Governor Cuomo Designates Westchester County D.A. DiFiore to Joint Commission on Public Ethics

eHezi Archives 4 Comments

DiFiore_JanetALBANY, NY and YONKERS, NY — December 13, 2011 — Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to chair the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The  commission will be entrusted to scrutinize New York State’s lobbying industry and their interaction with elected officials. By accepting this new role, DiFiore is saddled with the formidable challenges and responsibility of the Office of Westchester Country District Attorney and the Joint Commission of Public Ethics.

DiFiore is a person competent and able to balance the responsibilities both efforts will demand and exact.

As chair of the newly formed Joint Commission on Public Ethics, DiFiore and 13 colleagues will have purview of New York State’s entire lobbying industry and elected officials, including the governor himself.

“You can’t do better in terms of credentials than a sitting district attorney who is sworn to enforce the law and has an impeccable track record in doing so,” advised Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto


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eHeziGovernor Cuomo Designates Westchester County D.A. DiFiore to Joint Commission on Public Ethics

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  1. DiFiore has proved to be a fair, highly principled and straight-shooting prosecutor, someone guided by the facts and evidence of cases, rather than the politics, public passions or public relations. A former judge, DiFiore has been elected as both a Republican and a Democrat and has amicable relations with those on both sides of the political aisle.

    Date Posted: Friday, December 16, 09:42:40%E intergalactic
    Author: charged in fed ct w coverup of murder black police officer
    Subject: Cuomo continues corruption – appoints DiFiore
    Despite a press that has been cheerleader from day one, many insiders see Governor Andrew Cuomo’s appointment of Westchester County District Attorney DiFiore to head the new “super” ethics Committee as a continuation of corruption and business as usual.
    While the established media barely scrutinized the formation of the new “super” alleged ethics committee in the first place, the quick agreement to pass the new law in the dark of night was made behind closed doors in Albany by members with clear vested interest in the outcome of the agreement.
    Albany was supposed to be the subject of a “Clean-up” according to Andy Cuomo’s campaign pledge but instead the new “super” ethics committee not only requires a “super” majority just to get an “investigation” begun, but the agreement to pass the new law also immediately stopped an ongoing inquiry by the Committee on Public Integrity into matters involving SUNY and Joe Bruno’s daughter, Susan Bruno. Despite all the federal hoopla around Joe Bruno for years, the press has kept a hands off policy of asking questions of the Cuomo administration.
    Now, Governor Cuomo has appointed Janet DiFiore to head up the new JCOPE. Not mentioned in any of the press articles to date in Albany is the fact that an attorney of long-standing reputation in Westchester, Jonathan Lovett, Esq., filed a federal civil rights action on behalf of a black father who claimed his son, a Police officer, had been murdered in Westchester County and that DA Janet DiFiore was part of the cover-up.
    Attorney Lovett was also a last minute stand in federal court in the Southern District of New York for the inside whistleblower case of Christine Anderson, former Staff Attorney at the First Department DDC with claims of retaliation by the State of New York for speaking out against systemic corruption within the Department Discipline system for attorneys.
    The Times Union now reports that Janet DiFiore held the first “meeting” of the new “super” committee by telephone secretly and by skirting the Open Meetings Law, although the new “super” alleged ethics committee apparently is not subject to the Open Meetings Law that other state bodies must comply with.
    For some of the details on how Janet DiFiore covered up an alleged murder of a black police officer in Westchester County by withholding 4 surveillance tapes, a copy of an article at the Westchester Guardian is included here.
    Why is the press not asking DiFiore the “tough” questions that anyone seeking to hold such a position on a new “super” ethics committee would have to answer? Business as usual?
    Thursday, April 23, 2009
    Christopher Ridley Case/Janet Difiore.
    The Advocate
    Richard Blassberg
    Stanley Ridley, Father Of Slain Heroic
    Police Officer Christopher Ridley, Declares,
    “My Son Didn’t Have To Die That Way”
    Last Tuesday morning, April 14th, a press conference was held at the site of the tragic shooting of Police Officer Christopher Ridley on January 25, 2008. The purpose of the press conference was to officially announce the filing of a $90 million federal lawsuit by Officer Ridley’s father,
    Stanley Ridley, in United States District Court, White Plains.
