The Blue Truth Telling
Yonkers PBA President Det. Keith Olson just can’t stop thinking about how he sold his union members out in what insiders and other union leaders have designated heretofore to have been one of the “worst” police contracts in New York State. The contract was introduced and ratified in about four days, with Yonkers PBA President Olson unable to explain to his membership “why” he and Yonkers City Hall had agreed to open and change New York General Municipal Law 207c. The sense of desperation became evident during a late night December meeting during which Olson promoted the necessity to ratify the change to Municipal Law 207c before and among the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association membership in attendance. Olson realized if he did not pull the wool over the PBA membership’s eyes, his political reelection in 2014 would evaporate. It was only in hindsight that PBA members realized they were played; they believed PBA President Det. Olson. The ten-year contract is still in effect today.
Injured Police Officers have suffered unnecessary stress, as well as additional litigation costs in order to prove to the City of Yonkers the extent, integrity, and reality of their injury which had incapacitated them from performing their regular police duties. Perhaps that is why Keith Olson spends most of his waking time fending off calls related to 207c coverage being denied.
Now if you are one of the old guard, “tier two” PBA cheerleaders you may be able to delay your inevitable City Arbitration Hearing reviewing whether you can sustain your much needed pay and benefits. Perhaps that is why Olson is having sleepless nights and drives daily to Starbucks in Ardsley, NY, for his big java fix?
Perhaps that is why the Yonkers PBA leader felt the need to call Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris during the Westchester On the Level internet radio broadcast so PBA President Olson could question journalist Hezi Aris. He wanted Aris to explain why the changes to the General Municipal Law were harmful to his membership. He was asking Aris in order to better understand 207c after all these years. Readers of the Yonkers Tribune may want to listen to that call and hear Olson three-and-half years later still grappling with how he can defend the deal he cut with the “ Spano’s “ in 2013. Evidently, inquiry of Hezi Aris was deficient in giving him a rationale. Since it was Olson that pushed the change onto the PBA membership it seemed only logical that he must know the answer. Alas, he did not! And Aris did not want to embarrass Olson by suggesting that Aris did.
Listen to the June 6, 2017th “Westchester On the Level” broadcast:
White Plains Mayoral Candidate Milagros Lecuona, Yonkers PBA President Keith Olson, and Yonkers Tribune Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris on Westchester On the Level – Tuesday, June 6, 2017th at 10am DST.
Access code to the archive noted above is at: http://tobtr.com/s/10058541. The talk with Det. Olson begins at about 40 minutes after the show began.
Since that unscheduled call from Det. Olson, I have received numerous inquiries from bewildered insiders who advise that Keith Olson himself could not and did not explain the agreed upon changes to 207c. Insiders advise that he let his “personal” PBA-paid attorney Andrew Quinn explain it away; and away it went.
The Yonkers Tribune is not required nor responsible to explain any agreed upon contract between any of its city officials, which are left up to the framers of the contracts to which Olson promoted and pushed the PBA membership approve 207c. If Olson was uncertain about 207c, why did he promote its adoption? Yet when Yonkers Tribune did learn of the likely outcome that would detrimentally affect the PBA membership, we did question the value of Yonkers Police agreeing to 207c. The PBA members voted to change 207c at Det. Olson’s urging despite our admonition that they would be hurt by its adoption.
Det. Olson, as PBA President, was tasked to have asked the questions and received the answers and the ramifications the changes would impose onto the membership. Det. Olson has proven not have vetted the issues well, that he may not have understood the ramifications of the changes to 207c would or could cause, or he was duped by a third party presently unknown to the Yonkers Tribune to guide his membership with a deficient amount of knowledge.
What is known is that the changes have been proven harmful to Police Officers; only Yonkers City Hall had come to benefit; those hurt and injured Yonkers Police Officers did not. Olson owns the 2013 contract he pushed, prodded, and pleaded the PBA members to accept. They did so believing their PBA President would not hurt them. They would in time learn, whether intentioned or unknowingly, he had. Considering it was Det. Olson that led the membership to their “slaughter” one would think he would not have to call the radio show four years later to gain clarity on changes he agreed to, while other City of Yonkers unions refused to accept the contract he had. What did they know that Det. Olson did not?
