More on the 'Officer B' resolution

Friday, April 22, 2011

More on the 'Officer B' resolution

...or, a bird in the hand validates the dis­ciplinary process according to a source familiar with the matter.

Most importantly to the member of the West­hampton Beach Police Department, while he wasn't terminated, when he returns to duty his status will be of a probationary nature.

But that won't be for another 90 days, follow­ing a suspension without pay, and a fine in excess of $24,000.

Under the terms of the Stipulation of Agree­ment with the Village, "Officer B" has also ac­knowledged in a signed statement that he was not truthful with Suffolk County Police person­nel during an Internal Affairs investigation.

(He admitted that he lied.)

What he did not do, however, is implicate any­one else involved in the incident in which Officer Steven McManus' pistol went missing from his locker in the basement of the Village Police Station in February 2009.

The feeling around most of Six Corners is that those members of the Village Board... Mayor Conrad Teller and Deputy Mayor Toni-Jo Birk... who hung tough until last year's election when voters replaced obstructionist Trustee Jim Ka­metler with Leola Farrell, have had their deter­mination validated.

And the remaining obstructionists, Trustees Joan Levan and Hank Tucker1?

Mrs. Levan is a lame duck and gone after June.

Who knows how Hank will attempt to spin it.

He was on record many times that he wanted to give the accused officers a pass on the Inter­nal Affairs findings, even after additional charges were preferred against "Officer B" last November.

This will likely be a campaign issue.

  1. Disclosure: The writer [me] is challenging for a Trustee seat in the Village Board in June; Tucker will likely be running for re-election.


1. Eyes on 6 Corners said...

If, as you write, "he admitted that he lied," how can "Officer B" ever be put back on the street or write another traffic citation that won't be challenged on the basis of his track record?

Fair question... Ray Dean and Trevor Gonce have 90 days to figure that one out in order to restore full confidence in the Westhampton Beach Police Department.

2. Eyes on 6 Corners said...

You disappoint me. I know you're a fan of the original "Law & Order" TV series, so you must be familiar with several legal cases which the DA's office likes to cite, like People v. Molineux ("prior bad acts") and Brady v. Maryland, usually short-handed as "Brady Material" ("exculpatory evidence").

It is the latter which may cause the Village problems with the employment of "Officer B," an admitted liar. This fact must be disclosed to any defendant who challenges in court an arrest, or even a traffic citation, by "Officer B."

He's a liability to any law enforcement agency which employees him... and the Westhampton Beach Police Department already has a credibility problem, not only with its on-going disciplinary issues and the Kabot case, but all the way back to the Verbeeck civil trial.

So, you're a Criminal Defense Attorney? Or an old "L&O" script-writer? Either way, I don't see how Molineux applies… from my understanding of such matters, of course.

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