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

Thursday, June 02, 2016

MAHAR'S REIGN...

...THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING.

According to the Times Union:

Attorneys for Rensselaer County agreed to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit against former sheriff Jack Mahar — just two days after a judge issued a ruling that would have allowed a jury to hear a racist remark allegedly uttered by Mahar's successor, Patrick Russo.

county's lawyers, John W. Bailey and Crystal Peck, agreed to the settlement in a phone conference Friday with A.J. Bosman, the attorney for Lt. James Karam, a longtime internal affairs officer whose civil case against the county was set to go to trial Tuesday in U.S. District Court before Judge .

Karam's claim is that he suffered ridicule based on his Lebanese heritage.

More from the article:

The settlement was reached two days after D'Agostino issued a May 25 ruling that, among other things, would have allowed jurors to hear evidence that Russo, while undersheriff, once told Karam, who is of Lebanese ancestry, that he "should shave his goatee or he would be put back on the terrorist watch list."

Now, we don't know if Sheriff Russo is a bigot. Who knows the heart of a man? We do know that he said the best thing ever about the statement:

A transcript of a March 16, 2015 deposition of Russo, listed in court papers, showed that Russo did not deny making the "watch list" comment — but denied having any issues with Karam over his ethnicity.

"I wouldn't be derogatory to him because he's Lebanese because my wife's family is Lebanese," Russo told Bosman. "The best man in my wedding was Lebanese. I have probably as many Lebanese friends as Jim Karam has. So, therefore, I wouldn't be derogatory because of his heritage toward Jimmy."

"So the 'watch list' reference was for what reason?" Karam's attorney pressed.

"Just to maybe lighten the mood up," Russo replied, noting that he had known Karam since he was a child.

Russo actually pulled out the "Some of my best friends are...." line. Kind of reminds you of the guy who starts a conversation: "Hey, I ain't got nothing against the Jews but...". Given Russo's street cred amongst the regions Lebanese-American community, maybe Russo could have admitted he's just shitty at lightening-up the mood. Or, he could have said, "I'm not a bigot, I'm just kind of a dick."

This settlement comes on the heels of a $3,000,000 award given to former corrections officer Lora Seabury.

In 2013, an administrative law judge with the state Division of Human Rights determined Seabury was harassed by a clique of jail officers known as the "Boys Club" and that top sheriff's officials at the jail engaged in "deliberate inaction" in dealing with the harassment of Seabury.

That award was later bumped up to $3,000,000.

Was Russo considered a top sheriff's official at that time? No idea but it makes you wonder about the man we elected.

Mahar's reign as Rensselaer County Sheriff, and we don't recall that he was ever had a serious challenger, seems to have benefited no one except the plaintiff's bar.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yup Russo is a bad man and Karam is a good honest man. You got a better chance of selling sand to the arabs. Oops, can I say that with hurting Karams feelings?

Anonymous said...

Mahar was a clown. But the real outrage is incompetent Abelove's office getting a baby murderer off on a manslaughter charge. What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Since the Lebanese are not Arabs he might not mind.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the pro-GOP comments on here. Truly the dumbest of the dumb.

Anonymous said...

Mahar is a sociopath that tainted that agency's reputation because he ran it in a disgustingly unprofessional way. Pat Russo is nothing like Mahar.
Mahar and Troy Chief Tedesco were up each other's republican butts during that time. Real buddies they were, bathing in one another's narcissism. Mahar wanted to rule the world, and Tedesco wanted to give him Troy. Both of them put a lot of lives in danger during that time- both officers and citizens.

Anonymous said...

Another bombshell coming........find some cover Joel. This ones gonna sting.

Anonymous said...

And then they celebrate. What a clown

Anonymous said...

8:49 - there was nothing incompetent about the prosecution of that trial. you can't just make up evidence you don't have. that kid trying the case did the absolute best with what he had, which was all pretty circumstantial, including witnesses with their own credibility problems. and yet he connected enough dots to get a conviction which is going to put this guy away for 50 years, if stacked consecutively. so what exactly is your problem with that? I agree that abelove is mess, but don't automatically assume that the ADA's aren't working their asses off every day to put bad people away.

Anonymous said...

How's Sheriff Gordon doing?

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The buck stops with Abelove.

Anonymous said...

Wow 3:04. They let you go on social media sites during work hours at the DA's Office?

Anonymous said...

Good. Maybe one of them will put Abelove away.

Anonymous said...

That's old shit. Move on.

Anonymous said...

