vision of course, but they will need to attack the Republican Party as a whole. After all, that's how they won the city council in the first place, harping on the term-limits issue. It's not as if they were out there with any actually ideas. They attacked the Democratic Party for being arrogant on the term-limit issue. The Democrats were arrogant and the Republicans made a smart move.

South Troy

This is the forgotten part of Troy. Among a Do-Nothing city council, Collier and Krogh, South Troy's council representatives, have displayed a real gift for underperforming. Just a few years ago the area seemed to be getting better. Driving through South Troy in the daytime was much different than at night. Now, little if any difference. Add to that, Collier and Krogh's unwillingness to fight expansion of the county jail and you can see what a low priority this neighborhood is for the GOP. The Democrats should hit this area in force because it's ripe for the taking. Discontent is high and resentment among the residents towards the Lansingburgh-centered administration is growing.


Back to this issue. Did Harry lie about saving the city $60,000? If the answer is yes, and we think it is, why did the council do nothing? Wait, they did something: they made sure that half of the commission came back to Troy while the other half stayed in Scotia. Good Show.

Weed 'n Seed

The County is pilfering Troy money and the administration and city council majority are silent. Why? Could it be because County Legislator Mirch is really running the show and he didn't want the County to look bad. Another example of our Do-Nothing Council.

Helping our Vets

Like most of the GOP, this bunch pays lip service to our men and women in uniform. When actions count, they are AWOL. There's the Owens issue: Why can Harry find raises for some of his most useless people but can't find $1,300 for a police officer and Iraqi War vet?

Then there's the Buck story. There, Harry promised to help World War II vet Buck. So far, nothing.

Finally, get The Record to do what they do for the Republicans: print press-releases verbatim.

Those are just a few ways to attack the GOP. Don't waste time on petty things. Go after them and hit hard. We're missing a number of issues here so feel free to pile on and talk about GOP misadventures and other issues that should be raises.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Finally, we get to the meat of the debate. Should Bauer have been stripped of his judgeship and should he be running for elected office?

Since Bauer's removal was sustained by the Court of Appeals, a variety of people have expressed their opinion on this issue. A daily reading of The Record's Sound Off is evidence, anecdotal at least, that most people do not know what they are talking about when they express an opinion on Bauer.

Many critics of Bauer say he was "crooked" or corrupt. To us, crooked emplies some financial benefit and that is certainly not the case. No one has ever suggested, nor is there any evidence, that Henry Bauer was "on the take".

Conversely, Bauer apologists claim he was removed because he was "tough on criminals". Again, that suggestion is not born out by any evidence.

Lets proceed on the theory that the claims the Commission sustained did occur. The fact it is Henry Bauer is incidental.

Here's what Bauer did:

The record establishes that over a two-year period, respondent engaged in a pattern of serious misconduct that repeatedly deprived defendants of their liberty without according them fundamental rights. Respondent ignored well-established law requiring judges to advise defendants of the right to counsel and to take affirmative action to effectuate that right. In numerous cases he set exorbitant, punitive bail for defendants charged with misdemeanors and violations, even where incarceration was not an authorized sentence. He coerced guilty pleas from incarcerated, unrepresented defendants who, if they refused to accept respondent's plea offer, faced continued incarceration because of the unreasonably high bail he had set. He imposed illegal sentences in four marijuana cases, and on two separate occasions he convicted an incarcerated defendant in the defendant's absence by announcing that the case was plea and time served, although the defendant had not pled guilty.

The conclusion is inescapable that respondent abused the bail process by using bail in a coercive, punitive manner. Repeatedly, after making no more than a perfunctory inquiry into the defendant's personal circumstances, respondent set bail in amounts for violations and misdemeanors that were so exorbitant that they were tantamount to no bail, bore no reasonable relation to the statutory criteria and compel an inference that respondent's purpose was an improper one. In many cases, defendants were unemployed or indigent, and thus their appearance in court could have been secured by a much lesser bail amount.

On two occasions respondent convicted an incarcerated defendant in the defendant's absence by announcing on the record that the case was a plea and time served. We are unpersuaded by respondent's explanation that on both occasions an assistant public defender consented to the procedure for security reasons, particularly since there is no appearance by defense counsel on the record and no indication that the defendant was even represented by the public defender's office in these matters. In any event, such a procedure -- admittedly concocted to avoid another court appearance by a defendant whom respondent described as a semi-regular in his court -- was completely inappropriate in the absence of any documentation that the absent defendant had actually consented to the plea.

