Cop House Confidential

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cop House Confidential

Seems that the entry of two days ago ("Dis­patch from Six Corners") struck a raw nerve inside the Police Department and a responsive chord elsewhere in the Village.

While the citizens of Westhampton Beach have yet to march on Six Corners with pitchforks and burning fagots, there have been dark rumblings 'round town1, and that bodes ill for the troika.

(Or as one wag on 27East recently called them: "The Gang Of Three Point Five" in­cluding No-Show Toni Jo.)

Unknown, though, is what exactly has senior dispatchers Charlie Benkov and Kathy Barosa most on pins and needles... Tuesday's blog, or the realization that the local Police Department isn't big enough for a "rubber gun squad" to which the two police officers the Trustees demanded be un-suspended, would ordinarily be assigned?

Instead, Mayor Conrad Teller has directed Chief Ray Dean to place those officers on "restricted duty" ...meaning that while on duty, they must stay within the confines of the police station.

(From December 14th's blog: "Based on the SCPD IA report, how can Officers Michael Bruetsch and Joseph Pesapane ever be put on the street again?")

Since the senior officers do the administrative work, there's nothing for the quarter million dollar duo to do but act as dispatchers... which even Mr. Benkov with his face buried in his omnipresent daily tabloids can figure out!

Rumor is rife that the Trustees actually expect­ed the Mayor to order the Chief to reinstate Officers Bruetsch and Pesapane to full duty.

Do those Trustees have assurances from New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal that the Village's liability insurance won't be canceled the moment NYMIR gets wind that the Village has two cops loose on the streets with those nine unresolved Suffolk County Police Internal Affairs charges hanging over their blue caps?

If the Trustees actually thought that holding those disciplinary hearings on the SCPD IA charges would be "too expensive," have they obtained an estimate on how much it will cost the Village to self-insure when NYMIR drops Westhampton Beach's coverage?

Those are just some of the big questions that Deputy Mayor Birk and Trustees Joan Levan, Hank Tucker and Jim Kametler must answer.

On a related note...

At last month's PBA meeting Patrol Officer Jeff "Sleepy" Speer was again nominated to run, unopposed, for PBA President while then-suspended Officer Bruetsch stood unchal­lenged for re-election as Vice-President.

While the Trustees can't be expected to re­spond to this one, the next time a member of the PBA solicits a contribution or a donation, perhaps it can be put to him something along the lines of "Are you kidding?!?"

It's been said that the Brotherhood of the Blue is the second oldest order after the Jesuits, but one of the members needs to publicly explain why the PBA pledged $10,000... about 20% of its treasury... toward legal representa­tion for Bruetsch and Pesapane by William Keahon when it looked like disciplinary hearings were to be held.

(Former Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Keahon, it may be recalled, is also serving as lame-duck Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot's attorney in her oft-delayed DWI trial.)

Unknown is why the PBA went to Mr. Keahon since they already pay their regular attorney, Allen Kranz, $14,000 to represent them.

One last question...

Is deposed Deputy Mayor Kametler's recent low visibility around Six Corners related to a Suffolk County fleet vehicle's presence in the area? Ducking a subpoena, Jim?

  1. The Southampton Press Western Edition again editorializes today regarding the Trustees' outrageous decision to order the Chief to rescind the SCPD IA charges, and urges residents "to help dismantle the dysfunctional machine currently inhabiting Village Hall." Well said!


1. Eileen Dover said...

Keep digging, Dean. You're good at it and the taxpayers have a right to know the truth!

This is assuming that those taxpayers are taking notice.
– Dean

2. Matlynn Carville said...

Speir, your at your finest. Well done, sir! May your investigative chops, honesty, and grouchy moral compass trump the bully tactics!

Ah, t'weren't nuthin', ma'am.

3. Surf's Up! said...

I'm watchin', I'm watchin'!

Mebbe "watchin'" isn't enough at this point. Perhaps "action" is indicated. They only can do what the residents allow them to do.

I learned long ago to expect others to share the courage of my convictions is the path to disappointment, but I have to wonder what it takes to kick-start the rest of the populace into action.
– Dean

4. Jeanne Speir said...

Yes, dear. Now, to whom do we make our convictions known?

They powers that be... even Dr. Frankenstein, Larry Talbot, Igor and Count Dracula turned tail when the burgers of Vasaria stormed the castle with the aforementioned pitchforks and burning fagots.

5. Surf's Up! said...

A more specific plan would be useful.

Even if you're too bashful to speak out, just show up at Village Board meetings and let them know that others are interested in what they are doing.

M'gawd! The local paper has strongly editorialized against how they're comporting themselves two weeks running, and they're probably wondering what it takes to get Villagers off their butts.

The strongest force in Westhampton Beach in my experience has always been "the back fence" and "the tables down at Eckart's." Talk to your friends and neighbors; see if they are even aware of what's been going on.

If they do, and have done nothing, then it's on them!
– Dean

6. Tugboat Bertha said...

Where does the reference about pitch forks and burning fagots come from?

As I explained to my good wife above, that was a staple of the Universal horror films of the '30s and '40s, wherein the final reel the terrified Villagers would rise up and march on the nearby castle to rid themselves of malevolent hunchback Igor, Count Dracula, poor Lawrence Talbot who was powerless against the full moon transforming him into a murderous lycanthrope, or the Frankenstein monster... sometimes three or four at once....

At times they had a hunting gun or two, but being farmers they always had pitchforks as weapons, and since the scene was always set at night, they had lit torches of fagots to illuminate their passage.
– Dean

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