DISTRICT ATTORNEY ABELOVE
There was a comment that we did not post that blasted our District Attorney for putting the Faison killing before a Grand Jury. We are not the biggest fans of the current District Attorney. Our readership knows that. Therefore, we cannot be considered apologists for the DA. However, we do have a reputation for being fair and balanced. That reputation must be upheld.
Abelove's decision to present the Faison killing to the Grand Jury was good practice for many reasons. It is certainly a common practice for DA's to send what appears to be a justifiable killing to an independent panel to make the decision. In this way, the family of the deceased and/or the press cannot accuse the authorities of refusing to charge the police. Let the Grand Jury do it's thing and it provides cover for any accusations of racism or favoritism. If the DA simply exercises his discretion and doesn't charge, he opens up his office to all sorts of criticism. It sucks for the officers but they did nothing wrong and no one can accuse them of being the recipients of favoritism.
If you're upset at our defense of Abelove, we're sure he'll screw up soon. Don't worry.
Recently we commented on the Administration's silence in the wake of requests from Officers Comitale and Klein for attorneys fees. Comitale and Klein were wounded in the shootout with Mr. Faison. The two officers retained legal counsel and were recently cleared by the Grand Jury. The PBA President recently alerted the press to the fact that the Rosamilia Administration had not responded to requests for payment of the officer's legal fees.
The Troy Polloi has recently learned a few facts to add to the story. First, yes, Mayor Rosamilia had spoken personally to both officers. Second, that at the time of the shame-letter, no formal request for reimbursement under the Public Officers Law had been made. A municipality cannot agree to pay until the request is in writing and various others conditions are meant. Finally, at least one of the officers hadn't even received a bill for the legal services.
Perhaps this was all a misunderstanding. Or perhaps someone in the Police Department sought to embarrass the mayor in his last few weeks in office.
Speaking of the police, we understand that Detective Ron Fountain has decided to hang up his spurs. Fountain, a Troy High graduate, has been with the TPD for quite some time, dealing with some of the worst cases an officer can handle. Good luck to Detective Fountain.