I am sorry to hear of Det. Olson’s sleepless nights. Perhaps Det. Olson might consider avoiding the tossing and turning every night by making a change. It may behoove him to make some changes to the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association. A change to the leadership of the Yonkers PBA seems most prudent.
Rumors are still swirling about that the Yonkers PBA has not paid a court ordered decision by the New York State Court of Appeal, the highest court presiding in the State of New York.
Sources advise the Yonkers Tribune that infighting has soured to such an extent among the Police Officers of the Yonkers Police Department that most personnel interact with one another only as part of their Police responsibilities and duties with one another; morale is at an all time low.
As Keith Olson moves toward another term as Yonkers PBA President, one has to wonder to whose benefit?
Olson’s work, from his perspective, is not done. Olson has openly stated that he will do whatever it takes to make his boyhood friend Yonkers Police Chief John Mueller fulfill his pipe-dream to serve as Police Commissioner with Olson as PBA President. Yonkers Tribune has learned of allegations that Olson has again dropped the ball. This time the circumstance regards Mueller deciding to force the training personnel from a contractual 8-hour tour to a 12-hour tour under threat of being sanctioned and thereafter transferred for refusing to follow orders. These new directives are contrary to the contractual agreements signed and codified over many years with Yonkers City Hall. This among other unagreed upon changes reveals the age discrimination bias suffered among senior personnel that is politically motivated and orchestrated to pad incoming police personnel that are part of the “friends and family” patronage mill.
Sources in the know advise that many of the training personnel have either suddenly retired or are out injured. Is this circumstance a prelude of the culture to be expected under a Mueller – Olson Administration? One has to wonder if Mueller’s personal public relations efforts will win stakeholders in support of his moving up the food chain or whether he will be recognized to be detrimental to the public interest and likewise an eventual detrimental challenge even to Yonkers City Hall? The crisis within exposes morale at the Yonkers Police Department having reached new lows.
Yonkers Tribune has learned that Olson is asking for another term from his predominantly Tier 6 members who are too new and fearful to question any of Olson’s Yonkers Police Precinct lackeys who are seemingly adept at regurgitating misinformation, who don’t have to pay any union dues, and yet still get preferential overtime opportunities.
Yonkers Tribune has learned of “so-called rumors”, wink, wink, swirling about Yonkers Police Benevolent Association President Det. Keith Olson having thrown a big, end-of-the-month, summer barbecue meeting sparing no expenses. There are reports that the PBA had even hired hand-rolling cigar experts to individually hand roll cigars for any of its members, ironically at their expense. The Yonkers PBA seems averse to advising their membership with an audit of the funds expended under their watch. It appears a new flock is being corralled by Olson and his old board of directors. Insiders advise most of the board members have more than twenty years on the job. They have nice cushy assignments, and get first shot at overtime to the exclusion of all others. While the “culture” has worked its magic for many years, City Hall is now desirous to change things around so that they can take care of their “own”, that is “friends and family”. The changing of the guards will create a police force serving City Hall exclusively, so much so, that “law” even “order” will be abridged to service those in the ivory towers and to an infinitesimal degree Yonkers Police Officers, and least of all the public interest.
As City Hall toys with the likes of Det. Olson in order that he manipulate his men and woman into submission, Olson recognizes he needs Yonkers City Hall to keep his perks and relatives on the payroll. Does anyone remember the email explaining how he was fighting for more staff, or the News12 Westchester video news clip about the homicide at the Ridge Hill Cinema movie theater and the need for more staff? It was all smoke and mirrors because Yonkers had just hired another round of recruits. Was the homicide at Ridge Hill any different than the ones on Yonkers’ westside? Or is it that the Spano’s need Olson? For how much longer can Olson play the game? He says what he is told to say, when he is told to say it, lest he crash and burn by going beyond the message he must confine himself to express.
The Yonkers PBA continues to pay the Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s older brother Nick Spano lobbying expenses that Nick Spano personally admitted totaled $48,000 annually. At issue is: “To do what?” Is it intended to continue to further undermine an upcoming, even “worse” contract, or make John Mueller Police Commissioner?