3:04 - there was more than enough evidence to convict of murder. Manslaugter means the defendant meant to hurt the victim but mistakenly killed her. How do you get there when Vega strangled her and set the house on fire. He just happened to be carrying gasoline when they had an argument? Not a terrible verdict, and the result is on the jury not the ADA. But no excuse for Abelove to be "pleased" with a manslaughter conviction in a case like this.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure he's doing better than Joel

Anonymous said...

Why not? You've got all the time in the world when you refuse to prosecute cases.

Anonymous said...

No, the result is on the DA's office. Bad investigation and poor lawyering, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the cops and firemen volunteer their time to help keep the Uncle Sam Day parade going? I think 85% of the parade budget going to their overtime is outrageous!

Anonymous said...

8:17 - that's what we call in the business a "compromise verdict." I think its very likely there was a hold out on the jury who didn't want to convict, and the rest wanted to convict on murder, so they compromised with Man 1. happens all the time. You can't account for crazy people on the jury, or weed them all out in jury selection. My point was that the ADA, who really did an amazing job, shouldn't be lumped in with the crazy decisions made by his boss. We should give credit where it is due, especially when we want ADA's like Andrew Botts to stay in this county, doing great work. Further, this defendant will go away for the rest of his life with consecutive sentencing, so I would be pleased with that outcome.

Phana24JG said...

Thank you 1.35, I think you nailed it. We just have to hope the judge sentences accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Troy committee was working to put together the parade. What happened? We been going for years. I saw in the newspaper saying it was going to happen. We got some hope still.we always go and hangout. Not gonna be the same in Troy without it. It's a sad day without "our parade."

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, since a life term can no longer be imposed, no matter how many consecutive years the sentence ends up being, under NY law the maximum that can be served is 30.

Anonymous said...

Is that true? 85% of the parade budget is overtime?

Anonymous said...

Our community desires this mainstay tradition. Our moral as a city needs this.

Anonymous said...

@11:22 No, that's not true. Not half-true, or even remotely close to true considering there is no fire department overtime or detail for the Uncle Sam Day parade. Some people, when filled with so much animosity, often have a difficult time discerning between fact and the fiction they create within their own minds.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying 10:56. The pro-Abelove GOP spin is so pathetic. His office fucked up again, deal with it. Everyone knows he's a joke.

Anonymous said...

It's because the parade is run by Republicans and they don't give a shit about Troy. Where's Carmella when she's actually needed? She's on Facebook all day bragging when she puts money in a parking meter but when Troy really needs something done it's crickets. $2500 is BS!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is malicious. They are simply not informed or informative.

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old could have gotten a murder conviction if he tried the case. All the other bullshit is unnecessary, he strangled her with his hands. Looking into her eyes as he killed her?! It's an open and shut murder! This loser is not a convicted murderer as he should be. Shameful verdict!

Anonymous said...

Who cares what their enrollment is- they volunteered. Some of you are so blinded by politics it's sad

Anonymous said...

Congrats at raising such a smart child. #YoungPerryMason

Anonymous said...

THese people don't understand "volunteer", They only want to volunteer if it benefits them or their children batting 1st. But they are the 1st to complain!

Anonymous said...

Republicans --don't give a shit about Troy// but they volunteer. Listen to what you just said.

Anonymous said...

Where did I say republicans?? I am saying that of all the people on here that complain and the only thing they ever did was volunteer to get theirs kids ahead or themselves.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the new planning commish has the answer for the Uncle Sam parade. After all isn't he responsible for the social wellness in te city as well. Dunne would have gotten ldc money for Ruston

Anonymous said...

Who else was even considered for the commish. Perhaps someone living in troy or working for troy would have been a better fit?? Who's gonna train this schednectady transs plant tool?

Anonymous said...

What does your kid batting 1st have to do with the parade? And from my experience, those parents that are coaching just to coach 1 kid don't stay around long! You must have aucked at baseball, you sound bitter about it!

Anonymous said...

Its about volunteering moron, you bitch about the parade but you do nothing to help the parade committee. They are volunteers, you are obviously one of the coaches who coached their kids so they could get a head because they weren't good enough.

Anonymous said...

So how long is it going to be before Abe is removed from the DA's Office

Robert Cox said...

No More Volunteers.Com Troy NY Go See My New Blog !~~!

Anonymous said...

Wrong again 7:28. The firemen don't make overtime for the parade. No extra fireman are brought in.

Anonymous said...

Frank and Kathy are you going to pay out of your pocket for these law suits. These guys are your boys. You wanted them but we the tax payers have to pay for them.

Anonymous said...

No body cares about our Troy. Our moral is down becuase the parade was when we came together.its just sad no one can step up and get the parade goig. Haters gonna hate.

Anonymous said...

Grammerians gonna grammerite.