The Height of Hypocrisy Hezitorial
YONKERS, NY — February 23, 2020 — Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) President Det. Keith Olson should have taken a back seat in his “all hands on deck approach” in which he sent out a Press Release to every news outlet in the State bellyaching and quacking about Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.’s decision in releasing a laundry list of Westchester Police Officers with “Adverse Credibility Findings, Criminal Convictions and Pending Criminal Charges.” Interestingly enough the Yonkers Police Department made every category. If this was the Oscars, we presume Olson would have taken home an award for the best performance for his part concerning his own department and the City Of Yonkers, both devoid of transparency and accountability. It is no secret that New York State has one set of rules and the City of Yonkers has their own, better known as the “Yonkers Way” as known as the “Olson Way.”
No matter where one turns, one must recognize Olson has overplayed his usefulness. He has pushed the envelope to such an extent, that those from whom he has gained support are vulnerable to exposure that has begun and will likely undermine their future capacity to function behind opaque walls of deniability and obfuscation. Sadly, no matter where one looks, the “Yonkers Way” is being undermined by the promulgators of their deceitful conduct that has been formulated for the past 20 years, built upon the likes of Mayor John Spencer and Mayor Phil Amicone before them. The neophytes of the past, Spencer and Amicone, had they been able to become the puppet masters would have, but they did not possess the cunning that presently exists with and by the renegade construct to which the Yonkers power structure deleteriously matured.
It is no secret that Keith Olson has a very cozy relationship with Nick Spano’s lobbying firm Empire Strategic Planners, paying “Nicky Boy” $24,000 per annum through an upper echelon government conduit known but not yet exposed by the Yonkers Tribune.
For what does the Yonker PBA, and the Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants Association (CLSA), who pay $12,000 to Empire Strategic Planners, pay their annual dues? Both the Yonkers PBA and Yonkers CLSA have each engaged a lobbyist operating in Albany, NY, to serve the interests of the PBA and CLSA on the state level. Hiring Nick Spano’s Empire Strategic Planners for serving the interests of both police unions is a conflict of interest as former Senator Nick Spano’s brother, Mike Spano is the Mayor of the City of Yonkers (CoY). This convoluted construct serves Empire Strategic Planners, $36,000 per annum on one hand. On the other hand, this relationship is the alleged payment to garner favor with Mayor Mike Spano. In reality, these are internal and contrived constructs that are powerful “get out of trouble” conduits.
These “conflicts of interest” are exacerbated by the exposed “BFF” relationship between Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller, and the Yonkers PBA President Det. Keith Olson. Between Mueller’s and Olson’s, long-lasting friendship, the City of Yonkers (CoY) has suffered due to their lack of respect of the men and women in Blue who serve to their oaths of conduct, to the Yonkers City Charter, and the Constitutions of New York State, and the United States of America. Undermining the capacity of the Yonkers Police Department is the relationship between the CoY Administration, and the lobbying firm of Empire Strategic Planners. Each of the protagonists noted intended to control the other.
From the days of former Yonkers Police Commissioner (PC) Edmund Hartnett, the relationship among the three powerful power “brokers” began. It was a power struggle that changed little among the disparate players until PC Hartnett came to realize that the Yonkers Police Department was losing ground to the Yonkers PBA. The YPD kept losing ground to the PBA under Mayor Phil Amicone. Eight years later, when Mayor Mike Spano was sworn to the helm, the relationships jelled along long defined friendships. PC Hartnett was an outlier. When PC Charles Gardner succeeded PC Hartnett, he focused on righting the sinking ship better known as the YPD. No matter the credible concepts PC Gardner would try to invoke, pushback came from Olson and Mueller who planned and formulated to undermine PC Gardner, as they successfully pushed PC Hartnett out the door. It worked. PC Gardner was kicked out the door as well; Mueller was elevated from Police Chief to Acting Police Commissioner within a few short months and he now presides at the helm as the Yonkers Police Commissioner.
While the protagonists of the past undermined or exalted each other for the past 20 years to their respective benefit, the house of cards is now collapsing under their respective greed, lack of integrity, and the many alleged inconsistencies and perjuries espoused and exposed by the internal “friends” of the chosen PBA Trustees.
What may have begun as a likely rivalry has evolved into an effort by the disparate spheres of influence to prostitute the other. Now, with everyone seemingly ensconced and presiding in their own fiefdom, the ignorance, lack of competency, lack of professionalism at their helms, the greed, and the twisted concepts and ideology imposed, particularly in the YPD, will in time bring about the ruin of the YPD and may even undermine the government of the City of Yonkers were it to dismiss the crisis before it.
At issue is how the YPD is run and how they continue to engage their debauched misconduct and believing that they will gain greater prowess in the process. What it has not realized, though it may be uttered among themselves in hushed tones, is that each power broker protagonist mentioned has prostituted the other. Mayor Mike Spano has less than two months ago been sworn to his third term in office and is for all intent and purpose “safe”!