    The suit, which names Janet DiFiore, District Attorney of Westchester, individually and in her capacity as District Attorney, as well as the four County police officers directly involved in the shooting, together with their commissioner, Thomas Belfiore, Chief Medical Examiner Millard Hyland, and County Executive Andrew Spano, also names the County of Westchester, New York; nine Defendants in all, and seeks $10 million from each.
    Stanley Ridley, the Plaintiff, is primarily motivated to uncover the truth, the whole truth, regarding what actually happened outside 85 Court Street, White Plains just minutes before 5pm on January 25, 2008. He knows, logically and instinctively, that much of what the district attorney
    and her cohorts would have him, and the rest of us, believe is neither truthful nor believable; and, what’s more, that there are witnesses who insist that from their vantage point, much of what came out of the grand jury was a whitewash.
    Mostly, Stanley Ridley wants to clear his son’s name, something he shouldn’t have to do except for Janet DiFiore’s demeaning fabrications that Officer Ridley would embark upon a mission to confront and apprehend a brutally violent perpetrator, Anthony Jacobs, who had just assaulted
    and battered a middle-aged man, breaking both of the man’s wrists, but would carry out an arrest carrying only his service weapon, but leaving his badge, his universally-recognized symbol of police authority, behind in his car.
    DiFiore would have Mr. Ridley, and all of us in Westchester with sense enough to tie our own shoelaces, believe that Christopher would first go running into the security entry area of the County Office Building seeking to enlist police assistance, with a gun in his belt, but no badge.
    Witnesses very close to the action are saying it didn’t happen that way. They’re saying he was holding a badge in his right hand and his service weapon in his left hand, arms fully extended from his sides, facing three of the four County police officers standing no more than 10 feet from him when they opened fire, though his gun wasn’t pointed at any of them. Those witnesses are saying that he then dropped his badge and his gun on the sidewalk, and was going down to his knees when a fourth officer, who had taken cover behind a tree at the curb, came out and placed his gun, at point-blank range, and shot Officer Ridley in the head above his left eyebrow.
    Witnesses also report seeing the entry wound with powder burns around it as Christopher Ridley’s body lay on the sidewalk, uncovered for some time; and, that the badge which lay on the sidewalk near him was quickly removed, even before White Plains police arrived on the scene.When Plaintiff Stanley Ridley went to the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office to identify his son’s mortal remains, he was shown Christopher’s body with his head wrapped in white bandaging from his eyebrows up.
    He told reporters, “We want the truth, we want the tapes, and I want all the people involved in this brought to justice. My son didn’t have to die that way.” Responding to questions from a large contingent of newspaper and broadcast reporters, attorney Jonathan Lovett declared, “I have plenty of witnesses, but now we will have a tidal wave.” He cited District Attorney Janet DiFiore’s “repeated refusal to release the unredacted video
    tapes.” Asked why the grand jury found the killing was an accident, Lovett responded, “Grand juries do what they are asked to do by the DA.”
    Damon Jones, a Westchester Corrections Officer and President of the Westchester Chapter of the National Black Police Association, told reporters, “The Westchester County justice system needs an enema because it’s full of crap!” He went on to say that there were “lots of witnesses who came forward to the Mount Vernon police,” but that they were all directed to White Plains.
    Jones expressed his opinion with regard to the DA’s investigation saying, “This case is a poster child for the need for a special prosecutor.”
    There were no fewer than four surveillance cameras mounted on the County Office Building, and elsewhere, that took videotapes of the tragic events leading up to the killing of heroic police officer Christopher Ridley, and the shooting itself. The fact that District Attorney Janet
    DiFiore has repeatedly refused to show the public the unredacted, untampered-with tapes for more than 15 months now, speaks volumes about the integrity of her investigation and the product of her grand jury.
    This is the same district attorney, after all, who covered up the violence of Yonkers Police Officer Wayne Simoes, the rogue cop who bodyslammed Irma Marquez without justification; the same district attorney who then proceeded to prosecute Ms. Marquez on totally fictitious charges even after viewing the horrific videotape of Simoes’ unprovoked attack. Likewise, this is the same district attorney who prosecuted Rui Florim, who was brutalized by six off-duty Yonkers cops, and who prosecuted numerous other victims of Yonkers police brutality, including Dr. Sherry Bobrowsky.
    Janet DiFiore is the same district attorney who, upon entering office, kept concealed, for 16 months, until compelled by the federal courts, to turn over 376 pages, 52 boxes, and miles of audio tape, all of which indicate Anthony DiSimone’s innocence in the stabbing death of Louis Balancio,
