Sunday, October 25, 2015
A quick break from the election for this Sunday morning's SPECIAL EDITION. Also look for more than one post a day as election day draws near. The extra material won't cost you a dime more than you pay now.
While Internal Affairs (no pun intended) investigates the unlawful release of the Gordon 911. recording, we were thinking about a few more things they may want to investigate. Just investigate. That's all. We are not saying any charges would be brought or any disciplinary action would be taken, but it's worth a look.
THE McCOLLEY TRIAL
Not unexpectedly, Ms. McColley commenced a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging causes of action, inter alia, for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, and trespass. On February10, 2010, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, raising the same claims against Defendants County of Rensselaer; Rensselaer Investigator Michael Riley, the City of Troy; and unknown Troy Police Officers Moe Doe and Joe Doe.*
It is not our intention to relitigate this case. If you are interested in the details, you can find them in the Decision that dismissed the case against the City of Troy and Troy Police Officers Doe and Doe. It's an interesting case.
The case against Rensselaer County and Investigator Riley proceeded to trial in July of 2015. The jury deliberated for less than an hour and found the defendants not liable. Now, for those of you who may think ill of Ms. McColley, she was a single mom, gainfully employed with the State and had no criminal record. The apartment was spotless. Again, this is all for background purposes.
One of the key witnesses for Ms. McColley was none other than Chief of Police john Tedesco (then Assistant Chief). Tedesco testified that Police Chief Nick Kaiser had ordered him to perform an investigation. That investigation was reduced to a report and was highly critical of the Task Force.
Interestingly, Tedesco, in performing this investigation, did not interview...the top guy, Michael Riley. According to Tedesco, Kaiser said not to interview Riley.
Every cop will tell you that Tedesco hates the modern concept of police special teams. If he had his way, everyone would be in uniform and patrolling the streets. We're are not criticizing this philosophy, just setting forth the philosophy.
All of this is fairly straightforward. But...
Does anyone believe that Chief Kaiser would have ordered Tedesco to investigate a leaky toilet let alone this matter? If he did, would he have ordered Tedesco not to speak with the main guy who applied for the warrant?
Our sources have told us that Kaiser denies ever ordering Tedesco to perform the investigation and that Tedesco inserted himself into the process. If true, could that constitute perjury, before a Federal judge and jury? We think this would be a ripe story for some investigative journalist.
Which leads us to our second topic for an Internal Affairs investigation.
TROY CITY HALL DRUG AND GAMBLING INVESTIGATION
A few years back, in the good-old days of the Tutunjian reign, the Special Operations Section began an investigation based on information from a confidential informant. That CI (or confidential informant) provided information that drugs were being sold from within the administration. There was also allegations of what sounds like a gambling ring. The SOS eventually focused on certain targets. Some you may know. Others, probably not. The city has many employees and departments. For the record, Tutunjian was not -we repeat - not a target. Barbecue sauce, even taken intravenously, is not a controlled substance.
Confronted with this information Chief Kaiser made the fatal error of speaking with the administration. Soon after, the targets ceased their activities and the investigation dried up. Why he didn't go to the FBI or the State Police is not known.
During the course of this little drama, did a certain assistant chief approach an SOS officer and request access to the CI Book? This is one of the few occasions that a subordinate can refuse an order. He did and the assistant chief backed down. Why would an assistant chief want to see CI Book? Was the CI a city employee? Was the assistant chief running interference for the administration?
All of this is good stuff. All of this proves nothing. That's not our point. Our point is, there is enough here to spark an investigation. Will we see one? Of course not. However, doesn't this potential systemic problem seem more worthy of investigation than a leaked 911 tape? Of course, the subject of that tape might soon be Tedesco's boss. Tedesco is a financial backer of Gordon and so it goes.
If there are any people out there with any details, feel free to e-mail us. We will not turn over our CI Book to any authorities. PS We will not publish comments that name names. We might laugh but we don't want anyone accused of drug dealing, using or gambling without actual evidence. We're not Republicans after all. We'll try to develop this story but its doubtful we can uncover much that went on here. People still on the force don't want to endanger their job and those retired probably want to put it all behind them.
* Aliases for officers Moe and Joe Roe. They are not related.