In four cases where defendants were charged with Unlawful Possession Of Marijuana, respondent committed the defendants to jail in lieu of high bail and, thereafter, after they had spent several days in jail, he imposed fines that exceeded the legal maximum and jail sentences of time served or ten days, notwithstanding that incarceration is not authorized for a first or second conviction of this offense. Significantly, respondent testified that he would probably not have accepted their guilty pleas at the arraignment, thereby insuring that these defendants would spend time in jail for an offense deemed so minor that incarceration is not an authorized sentence.

Before we pass judgment on Bauer, we have to determine if the charges sustained by the Commission are true. Thexerciseasy excercise as a fact finder has investigated the matter, held hearings and found the charges true. The decision was also upheld by the state's highest court. The burden should be on those supporting Bauer to now prove he didn't abuse his authority. If you have any evidence to the contrary, by all means, share.

The defense of Bauer, at least in the popular imagination, is that he was "being tough on crime!" While not quite accurate, lets look at that for a moment. Many people have expressed the opinion that what Bauer did was OK because he did it to people that are "bad". Taken to its logical conclusion, it should have been OK for Bauer to order defendants to be taken out back and pistol-whipped. After all, why stop at just a bit of judicial vigilantism?

As for the defendants being bad....that's a rather immature response. People have rights and its merely logical that "bad people", people who are arrested, will have a greater chance to exercise those rights than people who abide by the law. That's the system we have created through the United States Constitution, the state constitution and our laws. Of course, everyone else hauled before a court is a "scumbag, trash, dirt!" However, when it's your friend, son, daughter or other relation then a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred. If Congressman Sweeney's son had been brought before Bauer do you think the defendant would have received the same treatment received by others?

Ideological conservatives should have been first in line to criticize Bauer. After all, Conservatives denounce activist judges all the time. What was Bauer other than an "Activist Judge," creating some laws and ignoring others?

Ultimately, Bauer forced his own removal from the bench. When questioned about many of his abuses he failed to state that those abuses would end. The Commission had little incentive to slap his wrist because Bauer gave no indication he would ensure the rights of defendants in the future. In time, Bauer would have been back before the Commission.

If you believe in the US Constitution and the rights of individuals, you have to support Bauer's removal. Otherwise, you are only paying lip service to the ideals our forefathers fought and died for.

Friday, August 19, 2005


The Brunswick Democratic Party, all but defunct the past few years, has finally been reconstituted under the leadership if Marty Dunbar. The party actually got up and running sometime last year but we just learned about it a few days ago. Dunbar has quietly gone about building an infrastructure for a viable party.

According to sources, most of the committee positions are filled, they will have their second fundraiser next week (7:00PM, Styx Restaurant on Rt. 2) and they have.....candidates for town and county races.

This may not sound like a big deal to most of you but it's a start. As noted above, the town party was dead up until last year. We don't know why but it may have had something to do with Brunswick being Bruno's home turf. Now, they have committee people, candidates and a small but growing treasury. Signs of life in the Brunswick Mafias's backyard.

The party and its candidates have latched onto the anti-sprawl feelings that have been growing in Brunswick for the past few years. The big issue of course is the Mega Wal-Mart and new housing projects on, or just off of, Route 7.

You have to crawl before you can walk and it looks like Dunbar and the Democrats are doing the hard work of getting a party off the ground and making it viable. Congratulations to them. Winning an election may be a few years off given the deplorable state in which they found the party, but at least they have candidates and some dollars. A start.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Michael LoPorto, At-Large candidate for City Council, is proving to be no shrinking violet. LoPorto's business has run into problems which have made the papers. LoPorto is now fighting back.

Loporto owns the Sign of the Tree at the Empire State Plaza. According to the Times Union, LoPorto stopped paying his rent earlier in the year and owes over $40,000 in back rent and costs. LoPorto says he stopped paying rent when the state renaged on their promise to provide a certain number of parking spaces. Last week, The state's Office of General Services told LoPorto the lease was terminated and he had five days to leave.