    in Yonkers, 15 years ago, including a confession by the actual murderer, Nick Djonovic. How can Stanley Ridley, or any intelligent and reasonable
    individual, trust anything as crucial as the investigation of the killing of their only child to such an individual?
    Nevertheless, before and after the press conference, The Journal News made their bias very clear. On Tuesday, the day of the press conference,
    Phil Reisman, who always drank the kool aid for Jeanine Pirro, willingly did the same for Janet DiFiore. For him, the Ridley tragedy and the failure of the DA’s Office to come clean, was merely about an effort to “take down the DA.”
    The simple fact is DA DiFiore has refused to reveal the unredacted, unaltered videotapes taken by several surveillance cameras of the tragic incident. If those original images supported her version of the killing, she would have shown them to the public 15 months ago, would have
    released the medical examiner’s report, and turned over articles of Christopher Ridley’s clothing to his family immediately.
    Posted by The Westchester Guardian Newspaper at 8:30 PM
    Additional Info from the Yonkers Tribune
    Sunday, April 12, 2009
    Federal Complaint Accuses District Attorney of Covering-Up NY Cop’s Murder
    Federal Lawsuit Says District Attorney DiFiore is Covering-Up Murder of Brave Cop, Christopher Ridley
    by Frank Brady – April 12, 2009
    The father of 23-year-old slain Mount Vernon, New York, Police Officer Christopher A. Ridley filed a lawsuit on friday, April 10, 2009 in White Plains federal court alleging that his son was murdered, and that various Westchester County officials covered up known facts of the crime.
    Stanley Ridley is the lone plaintiff in the federal action (09civ3379) against 9 defendants: JANET DiFIORE, Westchester County District Attorney, county detective ROBIN MARTIN, police officer FRANK OLIVERI, police officer JOSE CALERO, police officer CHRISTIAN GUTIERREZ, Public Safety Commissioner THOMAS BELFIORE, medical examiner MILLARD HYLAND, county executive ANDREW SPANO and the COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER.
    The complaint alleges that at about 5:00pm on January 25, 2008, off-duty Officer Ridley was murdered while coming to the assistance of an assault in progress. The allegations include:
    Officer Ridley had extended both arms and was displaying his badge.
    That officer Calero and Gutierrez shot Officer Ridley, and he fell to the ground.
    Officer Oliveri approached Officer Ridley and shot him at point blank range.
    Officer Oliveri retrieved Officer Ridley’s badge from the sidewalk and secreted it.
    The incident was captured on a least four security video cameras, the tapes now secreted.
    The Medical Examiner’s report indicates powder burns on Officer Ridley’s forehead.
    That District Attorney DiFiore determined that a cover-up would better serve her politically.
    That the Medical Examiner’s Report has been improperly kept secret.
    Officer Ridley’s head was bandaged in the morgue to hide the close rang bullet hole.
    Slain Officer Memorialized Amid Questions
    The New York Times by NICOLE NEROULIAS – February 1, 2009
    The newly designated Detective Christopher A. Ridley Plaza on Court Street here and Detective Christopher A. Ridley Way in front of Mount Vernon Police Department headquarters pay tribute to the off-duty officer who was mistakenly shot by county police officers last year as he tried to apprehend a violent homeless man in downtown White Plains. The memorial signs also serve as a cautionary reminder of the risks faced by police officers, particularly when responding to a crime in plain clothes. On Jan. 25, 2008, Mr. Ridley, a 23-year-old Mount Vernon officer, was struggling to detain Anthony Jacobs, whom he had spotted assaulting another man, when county police officers opened fire. Witnesses told investigators that Mr. Ridley, who was killed instantly, did not seem to hear warnings to drop the gun he was carrying and showed no sign of his badge.
    Within a week, the Mount Vernon department posthumously promoted Mr. Ridley to the rank of detective. Six weeks later, shortly before a grand jury chose not to indict the four county officers involved in the shooting, Thomas Belfiore, the county’s public safety commissioner, appointed a seven-member panel to review the curriculum at the Westchester County Police Academy, which trains the recruits for all 43 departments in the county. “We can’t change the circumstances of that day, but we can make it have a meaning,” said Andrew J. Spano, county executive, last Sunday at the dedication ceremony at 85 Court Street, the scene of Mr. Ridley’s death. The meaning, however, varies for those affected by Mr. Ridley’s death: law enforcement agencies, family members and friends, young black men and others. The panel commissioned by Mr. Belfiore — two criminal justice professors, four law enforcement officials and a Mount Vernon pastor — came up with 64 recommendations in May. The academy has put 45 into practice, including having recruits go through diverse role-playing confrontation exercises that are videotaped and critiqued. Forty recruits recently completed the revised 20-week program, including 7 from Mount Vernon. All 270 county police officers have received enhanced confrontation training, as will Westchester’s probations and corrections officers, Mr. Belfiore said.
