The connection clarifies

Friday, May 28, 2010

The connection clarifies

Interesting incident on Dune Road late last evening which sheds some light on the nature of the coverage of Village politics by The End End Independent and its area correspondent.

A Westhampton Beach police cruiser on routine patrol between 10:30 and 11:00 pm found a vehicle parked at Lashley Pavilion, the regis­tration of which came back to The Indy's Lisa Finn at an address outside the Village.

The rear window of Ms. Finn's Saturn bore a current Westhampton Beach Police Benevolent Association sticker.

The vehicle's driver identified himself as Ms. Finn's 18-year-old son, and when questioned, told the two police officers that Village Trustee "Hank Tucker said it was all right" for the teen and his two female companions to be there.

Asked about the PBA sticker displayed, young Finn stated that it had been given him by "my Godfather," but could not identify the person by name.

When pressed on the matter, the teenager produced a PBA card issued by "T.J. Speer," with the notation "Godson."

(Officer Speer serves as PBA President.)

The three teens were advised that the Lashley parking lot was closed and that they would have to leave the property.

No further action was taken.

But having written about Police Chief Ray Dean's "inner circle," perhaps Ms. Finn should make disclosure about her own inner circle.


1. Clarity said...


You might say that....

2. Frank Wheeler said...

If this is as you have reported, then it seems that Joan Levan isn't the only one with ethics problems.

I have double confirmation of the facts, and just what standard of "ethics" The Independent holds itself to is unknown.

Publisher Jerry Della Femina isn't a newspaper man, and in the past when Editor Rick Murphy has been braced on such matters, his response is traditionally flippant and dismissive.

3. Eileen Dover said...

Wow, Dean you sure do dig up the dirt! Keep'em honest!

Ha! Which, for all the good it did, was the slogan of my 2007 candidacy.

But trying to keep the Tucker/Levan cabal (to borrow from Jean Schweibish) honest is like trying to keep swine clean.

If the real Village voters don't stand up this time out, they get what they deserve.
– Dean

4. Hambone said...

Nice job. But before one gets specific, one has to question why PBA cards exist at all and for what purpose. I think to a lesser extent the beach stickers serve roughly the same designation. They indicate to the police "I belong." As long as the PBA card mentality exists anyone in power will by sheer use, abuse it.

Aside from the comparison to Beach Stickers, I agree with you, something I rarely do.

PBA cards should not be "get-out-of-jail-free" cards, but too often are used that way.

There's a story brewing about the extraordinary measures taken by a local officer whose PBA card was not "honored" by a police officer in a neighboring jurisdiction.

5. Seeker said...

So, when are you writing the screenplay? There is SO much material in the Village these days, you could keep FOX in episodes for many years to come!

6. Matlynn Carville said...

Seeker is RIGHT! "The Good Wife" has NOTHING on the BAD Trustees of Westhampton Beach!

7. Hampton West said...

The NYC PBA hands these out like candy to the favored. When I was in labor relations in New York then PBA Chief Phil Caruso showered me with them - sad to say they were highly sort after by our staff - not a good thing - to this date I see them in NYC in illegally parked cars - I once confronted a Traffic Enforcement Agent about why he ticketed one car with no cards and skipped over over one that did. His response was certain card holders work in city government and they have long arms - he could be working in the South Bronx rather than StuyvesantTown. Sadly the guy is right.

8. Clarity said...

Dean, you must be referring to a certain officer removing issued ticket dupes from another department's patrol car. Technically that is a felony! Regarding the theft of offical government documents! Grand larceny 4th for you purists.

My compliments, sir! Your intel-foo is impressive!

9. First Hampton said...

And while Hank Tucker was giving permission to use the Village Beach, candidate Charlie Palmer Jr. was quietly sneaking grass cuttings from his home, placed into black plastic bags, into someone else's dumpster. It's about the only thing he does not use his bicycle for.

We are watching you Charlie. Stop using dumpsters that you have no authorization to use. Is this part of your platform. Will you sneak Village trash into other people's dumpsters?

You are kidding, right?

That's right up there with sneaking into the synagogue to snag desserts!

