...is back. Welcome to Part I of our 911-part series on...
On Friday, Jim Franco broke the news that veteran Troy Police Detective Tim Colaneri has been placed on 30 days unpaid suspension for his alleged involvement in the disclosure of the Jim Gordon, my husband "held me down," 911 recording. A brief recap is in order for those who haven't followed the saga.
In July of 2015 the Troy Police were called to the home of Republican mayoral candidate Jim Gordon. Gordon's wife had phoned 911. The next day the Times Union had the story:
"The incident was called a "verbal argument" between Councilman Jim Gordon and his wife, by the responding officers, police said Friday."
The Republican candidate went on to say that "his wife called police and later regretted it?"
There, the story died. After all, the police had not been called to Bill Dunne's home. Nothing was noted in The Record and oddly, Franco's Talk 1300 Report was silent. Franco has never been one to shy away from rumors but this one seemed off limits.
The story was probably fading away when the Times Union's Brendan Lyons posted the 911 recording on-line. It was October 20th and the recording rocked the mayoral campaign. The recording did not match Gordon's characterization of events. Mrs. Gordon wanted her husband out of the home. A baby wails in the background. "He held me down." reports Mrs. Gordon. Lyons stated that a Democratic operative sent him the recording.
This unleashed a can of worms and, as you know, once unleashed it's hell to get those leashes back on. The Republican keepers of righteousness and morality wailed, gnashed their teeth and demanded Gordon resign. Whoops. Forgot. Again, not Bill Dunne. The GOP was predictably silent and filled with outrage. Not at what was on the recording, but because the recording had been disclosed. They were 50% justified. Their silence on the first part of the equation certainly undermined their faux outrage.
The people who had access to the recording were the officers who retrieved the recording for investigatory purposes. This was Colaneri and Millington (Millington was cleared of wrongdoing according to Franco). However, Colaneri could not be described as a Democratic operative. There had to be a second shooter.
In November, police obtained a warrant to search the cell phone of one Gary Gordon. Gordon was a former police officer, former investigator with the District Attorneys office and, though a registered Conservative, the failed Democratic candidate for Rensselaer County Sheriff in 2011. It was not hard to surmise that Gordon was thought to be the one that sent the recording to Lyons.
While November's events were not surprising, December's events were. In December, police obtained a warrant for the cell phone of Assistant District Attorney Shane Hug. Shane Hug was then terminated (from employment, he is still alive according to sources). Nothing in the news accounts linked the two stories except rumor.
On Friday, Colaneri was suspended without pay. That is never a good sign. Furthermore, Colaneri's son was recently hired by the Department. According to Franco, Detective Ron Fountain, now retired, obtained a copy of the recording with Colaneri's knowledge and is believed to be the one that sent the recording to Gordon.
Most of this was well-known, if the prevailing rumors were to be believed. Now, it's out for public consumption thanks to Franco.
It should go without saying that the people or persons who allowed the recording to be sent to Gordon should be punished. Those utilizing 911 should not have to second guess their choice for fear that sensitive information will be made public.
There's a quick recap of events to date. Next, we'll look at what effect, if any, the release of the recording, had on the 2015 race and the tainted IA and criminal investigation.