    A few months ago, similar training was added to the statewide curriculum, through Mr. Belfiore’s position as chairman of New York’s Municipal Police Training Council. Westchester’s local departments have received the new materials and will each decide how best to incorporate those lessons for their 2,200 officers, he said. “We want, as best as we can, to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” Mr. Belfiore said. “It’s a sad but important tribute to Detective Ridley.” David E. Chong, the Mount Vernon police commissioner, said his 207-member department, which Detective Ridley served for two years, now offers a training day that covers off-duty confrontations. “Learning how to act, how to identify yourself and how to recognize potential dangers when you take action in plain clothes is very, very important,” he said. While they appreciate the improvements to police training, activists like Damon K. Jones, executive director of Westchester’s chapter of the National Black Police Association, and the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church, where Mr. Ridley had been a youth mentor, say much more needs to be done. They have called on Westchester police departments to hire and promote more minorities and for the county to create a civilian review board on police procedures.
    Mr. Ridley’s family, which agrees that more education and review policies are needed, said it plans to file a lawsuit within six weeks against the county and the cities of Mount Vernon and White Plains. They want “real answers” about the shooting circumstances and whether Mr. Jacobs, who lived in one of the county’s homeless shelters, had been appropriately supervised, said Calvin Scholar, the family’s lawyer. Mr. Jacobs has since pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and will be sentenced to six years in prison on Feb. 10. But those who loved Mr. Ridley say no amount of commemoration, compensation or curriculum changes can make up for their loss. Even their own efforts to make sure his sacrifice was not in vain, including establishing a memorial foundation to encourage youths to enter law enforcement and to finance police awareness programs, feel bittersweet, his parents, Felita Rucker Bouché and Stanley Ridley, said. At the plaza dedication ceremony, Mr. Ridley tearfully thanked the crowd of more than 150 government officials, officers and residents who had braved frigid temperatures. Such events, which bring members of the community together, truly honor his son’s memory, Mr. Ridley said. “I gave him to the community so he could make the community better,” he said.
    A Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit was filed on Friday April 10th in U.S District Court in White Plains naming District Attorney Janet Difiore, County Executive Andrew Spano, Westchester Police Commissioner Thomas Belfiore, the County of Westchester and four County police officers who were involved in the shooting.
    The lawsuit alleges that Westchester County Police officer, Oliveri, a Caucasian, shot off duty police officer, Ridley, a black man, point blank range in the head as Ridley was falling defenselessly to the ground after being shot several times in the midsection by Westchester County Police. Ridley a brave Mount Vernon Police Officer was off duty and in the process of stopping an assault in progress in front of 85 Court St. in White Plains N.Y. when shot.
    This was an execution says Civil Rights Attorney, Jonathan Lovett. The D.A, Janet Difiore determined that to cover it up would better serve her politically, says Lovett. Oliveri in an attempt to cover up the killing retrieved Officer Ridley’s badge from the sidewalk and secreted it– so that it could be later discovered in Officer Ridley’s automobile- a circumstance later used by the Defendants to justify the County Police’s killing Officer Ridley on the pretext that he did not identify himself as a policeman.
    Corruption in the D.A.’s office will not be tolerated. We are demanding the resignation of District Attorney Janet Difiore, effective immediately says Damon K. Jones of the National Black Police Assoc. She has shown on many occasion by her corrupt and biased treatment of Blacks and Latino’ that she is a racist and therefore unfit.
    The Press Conference will be held at the same location where Officer Ridley was shot and killed, (85 Court St. White Plains, N.Y.) Present at the Press Conference will be, Officer Ridley’s father, Stanley Ridley, Civil Rights Attorney, Jonathan Lovett, Damon K. Jones, (National Black Police Assoc ), Civil Rights Activists, and family and friends of the Ridley family.
    Posted by Corrupt Courts Administrator at 7:48 AM

  3. Ethics in Politics!!! Isn’t that an oxymoron?
    Just like the Yonkers Ethics Board, which is a total joke, this Board has no teeth so it won’t achieve anything, except hot air and a lot of felled trees.

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