10. Jeanne Speir said...

A comment to the East End Independent regarding fair and unbiased reporting:

Dean Speir may be a cranky old so-and-so, but contrary to the local police department's current "party line," HE DOESN'T LIE!

He is a superb investigative writer, and he has uncovered the relationship between your writer... I won't call her a journalist... Lisa Finn and the local police union. Her objectivity and sources MUST be called into question for the over-the-top reporting on "scandals" from extremely questionable sources.

The New York Times has fired reporters for less. The Independent needs to publicly acknowledge her connection to the police department malcontents and Mayoral candidate.

You've been had, Rick Murphy!

I think Editor Murphy will be thrilled with the implied camparison with The New York Times, but the truth is that any reputable media which values its credibility, would dismiss someone with Ms. Finn's confused ethics.

For the record: the Commenter is the blogger's wife.

11. First Hampton said...

You're not kidding about sneaking into the synagogue to snag desserts after Friday evening services, either! He'll bring a "doggie bag" home, too!

Perhaps his true motive for running for Westhampton Beach Trustee is to have unlimited free access to the Village Hall Dumpster.

12. No Joke! said...

What "First Hampton" said about Junior Palmer is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. He does this sort of thing on a regular basis!!!

13. SWG said...

"Unofficially" speaking for the part-time resident crowd, I have to say that you could make this stuff up. However if I had not stumbled upon and became a OtBB reader, I would not have a clue as to the level of shenanigans that continue to occur. Sadly or perhaps fortuitously because of the biased inaccurate reporting, most part-time residents do not read The Southampton Press or East End Independent. The part-time residents will read Dan's Papers weekly from MD to LD. Perhaps someone can convince Dan to look into this?

Not a good idea, sir. I've known Dan Rattiner for almost 40 years and while we have a very cordial relationship, we have wildly differing standards of reportage. We both like to write, but I think Dan considers himself a "humorist" more than anything else. And, time and again, he has declined to let fact-checking get in the way of an entertaining narrative.

Witness his overview of Westhampton Beach (which he sometimes refers to as a "Town") this very week: "Westhampton Mystery: About a DWI, Missing Gun & 4 Minutes of Missing Tape."

If you've followed the various stories since last Labor Day, you can see what parts he got wrong; if you haven't, you'll come away with a distorted and incorrect view of what's going on.

This is not one of Dan's celebrated hoaxes, just a skewed version of Westhampton Beach from someone well East of the Canal.
– Dean

14. Surf's Up! said...

Anyone who has ever witnessed Lisa Finn behind the wheel of an automobile will understand her need to be "in good" with the police... really!

Again, I don't think I've ever met the woman or seen her in action so I cannot comment on anything other than her utter lack of journalistic ethics and credibility.

15. Rick Murphy said...

As editor of The Independent, I'd like to clear the air. And since Dean believes he has the right to edit posts, please refer to my newspaper, The Independent, for the unabridged version in our June 2 issue. To be perfectly honest, I have to laugh at the gravity given Mr. Spier's{sic} comment. Lisa Finn is our Southampton editor, a professional journalist with 15 years experience. I am the editor of a multi-award winning newspaper, a former NY Times journalist with two dozen awards, including NATIONAL awards for best In Depth news Reporting and Best News Story. WHB is in the midst of a scandal. Bringing my reporter's son into the equation, or my reporter, for that matter, Is{sic} not only libelous but something I take personally. Our legal staff will aggressively pursue any libelous statements on this blog. Further, for those employed by WHV, I have turned over all our material to the Suffolk DA. Further, as I did in East Hampton, where there is now a Grand Jury impaneled, I have requested an investigation. Dean is a blogger. He's full of crap. I invite him to meet me head to head to discuss his baseless accusations. And I Warn{sic} him as a the person who approves theses{sic} comments, he is personally responsible. We will aggressively defend our reputation for reporting the truth. That's how we make our living. Dean, who pays you? A lot of players in WHBV are trying to play this site hoping it will all go away. Guess what? It ain't. Welcome to hell, boys.

16. Seeker said...

Is Mr. Murphy a relative of Eddie Murphy's by any chance? I'm still chuckling....

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