Looks like trouble is brewing in our own Police Department. That's too bad. Our PD had been relatively scandal-free compared to some other area municipalities. We hope any investigation is thorough, fast and resolves any potential problems.
It appears that certain actions by certain police officers have damaged some cases and have resulted in acquittals in others. For example:
Jason Jones allegedly confessed to stabbing his neighbor while an accomplice held the man's arms to his side, but a detective, Sgt. Mary Katherine O'Neil, said she heard Jones ask for an attorney before he confessed to another detective, Sgt. Joseph Centanni.An attorney was never provided. The confession dismissed by the judge. Jones walked.
Internal Affairs is investigating the incidents. However, Councilman Dunne wants the City Council to conduct it's own investigation. Mayor Tutunjian and Councilwoman Collier balked at the suggestion.
"It is not like the council has turned a blind eye to everything that has gone on over there," Collier said. "It is not getting involved in the investigation. That is not what our position on the council is about. But we want to see the problem solved."
"The investigation is ongoing and we will treat the results fairly and hold anyone who needs to be held accountable, accountable," Tutunjian said. "When there is a problem we will address it. My policy is I will not let certain individuals run down the city, whether it is City Hall or the Police Department."
Ms. Collier, we believe Dunne requested that the City Council investigate, not that it get involved with the current investigation. It would be a separate investigation based upon the idea that when a institution investigates itself, the findings are sometimes viewed with skepticism. However, Collier is correct that it would be outside the scope of this Council's role to actually do something. After all, the Charter does not give the Council authority to investigate city departments (unless, of course, you actually read the Charter). Anyway, Collier always seems like she's in need of a good probe. No time like the present.
Tutunjian's position is more problematic. Accountable for what? Violating the rights of a suspect? How are you going to hold him accountable, Harry? Let him run for City Council? After all, Bauer was booted from the bench for doing essentially the same thing. Sure, it was at a different phase in the system, but it amounts to the same thing.
A cop screws up and his career is over.
On Thursday Nov. 9th in the late afternoon, Mayor Tutunjian and Deputy Mayor Crawley were driving in the vicinity of the old Portico Warehouse (now Dan's Hauling) in the South Troy waterfront area. While cruising the area (looking for the dastardly hooker's gang perhaps) they noticed a very old Troy Fire Engine.
Being the good citizen's that they are, they immediately pulled out their radio and called Troy Police Dispatch to report a stolen fire truck and have the Troy Police evidence team come and retrieve the stolen goods. Well, while they were high-fiving each other in the fine tradition of Andy and Barney, they completed and filed a police report.
Evidently an astute city employee must have gotten wind of the filed report and quietly told Andy and Barney that the fire truck was sold for salvage in 2003, and get this, Mayor Tutunjian voted in favor of the sale at a monthly Council meeting. The police report is on file and available at the Troy Police station.
Sometimes they just make it too easy.
We won't belabor the point. For those still interested:
Brendan Lyons and Fred LeBrun discuss the status of the investigation.
We guess Sweeney was for releasing the report before he was against it.
The city recently settled the case of a woman who was injured when she broke a park swing. According to sources, the Plaintiff received $100,000. If anyone has any info on this one, send it along.
Also, a Civil Rights case brought by Pete Moschetti on behalf of Jack Rogers son will also be settled. That one will probably bring some big bucks.
We wonder if these will be included in Mitchell's report on his exemplary work.