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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Controversial Troy Police Officer Joseph Centanni appears headed back to the Detective Bureau. Centanni was the central figure in an investigation that saw murder suspect Jason Jones acquitted:

Centanni’s agreement to leave the bureau came following the investigation into whether Jones, who was accused of the 2006 stabbing murder of his elderly neighbor Donald Dougrey, was denied access to an attorney when he confessed to Centanni. Jones’ confession was initially permitted into evidence, but shortly before the trial was to start O’Neil came forward and claimed she heard Jones demand a lawyer during questioning and that Bouchard heard the demand but did nothing.

The confession was then ruled inadmissible and prosecutors made a deal with a drug-using prostitute who was also charged with murder for her involvement. Charges were dropped against her in exchange for her testimony, but Jones was acquitted at trial.

Last year it looked like Centanni would be allowed to remain on the force if he left the Detective Bureau. At least, that was the general understanding. An understanding reflected in the media reports.*

There appears to be an agreement between Centanni and the City. Aside from Centanni's attorney, they are the only parties privy to the agreement. Spokesperson Jeff Buell categorized this as a "personnel matter" and thus confidential. However, merely labeling something as a "personnel matter" doesn't necessarily make it so.

The agreement should be made public, at least to the extent that we can all see what the understanding was regarding Centanni's ability to return to the Detective Bureau. There's no reason why that is confidential. At the very least, the it is incumbent on the Administration to tell us that the agreement has not been violated.

Approximately one year ago, Mayor Tutunjian, flanked by Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell, faced the cameras and called for the heads of three police officers: Centanni, Bouchard and O'Neil. Harry's 'Constanza touch' (do the opposite) ultimately resulted in two officers retiring with full benefits and Centanni's return to the force. The City folded and the residents of Troy never learned why.

The City's refusal to discuss this matter has lead to much speculation. The most popular theory is that the City bought the officers due to conflict issues and threatened lawsuits.

As for Centanni? We don't know Mr. Centanni. We understand he is a controversial officer. We don't know what occurred during the Dougrey murder investigation or the resulting clusterf@#$k.** His return to the Detective Bureau does presents some questions: The foremost being, to what extent can last years difficulties be used to impeach Centanni's credibility? Perhaps an attorney could share their thoughts on that issue. Monday's Record Editorial raised some pertinent issues in this regard.

Feel free to share your thoughts and views. However, understand that we don't want a hatchet job done on anyone involved. We're not interested in who drinks, who cheats, who fellated who (or is it whom?), who is a lying, unethical short don't defame anyone. There's a way to address these issues in a calm and measured tone.

There's some good stuff to get to this week and we hope to do so:

The Water Deal - Brown moves the ball forward and Harry writes a letter;

The Sanctuary for Independent Media Foils the City and they don't even buy them dinner first;

And much, much more.

* Note to young reporters: If the Administration tells you it's 10:00PM, check your watch.

** Not an actual e-mail address

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