Now, LoPorto has fired back, claiming OGS threatened to evict him if he didn't give the apparently ravenous Office of General Services employees discounts on food for special events. LoPorto also has invoices that back up the graft allegation. Invoices show that OGS was given services at $1.00 per person that normally went for $7.50 to $11.00 per person. That is called corruption.

We don't know who's right and who's wrong in this mess. We do like the fact that LoPorto hits back, hits back hard and backs up his allegations with evidence. Certain Democrats could take a lesson from this political novice. Fight back when the GOP slime machine kickes it in to high gear. Is anyone surprised that LoPorto was evicted by the Republican controlled OGS after he announced his candidacy for a Troy City Council seat? Or that the GOP dominated Dormitory Authority (Rensselaer County GOP at that) dredged up baseless allegations against Dunne? This is the way they play the game. LoPorto, novice that he is, understands that fact.

It's a shame that The Record hasn't covered LoPorto's allegations. Once again we have to rely upon the Times Union. Oh well.

Speaking of The Record, today's Region Section feautures an article about some of the Republican candidates for County Legislature. Only thing is, the writer is not named and it reads much more like campaign literature than an article. Could it be nothing more than a press release, printed verbatim? Nothing would surprise us anymore.

Monday, August 15, 2005


From 1999 through 2004, Dan Shepard operated a hot dog cart on the corner of 6th and Broadway. In 2005 he decided to move to Albany and try his luck in the big city. Things didn't work out for Dan and he decided to return to Troy.

This past Spring, Dan applied for a vendors license for the hot dog cart. In previous years license approval took three or four days. This year it took twenty-one days. Dan had never had any problems in the past and had never caused any problems.

This year, however, Dan was denied the permit (some say by Harry, no less). The reason given to Dan was that area merchants considered his cart a nuisance. Yes, we all know how loud and noisy those hot dog carts can be, disturbing all the people and merchants on the corner of 6th & Broadway.

It would be nice if The Record could look into the denial of Shepard's vendor permit. I know they're probably busy snapping photos of Harry being useful at fires (do those fires start before or after Harry gets there?) but it wouldn't hurt to see why this man was denied a chance to make a buck.

Here, I'll help. Ask Harry these questions:

1) What area business people complained;
2) What are the exact complaints;
3) Were there any complaints against Shepard in the past;
4) How many other vendors have been denied permits on those same grounds;
5) How close is Francesca's to 6th & Broadway.

The denial of the license may be perfectly legitimate. It would be nice to know why it was denied and whether that denial holds water. You got to keep an eye on these guys.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Since it's Friday, we thought a light, precocious post would be in order.

We at the Troy Polloi have not heard from Mr. Gregor in quite some time. Mr. Gregor was guest-posting for the TP, writing a detailed 12-Step program for the Democrats. We hope he hasn't fallen off the wagon. We did hear a rumor that he was now out of the area, having transferred to Cornell Law School. If so, good luck Rob, we hardly got to know ya'.

Now, the TP's first letter to the editor (not really the first, but certainly the best):

Your website is the most biased, unethical alleged "news" website available. I guess it just goes to show how spiteful the Dems can become when they can't win a county-wide election. Maybe you should focus more on organizing your party and less on simply criticizing your opponents. And speaking of criticism, you should also concern yourself with attempting, repeat, at least attempting to determine the truthfulness of some of your "stories."

How dare you, Sir! You have attacked my honor! My second will be calling upon you.

Now, in all seriousness, every day in the United States hundreds of babies are born without a sarcasm gene. Scientists are working to prevent this horrible affliction, but they need your help. Please donate to this worthy cause.

The Troy Polloi and its crack staff of reporters makes every effort to verify the truth and accuracy of each post. Sometimes we spend five or six minutes performing this essential task. We also guarantee that our stories are 78% truthful and 82% accurate (a much better rate than many national publications).

As for rebuilding the party, we are unaware of any newspaper that is actively involved in helping to build any political party. That would violate our journalistic ethics (and frankly, it would be too much work).