Yet on the other hand, the Yonkers Police Department has increasingly raised the eyebrows of outside judicial agencies, as well as State and Federal agencies. It is no secret that Federal agencies have become more independent when investigating the City Of Yonkers and for good reasons. So we applaud Westchester District Attorney (WCDA) Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. for standing up to bullies, like PBA President Det. Olson, who have been afforded the time and given the patience to present evidence asked of the Yonkers Police Department on many issues to which the YPD and the Yonkers PBA have not been forthcoming. WCDA Scarpino, Jr. is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Westchester. It is he who presides at the top of the “food chain” above all other departments in Westchester County. YPD has played their hand. WCDA Scarpino, Jr. has called their bluff. And to his credibility, patience, and submission to the Code of Ethics to which he swore, he is serving all residents of Westchester County to the maximum permissible by law. To even suggest, as was stated by PBA President Olson, that the conduct WCDA Scarpino, Jr. “was pandering” is laughable, indicative of Olson’s arrogance. Olson has forgotten that he is now playing in a sandbox from which he and his legal team are incapable of challenging. Yonkers PBA union leader Olson needs to be put in his place. The YPD is a department run by a fistful of old frat boys making up rules as they go along. Olson’s contrivances and deceitful conduct of not responding as demanded to WCDA Scarpino, Jr. in at minimum over the last 6-months is the basis for Scarpino’s timely win over Olson, as effective and as final in its outcome as the Battle of Waterloo. Julius Caesar’s “crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor that means to pass a point of no return. Yonkers PBA Olson has forced WCDA Scarpino’s hand and Olson will lose in the final battle.
WCDA Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. got it right and was also being honest when he said the plan to be more transparent about its law enforcement officers and the community throughout Westchester have been in the works for quite some time and crying union officials like Keith Olson knew it was just a matter of time, such as has become evident over the resultant travesty swirling about now over Bail Reform legislation. Does anyone sincerely believe that Bail Reform just appeared like a piece of desert on a food tray? Yes, like him or not, Scarpino, Jr. has had his hands full with respect to the lack of credibility fomented in Yonkers. Clear transparency is a must.
Reflect upon the Yonkers City Official who was driving against traffic in the wee morning hours along Central Park Avenue which resulted in a head-on collision due to driving under the influence / driving drunk. It was no secret that the proper protocol was not conducted by YPD nor in deference to standard protocol followed and in Yonkers that is not an isolated incident. Lest it be misconstrued, this conduct is the domination exacted by Olson and Mueller over the Yonkers Police Department
The Yonkers Police Department is an out of control hot political mess because of the likes of Keith Olson and others. Crime in Yonkers is on the rise and only a small percentage of an estimated 40 percent increase may be attributed to the Bail Reform; the remaining increase is due to poor morale, the cutting of police services and patrols not to mention a budget that has melted through the allocation budgeted for it in 2019. This conduct is an undermining factor revealed year after year and continues unabated to the disgusted but impotent citizenry.
Will someone send the Yonkers PBA President Det. Keith Olson a sachet of lavender tea to smell, so as to reset his focus on his lack of credibility? It was not too long ago when Keith Olson and others intentionally compiled a frivolous file of information against another Police Officer in a secret investigation unbeknownst to the department. It was also not in the too distant past when the current Yonkers PBA President Det. Keith Olson compiled a list of lies against a YPD Police Detective and displayed them on an expulsion petition in plain view in every Yonkers Police Precinct and unit so as to elicit signatures to expel that member. Where was Olson’s massive Press Release when the NYS Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated that Detective to the Yonkers PBA stating it was “Arbitrary and Capricious” to silent free speech?
So for a union bully like Olson to point his short and stubby fingers at the Westchester County District Attorney for wanting more transparency is highly hypocritical of Olson. Then again, what should anyone have expected? Perhaps Olson does not want to shed light on the inner workings of highly dysfunctional police departments where Olson and Mueller make the calls over a juicy fat steak and a couple of Guinness’s. Scarpino needs to stay the course when it comes to criminal cases coming from Yonkers and to really vet what comes out of the mouth of the ever crying PBA President Olson. Looks like Olson’s reputation as a bully who physically attacks others won’t intimidate Chief Law Enforcement Officer Scarpino in Westchester County.
Lastly, our advice to the men and women that Olson claims to represent. It is prudent and timely to elect another leader to the top of the Yonkers PBA helm who is forthright, independent, has exhibited proven credibility, and transparency throughout his/her career.
Those forced to look at the City of Yonkers as prescribed by their respective responsibilities and in elected office or are seeking elected office later this year will engage and prove a fight unlikely to be won by Yonkers, that is unless Yonkers power brokers cease, desist, and retreat before the courts rule.
The principals are many. New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is watching, the New York State Delegation of Senators and Assemblymembers have distanced themselves somewhat, but they will likely be entrapped by outcome. Many lesser known supporters of the powers that be will be demanded to align their support with Yonkers power brokers. Yet, because this is an election year, with each seeking elected office, the prospects of those beneath these power brokers will need to choose sides.
The takeaway is simple. Never take anyone who stands up at a union meeting seriously when he/she tells others that he/she possesses materials illegally procured from someone’s file if they want to see it. The height of hypocrisy by the Yonkers PBA and CLSA has never been so evident and the manner by which it has been permitted to undermine the Yonkers Police Department is outrageous, outlandish and deleterious to all Yonkersites.