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Dyster-Cuomo Liaison a Match
Made in Hell for City Cops Here
Restraining Orders, PERB Complaints Commonplace

By Mike Hudson

Another day, another risk for Niagara Falls police. Added to their concerns is a high priced monitor who bills by the hour and hopes to stay on permanently. Here officer Ken Redmond arrests and books a repeat criminal. If police monitor Warshaw has his way, this man can make an anonymous complaint of racial discrimination in Albany, and the officer, without knowing his accuser, will find himself on the hot seat.

The Niagara Falls Police Club - the union that represents rank and file police officers here - has some big problems with Robert Warshaw and his band of merry men, hired by Mayor Paul Dyster at city taxpayer expense to bust the chops of the city police department on behalf of some 30 African American complainants whose allegations were never investigated, much less proven or disproven.

"I can say that the union disagrees with Warshaw on a number of issues," said union spokesman Detective Michael Drake. "I think it's safe to say there are some issues here."

Last year, at the union's request, New York State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Boniello III granted a temporary restraining order that prevented the state Attorney General's office from establishing a "panel hearing" board here to govern the actions of city cops.

The panel in question would consist of three Buffalo-based lawyers, appointed by the Attorney General, who would preside over hearings on complaints brought against individual Niagara Falls police officers from members of the community.

The panel would have the authority to award complainants with monetary settlements for offenses deemed egregious enough to warrant such action. The taxpayers of Niagara Falls would then be responsible for all such awards.

The panel would be hired and paid by the state, and it's not too much of a stretch to think that its' members might be predisposed to think of our city cops as the bad guys.

The police union has also filed several complaints with the New York Public Employment Relations Board, based on violations of the Civil Service law and the city charter contained in Warshaw's recommendations.

"All of these things are pending, and I really can't comment on them now," Drake said. "Our position is that a lot of these recommendations are illegal."

No mayor in the state has sucked up to the administration of Andrew Cuomo with more bootlicking servility than Paul Dyster, who, just a couple weeks ago, actually said - with a straight face - that his doing nothing as the city sank into financial oblivion because of a dispute between the governor and the Seneca Nation of Indians was in fact a "strategy" for resolving the impasse.

Dyster's hat in hand groveling led the city to hire Warshaw, who is Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy's former boss and benefactor.

Cuomo has made a lot of noise lately about rooting corruption in Albany, even going so far as to appoint a 25-member panel to investigate such shenanigans.

"The people of this state should sleep better tonight knowing that there is a mechanism in place to make sure their government is not only competent, but is also meeting the highest ethical and legal standards," Cuomo said at a news conference in Albany.

He and his "mechanism" would do well to look into the no-bid contract awarded to the Warshaw firm's appointment in Niagara Falls, his own running mate's involvement with his former boss and everything else that stinks to high heaven about the crooked up deal.

Because Andy, here in Niagara Falls, we're not sleeping better at all.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jul 16, 2013