Finally, the charge of bias hurts us deeply. We've made every effort to present a fair and balanced picture of Troy and Rensselaer County politics. The writer fails to explain exactly how the TP is biased. It's a typical charge thrown at news groups when the reader thinks a story reflects badly on someone they support. Just because you don't like an article doesn't mean it's biased. Remember, we report, you decide.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


We continue with our series on City Council At-Large candidate Henry Bauer. We've looked at some other judges that have been disciplined as well as the background of the Republican led Commission on Judicial Conduct. Now we turn to the charges against Bauer.

Bauer was charged with over forty acts of misconduct. Some of them were dismissed. Here are the main charges:

On Friday, May 12, 2000, respondent arraigned Daquan Austin, who gave his age as 16, on a charge of Open Container, for allegedly drinking a bottle of beer in a vehicle. (Subsequently, in connection with another matter, respondent learned that the defendant’s name was different from the one he gave and that he was actually 19 years old.) Respondent informed the defendant of the charge and then asked the arresting officer whether the defendant had been cooperative. The officer said, “Uncooperative.” Respondent then asked the defendant, “Sir, are you getting a lawyer on these matters?” and the defendant answered, “I don’t know.” Respondent set bail of $500 and told the defendant, “If you get bailed out, be here on Monday. If you can get a lawyer, bring one in on Monday and if you can’t, we will assign one on Monday. All right?” The defendant said, “All right.” Respondent issued a preliminary Order of Protection directing that the defendant stay away from the location where he was arrested for six months and committed the defendant to jail in lieu of bail until May 15, 2000. Respondent failed to advise the defendant of his right to counsel and assigned counsel and failed to take affirmative action to effectuate the defendant’s rights as required by Section 170.10 of the CPL.

On the return date, the defendant appeared without counsel; there was no appearance on the record by the prosecution. Respondent advised the defendant that if he pled guilty to the charge, respondent would impose a sentence of time served and a fine of $30. The defendant pled guilty and was sentenced accordingly.

Prior to accepting the defendant’s guilty plea, respondent did not say anything about the right to counsel and assigned counsel.

On April 7, 2000, respondent arraigned John F. Casey, who was charged with Trespass, Loitering, Open Container and Violation of an Order of Protection. After ascertaining that the defendant had not complied with the terms of an earlier sentence to a work order program, respondent told the defendant, “You need a lawyer on these matters. Given your gainful employment, if you can get a lawyer, hire one. And if you can, bring one in on Friday.” The defendant, whom respondent described at the hearing as an alcoholic and a crack addict and a “semi-regular” in the court, was employed by his father’s cleaning service and, on some previous occasions, had been represented by the public defender.

Without due consideration of the factors of pretrial release set forth in Section 510.30(2) of the CPL, respondent set unreasonably high bail of $25,000; committed the defendant to jail in lieu of bail until April 14, 2000, without advising him of his right to counsel and assigned counsel; and failed to take affirmative action to effectuate the defendant’s right to counsel, as required by Section 170.10 of the CPL.

On the return date, April 14, 2000, respondent contacted the jail and directed that the defendant not be returned to court that day. At 8:30 A.M., with no appearance by the defendant, a prosecutor or defense counsel, respondent stated on the record that Mr. Casey “is a plea and time served,” entered convictions for the defendant on the charges and issued an order releasing the defendant from jail, notwithstanding that the defendant had not pled guilty and was never brought back before the court.

On the record of the proceeding, there is no appearance by the prosecutor or defense counsel, and there is no record that the defendant agreed to the plea.

On June 14, 2000, respondent arraigned John F. Casey on new charges, Open Container and Failure To Appear. After noting the bench warrant based on the defendant’s failure to appear a week earlier, respondent asked the defendant, “Do you work or go to school?” and the defendant answered, “I work”; respondent made no other inquiry about the defendant’s financial or personal circumstances. Respondent set bail of $500 and committed the defendant to jail in lieu of bail for five days. Respondent said nothing about the right to counsel and assigned counsel and failed to take affirmative action to effectuate the defendant’s right to counsel, as required by Section 170.10 of the CPL.

On the return date, June 19, 2000, respondent contacted the jail and directed them not to bring the defendant back to court. Respondent stated on the record, with no appearance by the defendant, a prosecutor or defense counsel: “The matter of People against John Casey was a plea and time served on an open container matter.” Respondent entered a conviction for the defendant notwithstanding that the defendant had not appeared and had not pled guilty.

