The Hezitorial Telling
PBA President Keith Olson Undermines the Men and Women in Blue by His Written Instructions and “Commands” as Noted on Yonkers PBA Stationery Herein
YONKERS, NY — -August 30, 2017 — Leave it to Yonkers PBA President Keith Olson to steer the men in blue to do what he alleges will be best for the Men and Women in Blue even if it skirts conduct demanded of them to each abide. While those who wear the uniform of blue with pride and knowledge of the law will they be misled by following the instructions they are asked to conform to by PBA President Keith Olson?
Read and see the absentee application form link below and you will appreciate how inappropriate the directives you have been told are not on target…
The link noted above is the one referenced by PBA President Keith Olson n which he instruct the union membership to leave boxes #6 and #7 blank for now. The takeaway is that the person filling out this form, should he/she not mark items #6 and #7 as required, that individual will be submitting an incomplete and therefore invalid form which is not what is required. Nowhere does the form authorize the exclusion of any items be allowed to be submitted partially, that is incomplete, and /or specifying the document be allowed to be submitted with #6 and #7 unchecked. The suggestion that the form not be completed by the person filling out the form in its entirety suggests that another person will complete the form and that would not be in compliance with the instructions or the intent of the the law. It is an uniformed inference by someone not qualified to render a legal opinion with this regard as it is not in compliance with the law. Did Olson write his directive after gaining legal counsel from the Quinn Law Firm or another legal counsel? The Yonkers Tribune doubts it. The Yonkers Tribune does suggest before anyone ascribes their signature to the application form they are aware their employment with YPD may be in jeopardy. Those who have intent to sign the document, whatever their rationale, may Bebe wise to first find out if they are legally permitted to follow the “commands” given them and if the YPD, Yonkers PBA and Yonkers City Hall can maintain their employment should higher courts deem their conduct not in compliance with the law as noted. Were Olson to have any gravitas over this legal issue, he would have gotten legal counsel to ascribe their name to this “command” by PBA President Olson.
NOTICE REGARDING THE HATCH ACT
It is necessary that Yonkers Police Officers be aware that while the Hatch Act is a federal law, it applies not only to individuals employed by an agency in the federal executive branch, but also to individuals principally employed by state, county, and/or municipal executive agencies in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency, e.g. the City of Yonkers and the Yonkers Police Department. Directives from the Yonkers PBA and/or the Yonkers CLSA cannot “command” anyone of those union members to engage in partisan politics as “commanded” by PBA President Keith Olson in his email directives to the union membership(s). He even instructs those that accept his directives to not check off two boxes in an application that attests they were witnessed in being signed before a specific person when any or all of these applications are dropped off with an unknown person who cannot attest to any of the applications having been ascribed before him/her!
The Hatch Act prohibits those municipal officials subject to its provisions from, among other things: (1) using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or nomination for office; (2) directly or indirectly coercing, attempting to coerce, commanding, or advising a state or local employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for political purposes; and (3) running as a candidate for public office in a partisan election, that is, in an election in which any candidate represents, for example, the Democratic or Republican party.
Additional information on the Hatch Act, the OSC, and the MSPB can be found on the following website: http://www.osc.gov/hatchact.htm.
Finally, one should emphasize that municipal employees who wish to be politically active may also be subject to restrictions imposed by their local municipal laws. The Hatch Act does not supersede nor negate the need to comply with additional restrictions imposed on municipal employees by their respective municipal laws. In New York City, for example, the political activity of a City public servant whose duties are in connection with a federally funded program must comply not only with the provisions of the Hatch Act but also with the provisions of the City’s laws, including those found in the City’s Conflicts of Interest Law. Many municipalities in New York State have similar restrictions on the political activities of their officers and employees. Yonkers Tribune would have asked Yonkers Inspector General Brendan McGrath about this “command” but we are aware he isn’t not in Tonkers but is expected to return next week sometime.
Violations of the Hatch Act can produce serious consequences, not only for the individual employee but also for the municipality. Municipal attorneys are thus well advised to instruct their clients about the provisions of the Act and the need to comply.
Who will be collecting the forms? Why have their names not been divulged?
Note that the Hatch Act does not permit political solicitation.
In what manner did Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin, Esq. help the YPD?