Is this why Det. Olson has recently stepped up his internal “police propaganda” emails to his membership? All signs point to another term. Insiders advise Keith Olson will be remembered as one of the “worst and most dangerous PBA leaders” in Yonkers PBA history.” To many, under barely audible, hushed tones, sentiment in favor of Det. Olson has waned. Credible as it may be to those who expressed it, is Olson’s alternative reality demanding Olson to do all he can to maintain his personal gravy train? Think about it. If Olson does not get re-elected to Yonkers PBA President for another term he is totally washed up! What can he do? Where will he go?
Perhaps what is so profoundly unnerving and disturbing is that Yonkers PBA members, suspecting they are being misinformed, maintain their silence for fear of being targeted by the PBA. Sadly, men and woman who are in harm’s way every day believe they have no option other than to kowtow before the pressure and threat of retribution is exacted over them individually and collectively by the Yonkers PBA.
Either way the Yonkers Police Department seems to be in disarray under the Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano-Yonkers PBA Pres. Det. Keith Olson Administration. Under their combined tag-team directive, with Nick Spano driving the situation, Yonkers Police Officers have been quietly tucked away in assignments that require detective status to which they are not credentialed. Under New York State Law, if such unqualified personnel are left in their posts for 18 months they are entitled to be promoted to the rank of Yonkers Detective. This 18-month rule is also known as the “friends and family” Act of the YPD. This past week alone the Yonkers Police Department promoted four Police Officers to the rank of Detectives with the commensurate gold shield.
There have been reports of some disenchanted 18-month “friends and family” members that sources in the know advise goes to boosting allegiance to the Spano’s boldly, openly, and without shame or embarrassment, and without any concern for conduct not permitted under law! There are allegations that Police Officer Christopher DeMatteo, who insiders in the know have informed Yonkers Tribune has been seen wining and dining with the Spanos, is driving some big police bosses around during work hours. He has boasted that he had attended Dignitary Protection School, yet was totally miffed when he learned of the four police officers mentioned above to Yonkers Police Detectives and the gold shield that DeMatteo covets. Insiders with knowledge report that DeMatteo was disgruntled. It seems DeMatteo believed he was entitled to that gold shield because of his uncle’s connection with Nick Spano regarding some lucrative economic development projects in the past and present they had allegedly engaged, and on that history, DeMatteo would earn himself a gold shield to which he would not have been considered. He has been a Yonkers Police Officer for only about 5-years.Such advancements usually demand 10-years of service before a candidate is even considered. P.O. DeMatteo is reported to have openly boasted about his uncle’s relationship with Nick Spano to prove to co-workers he was untouchable. Ironically enough, DeMatteo has been noticed and is allegedly now the new driver to former NYS Senator Nick Spano. The last Nick Spano driver ended up getting arrested for allegedly committing armed robberies when he was not driving Nick Spano… Besides, isn’t it illegal for a police officer to engage in any manner, much less be a driver for a felon, that is the former New York State Senator Nick Spano? I thought so. So do we all forget about it? OK! I get it, mums the word. Selective amnesia to the rescue!
Read: Yonkers DPW Worker Johnny Nassar and Part-time Driver to Former Senator Nick Spano Indicted as a Participant in a 10 Member “Loosely Organized Crime Crew” by Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York By HEZI ARIS
Yonkers DPW Worker Johnny Nassar and Part-time Driver to Former Senator Nick Spano Indicted as a Participant in a 10 Member “Loosely Organized Crime Crew” by Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York By HEZI ARIS
At issue now then, is why DeMatteo, designated an Auto Crime Investigator, to which he was also not qualified, was sent to the exclusive Dignitary Protection School? Was the school enrollment arranged on behalf of Nick Spano at the former Senator Spano’s request? Gold shield detectives were in the past the only ones considered for this unique position, not Police Officers. Who paid for this exclusive course? Did the City of Yonkers, e.g. Yonkers taxpayers?, pay for this course that is conducted in New York City? Did P.O. Christopher DeMatteo, or Nick Spano, or the Yonkers Taxpayer pay? Did P.O. DeMatteo, the alleged new driver for Nick Spano request permission from Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner to be permitted to work in policing as well as to be Nick Spano’s driver? Permission must be requested from YPD. Has YPD been informed? Has an official police request been made by this officer to perform hourly, off-duty employment, or will he have to file Federal income taxes on his own?
Yonkers Tribune readers, aware of the issues as noted above, may now more easily arrive at a studied conclusion as to why Yonkers is defined as the City of Hills where too little is on the level.