Later that day, Mr. Casey, who had been released from jail, came into court and asked what had happened to his case; respondent informed him that the case had been resolved.

On the record of the proceeding, there is no appearance by the prosecutor or defense counsel, and there is no record that the defendant agreed to the plea.

On July 7, 2000, respondent arraigned Kenneth Grant, who was charged with Unlawful Possession Of Marijuana. The defendant was one of five persons charged with possession of a single marijuana “cigar” in a motor vehicle (see also Charges IX, X and XII). There is no transcript of the arraignment. Without due consideration of the factors of pretrial release set forth in Section 510.30(2) of the CPL, respondent set unreasonably high bail of $20,000 and committed the defendant to jail in lieu of bail until July 10, 2000, notwithstanding that incarceration is not an authorized sentence for a first offense of Unlawful Possession Of Marijuana. Since a parole warrant had been filed against the defendant as a result of his arrest, the defendant would not have been released regardless of the bail set by respondent.

On July 10, 2000, the defendant was returned to court from jail. There was no appearance by the district attorney’s office or defense counsel. Respondent coerced the defendant’s guilty plea by telling the defendant that if he pled guilty at that time, respondent would sentence him to ten days and a fine and the defendant “would be out on Friday.” Without the benefit of counsel, the defendant pled guilty.

On March 9, 2000, respondent arraigned Sean Quackenbush, who was charged with Disorderly Conduct, a violation, and Resisting Arrest, a misdemeanor. After ascertaining that the defendant was not on probation or parole and was self-employed as a carpenter, respondent asked him, “Are you getting a lawyer?” and the defendant replied, “No.” Respondent told the defendant, “If you can get a lawyer, I would, because you need one.” Respondent failed to properly advise the defendant of his right to counsel and assigned counsel and failed to take affirmative action to effectuate the defendant’s rights as required by Section 170.10 of the CPL.

Without due consideration of the factors of pretrial release set forth in Section 510.30(2) of the CPL, respondent set unreasonably high bail of $25,000 and committed the defendant to jail in lieu of bail for one week. Later that day, a bail bond was posted and the defendant was released.

On March 10, 2000, respondent signed an Application for Assignment of Public Defender and/or Assigned Counsel. On March 30, 2000, the defendant appeared in court with retained counsel and pled guilty to Disorderly Conduct in satisfaction of both charges. Respondent imposed a fine of $95 and issued a final Order of Protection for the defendant to stay away from the location of the arrest for one year. Respondent sentenced the defendant to a fine of $300 (including a $50 surcharge and $10 victim fee) and ten days in jail, notwithstanding that, pursuant to Section 221.05 of the Penal Law, the maximum penalty for a first offense of Unlawful Possession Of Marijuana is a $100 fine and no incarceration, and respondent had no information that would have permitted him to impose a different sentence. Respondent knew or should have known that the sentence he imposed was in excess of the maximum sentence authorized by law.

That is just a small sample of the types of charges brought against Bauer and found to be true. You get the drift.

Here's what the Commission had to say:

The record establishes that over a two-year period, respondent engaged in a pattern of serious misconduct that repeatedly deprived defendants of their liberty without according them fundamental rights. Respondent ignored well-established law requiring judges to advise defendants of the right to counsel and to take affirmative action to effectuate that right. In numerous cases he set exorbitant, punitive bail for defendants charged with misdemeanors and violations, even where incarceration was not an authorized sentence. He coerced guilty pleas from incarcerated, unrepresented defendants who, if they refused to accept respondent’s plea offer, faced continued incarceration because of the unreasonably high bail he had set. He imposed illegal sentences in four marijuana cases, and on two separate occasions he convicted an incarcerated defendant in the defendant’s absence by announcing that the case was “a plea and time served,” although the defendant had not pled guilty. Respondent’s failure to recognize the impropriety of his procedures compounds his misconduct and suggests that defendants in his court will continue to be at great risk. Viewed in its totality, respondent’s conduct demonstrates a sustained pattern of indifference to the rights of defendants and establishes that his future retention in office “is inconsistent with the fair and proper administration of justice.” Matter of Reeves, 63 NY2d 105, 111 (1984).

