The need for an exit strategy was demanded by all who schemed, plotted, encouraged or cajoled the ploy. It wasn’t always so. There was a time when marginalizing those who stood in the way bore fruit. It was exhilarating in the heydays of yore when controlling and dominating the outcome was as easy as taking candy from a baby. The last few years were stressful; the prospect for success more challenging. In fact, every twist and turn could fail. Even so, those once in total command found their capacity to control scenarios and outcome eclipsed by those demanding an outcome that may have even gone beyond their capacity. It was when that realization became evident, that Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Keith Olson became cognizant that his days were numbered. The central protagonist in the days of former Mayor John Spencer and his successor, former Mayor Phil Amicone, embellished PBA President Olson and his BFF compatriots John Mueller, “Acting” Deputy Commissioner, and Brian Moran, Detective Sergeant. Moran, rarely in the spotlight, receded further into the woodwork, while Mueller was climbing to almost “untouchable” status, leaving Olson to keeping Yonkers City Hall at bay, while watching out for himself. He was being slowly turned into the fall guy.
When the Spano Administration acceded to office, there was a learning curve to which all are challenged. Mayor Spano was no different. Olson had the support of Mueller and Moran; all seemed good. The Spano Administration caught on after a while. Rather than resetting Olson’s ethical compass, City Hall preyed on Olson’s weaknesses and his desire to plot an outcome, especially vis-a-vis the contractual agreements between Yonkers City Hall and the Yonkers PBA, the union membership. Olson had learned he had been played because his history within the Yonkers Police Department (YPD) had been an open book that he believed he could keep under lock and key. The Spano Administration read Olson the riot act and he became their front man. He would do what he was told. Olson delivered the contract Mayor Mike Spano wanted; signed and sealed.
It would likely have been the end of the story but the YPD was left in the dust by the contractual agreement signed by Yonkers City Hall and the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD). Quiet rumblings began to be heard. The PBA membership started to ask questions. PBA members wanted parity with the YFD, but had seemingly gotten less.
Revelations of misconduct by some YPD Officers was being noted by media in Westchester County. YPD had their name tarnished. Morale was low. Olsen was being singled out to rationalize one outcome after another. He was feeling the heat. City Hall wanted him to depart the scene, but they would not spell it out. They dragged out the quagmire of their making. Olson was in a precarious situation. Even his BFFs Mueller and Moran were self absorbed.
A plan was hatched. Yonkers Tribune has yet to learn if it was Olson’s concept alone, a joint understanding between Mayor Spano’s Office, or a directive by order of the mayor or his administrative office. The intent was for neither City Hall nor PBA President Olson to admit fault or responsibility of any kind regarding the City Hall / PBA Contract resolution, or even the questions over whether legal representation by the Quinn Law Firm was fraught with conflicts of interest.
No matter the cause for a crescendo of strife with Yonkers City Hall, an exit strategy revealed itself. It was but only a few days ago.
One mid-day, close to 3pm, Olson recounted that he fell down a flight of one of the two million dollar staircases found within the Cacace Justice Center. The million dollar staircases bequeathed two previous high level upper echelon police to assert they had fallen down one of those three-story high staircases. Each in their time were able to retire using 207c medical rationale at ¾ their pension. And they were happier for it.
Earlier this week a similar incident was given expression by Olson. He asserted he had fallen down one of those staircases and hurt his back, knees, and hip. Mind you this was also only days after “Acting” Chief Mueller insisted that Lt. James McCauley, a friend of the dynamic trio of Olson, Moran, and Mueller, was promoted to the responsibility of overseeing the Medical Control Department. In other words, with McCauley overseeing the assertion made by Olson, no one would ever question the gravitas of Olson’s assertions. This despite the fact that Olson did not report the fall until almost 6pm. About three hours after Olson alleged the incident took place. He entered St. John’s Medical Center for medical attention. The Yonkers Tribune is not privy to the diagnosis or prognosis.
It does seem as though Olson will be able to exact a ¾ retirement based on outwitting the protocol demanded by 207c regulations.
Interestingly Olson was treated for back problems only last month. Can Olson’s complaints be validated to now be work related?
The questions are many. Yet the most egregious issues speak to the conduct of Yonkers City Hall. The Mayor’s Office was fully aware of Olson’s ethical compass and standards beig off kilter.An issue to which many people are to one extent or another that each of us challenged. Each deal with these personal frailties, for lack of a better definition differently. Yonkers City Hall could have re-set Olson’s compass. They chose not to. They played Olson; showed him no respect, and used him until they no longer required his services. They were not nice. They chose not to be nice. They deserve the blame as much as playing others seduced Olson.
It is time the Spano Administration owned up to their part is this tragedy. Olson is trying to, but City Hall doesn’t seem to be giving him any slack. They both deserve a break. Olson must not be the fall guy to Mayor Mike Spano’s Administration’s wanting it to be the outcome.
It really is time for Yonkers to get some peace from these ongoing dramas of deceit. Anyone man enough to bring that about?
Alas, Yonkers taxpayers will have to foot the bills to these games they each played.