The transcripts of arraignments conducted by respondent depict proceedings that bear scant resemblance to the procedures required by law. At arraignment, a judge is obliged to advise every defendant of the right to counsel and, except for traffic infractions, the right to have an attorney assigned by the court if he or she is “financially unable to obtain the same”; in addition, the judge must “take such affirmative action as is necessary to effectuate” those rights (CPL §170.10). We agree with the referee’s finding that, despite respondent’s familiarity with this critically important statute, respondent “did not fulfill his obligations under the statute either at the time of the arraignment or at subsequent court appearances” (Rep. 4) and committed numerous defendants to jail in lieu of bail without affording them this fundamental right.

Of course, that's not all they said. Being lawyers and judges, they went on for quite some time. Here's the decision in its entirety.

The decision is clear and comprehensive. It was not a railroad job. Some charges were dismissed and there are concurring and dissenting opinions on many of the charges. Also, it's important to remember that the Commission had transcripts from Bauer's court. They weren't dealing in second and third hand accounts. They could read exactly what Bauer did and did not do. Not much wiggle room for Bauer.

In Part-V, we'll discuss what Bauer did and whether or not it justified his removal from the bench. For those who argue "he got kicked off the bench because he was tough on criminals" you are wrong. Some have argued, "he was crooked." If crooked means some personal gain, then wrong again. For those who have formed an opinion before reading the decision of the Commission, well, your opinion is rather worthless, isn't it?

Monday, August 08, 2005


We're pleased to introduce a new feature at the Troy Polloi, our very own Man on the Street interviews. We'll take a serious look at recent issues and get the opinion of the average man on the street.

The story of Beth Geisel, former Christian Brothers Academy After School Program Director, seems to be the big story recently. If you don't know what's going on, read Franco's article and get up to speed.

Lets get the take of the Man on the Street.


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Ted Jenkins
Latex Salesman, 30

"Frankly, we should be relieved. At least the boys are sleeping with a woman and not some man. Now that would be sick."

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Josh Stanton
Student, 16

"A female teacher having sex with a student? That's not a crime, it's a favor!"

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Bill Frist
US Senator, 56

"I spent an hour last night reviewing the videotapes. It appears she responds to stimuli and there is some brain function. I will urge Congress to act as soon as possible and re-insert the feeding tube....Am I in the right room?"

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Lawrence Caldwell
Talk Show Host, 61

"This is the fault of Lyndon Johnson and his so-called Great Society. And of Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and radical feminists. Why do they hate America?"

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John Aretakis
Attorney, ?

"Hey, I'm on television again."

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Bob Mirch
Political Whore, 32

"At least this one doesn't work for me."

You may ask yourself, "Why does the TP make light of statuory rape? Is there something wrong with you?"

The second question first, yes, there is clearly something wrong with us.

In all seriousness, people use humor as a last resort. Even Geisel's attorney is using humor, suggesting that a 16 year-old took advantage of his intoxicated client. Defense attorneys are sometimes forced to be creative but sometimes their creativity borders on the comedic. Even his defense raises the question, what was a teacher doing drunk in the presence of a student?

Is such conduct becoming more and more common or is it being reported more often? We'll probably never have an answer to that question. Instead, we'll just have to be ever vigilant in watching over our children.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Michael LoPorto, an At-Large Democratic candidate for City Council, will remain on the ballot. LoPorto's residency was challenged recently, with some alleging that his primary residency is Brunswick, not Troy. Apparently, he really does winter in Troy and then moves east to summer in Brunswick.

It's doubtful Harry will push the matter further. LoPorto is the uncle of Francesca Tutunjian, Harry's charming wife (who owns and operates a fine eatery on the corner of 5th & Broadway-highly recommended). Politics can be a rough game, but it pales in comparison to family matters.

Aside from where LoPorto resides, there's an interesting issue lurking in this story. Is primary residency an outdated standard in terms of voting?

Many Troy business owners live outside the city. Yet, many have a greater interest and investment in the future of Troy than some eligible voters. If they own not only a business but the property where the business is located they pay school taxes to the city and a variety of other fees. Obviously, Troy business owners have a vested interest in the success of Troy.

True, the interests of a business owner may differ from the interests of a person who owns and resides in a Troy home but the interests of a renter may differ from an owner and renters do not pay school taxes. After all, if those old School House Rock cartoons have taught us anything it is that taxation without representation is not fair! (also, a noun is a person, place or thing)

Perhaps, just perhaps, it might make sense to allow a business owner the option of voting in the municipality where the business is located or where the primary residence is located. Just a thought. Such a move probably involves passing a state law or amending the state constitution and that sounds like too much work and we all know how overworked our state reps can be. Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


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By Huggybear

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, HB is back. After weeks of negotiations a settlement has been reached. I'd like to thank Democratus, a true gentleman, for welcoming me back with open arms.

Word on the Street is that another defection from the DA's office is coming down the pike. Rumor has it that Joel Abelove is abandoning Captain Trish's sinking ship. What's this make it, about 125 resignations since Trish took the helm?

Huggybear can't blame Abelove. The straight-laced, gun and bible toting ADA probably thought he'd be the perfect man to take Kenny Boy's place. Then, he was passed over for DA (Disaster Area?) DeAngelis, a gal not even from our county. Then, she demoted him. Ouch! I'm surprised it took him this long to jump ship. Trish must have had his gonads locked away someplace safe. Well, maybe Joel will teach Trish how to try cases from the other side of the V.

Word on the Street is that Uncle Joe and the Brunswick Mafia are less than thrilled with Mayor Harry. Some even say they want him gone, gone gone! Harry and his cohorts don't seem able to return phone calls to the Senator's people. You don't want to piss off a man like Joe. Come to think of it, maybe that's why Joe wants to move City Hall to the crumbling Proctor's Theater. Accidents do happen.*

Word on the Street is that Troy's Corporation Counsel has farmed out another lawsuit to attorney John Bailey. This suit involves the Troy Police and should be a slam dunk for the City. What does Mitchell do for his $80,000 a year paycheck? I could send cases to Bailey and I'd do it for only $60,000. Maybe Mitchell mails the checks to outside counsel.

Word on the Street is that the political-hack power couple, Bob Mirch and Rich Crist are breaking up. Apparently one of them is dating Yoko. Seems Crist came home one day and found Mirch in bed with another party. The two have no children.

*The opinions expressed here are not necessarily the opinions of the Troy Polloi and any similarities between the characters depicted here and real people are unintended and coincidental.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Democratus is tanned, rested and ready. Ready for what? No idea. Hopefully for a Democratic sweep in November. Unfortunately, I'm not only a realist, but forever cynical so I don't hold my breath.

It has become increasingly clear that District Attorney Patricia DeAngelis may well be our next County Court Judge. Local attorney E. Stewart Jones sums up DeAngelis nicely:

E. Stewart Jones, a prominent Capital Region defense lawyer and a Republican with a Troy law practice, was one of the few attorneys willing to express a view for the record.

"That office has enormous power and justice is the obligation, but that responsibility has eluded her," Jones said. "She does not have a balanced view of the role of the DA's office in a high-profile case. There is a lack of mature judgment."

He added, "She is vindictive and retributive and sees herself as an avenging angel. In an overly emotional state, she becomes reckless." - From
Michele Morgan Bolton's July 26 article.

That about sums it up: Unbalanced and immature.

Our next County Court Judge?

If memory serves, Jones is a Republican who contributed a handsome sum to DeAngelis in her first race.

Democrats should be out and about finding a mature, well-respected candidate, preferably with a well-known and respected family name in Rensselaer County. Many may not know it, but DeAngelis is not a Rensselaer County politician. She's from Albany County, where she spent two years defending people accused of crimes. Republicans like to use that as campaign fodder against would-be Democratic candidates for DA. "We need a prosecutor, not a defense attorney!"

Well, Trish was a defense attorney, as was Bauer and as is possible DA Jack Casey. The line is old, false and played over and over again for the ignorant voter.

Find a good person with good credentials and a good family name and the race can be won. Andrew Ceresia, North Greenbush Town Judge comes to mind. There is also Rich McNally, a former ADA under Jim Canfield and a former Public Defender. If all else fails, the Democrats should approach someone like Greg Cholakis for the judgeship or the DA's race.

The next County Court Judge and the next District Attorney will be dispensing "justice" in Rensselaer County for years to come. Both DeAngelis and Casey are unfit for either position. This isn't a matter of mere politics. It goes straight to the heart of what our system is meant to be, fair and just. These are not positions that should be filled by party hacks.