Thursday, June 14, 2012

With Trigger Happy Deputies Killing an Innocent Dog, Cops and County Officials Charged with Corruption and DWI, and the Crime Lab Director Fired... Is Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks Fit to Lead?

Monroe County, N.Y. Executive Maggie Brooks. 
Photo of Diablo laying in his driveway after being shot
in the back of his head and executed by Monroe County, N.Y.
Sheriff's deputies Shaun LeClair and Matt Clancy.
By Davy V.

The execution style killing of a family dog in the Upstate, New York Town of Penfield, is the latest in a series of disturbing incidents under the watch of Monroe County, N.Y. Executive Maggie Brooks.

The Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff's department employs over 1,200 civilian and sworn employees, and let's just say, not all of them have lived up to the oath they swore "To serve and protect."

In August of 2011, Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff's Investigator Andrew White was charged with two felony counts of sex abuse, criminal obstruction of breathing, forcible touching and acting in a manner to injure a child, after he entered a woman's home, held her down against her will and sexually abused her.

In a seperate incident, White was intoxicated when he forced the woman into a bathroom, yelled at her and touched her inappropriately. When the woman's teenage son tried to intervene, court documents show the woman stated "That's when he grabbed me by the throat, pushed me against the wall and squeezed my throat so hard that I could barely breath."

White resigned from the Monroe County Sheriff's department after he was indicted by a Monroe County Grand Jury.

On May 25, 2012 Monroe County Sheriff's department Sergeant Paul Doser was charged with felony DWI after flipping his vehicle over with a 6 year old child inside.

I wonder what Republican Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks,  has to say about Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn and the department she oversees, but it seems as though Brooks herself has her hands full lately, with one corruption scandal after another.

Well, come to think about it, I think it's obvious that Brooks is in approval of O'Flynn...

In October, 2011, when Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks unveiled the County's 2012 budget, she made no hint whatsoever that the budget would include any raises for County officials, such as Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn.

However, on December 13, 2011, in a very disturbing and sneaky fashion, at the County Office building, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks intentionally waited until 9:30 pm, after all other issues had been addressed,  to announce a $ 13, 670 pay raise for Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn, increasing his salary from $ 123,000 to almost $ 136,000, and making O'Flynn the only County official to get a pay raise.

With her planned, slick move, of announcing O'Flynn's raise at the end of the 2012 County Budget meeting, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks prevented taxpayers from being able to express their thoughts on O'Flynn's nearly $ 14,000 pay increase.

This latest move on the part of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, at a time where the Monroe County is still struggling to recover from a financial crisis, is more than a slap in the face to the taxpayers, and another example of why citizens distrust politicians.

Back in 2009, Robert Morone a Monroe County contractor, was charged by the Federal Government with various fraud related charges. This scandal which was referred to as the ROBUTRAD scandal was traced back to Monroe County Republican Committee's Chief Fundraiser, Irene Matichyn, was a regular recipient of free home repairs and other services provided by the contract workers while they were being paied by the taxpayers.

The ROBUTRAD workers were also alleged to have been making campaign donations to Maggie Brooks and other Republicans using funds they were stealing from the County. Around the same time that the federal government is thought to have begun their investigation, the Deputy County Executive, James Smith, resigned his position.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks has repeatedly said Smith's resignation had nothing to do with ROBUTRAD, but it is clear that authorities are investigating possible ties between Smith and ROBUTRAD. In his position as Deputy County Executive, Smith was the number 2 official in Monroe County and essentially in charge of the day to day operations of County Government.

Morone and other ROBUTRAD contractors later pled guilty in Federal court.

In January 2011, David Damelio, director of the Greater Rochester, New York International Airport, resigned after news broke that he charged thousands of dollars worth of cigars and strip club visits to the Monroe County-run airport as a business expense.

The Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle newspaper reported that Damelio put nearly $ 17,000 on the airport credit card during 120 visits to smoke shops in Rochester and cities around the country since 2008.

After Damelio's resignation, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks appointed former Monroe County budget director Susan Walsh, as director of the Rochester airport.

After less than one year on the job, Susan Walsh was arrested and charged with DWI after crashing the official County vehicle she was driving.

East Rochester, N.Y police reported that Walsh struck a vehicle from behind that was stopped at a red light.

Once police arrived, officers reported that they noticed a strong smell of alcohol on Walsh's breath, before she told officers "Please help me", in an attempt to avoid being arrested and charged.

Walsh later pled guilty to DWI charges.

Also, in 2011, an audit by the New York State Comptroller of Monroe County's relationship with Upstate Telecommunications Corporation (UTC) was released.  The audit identified several areas of concern, including the fact that Monroe County had paid UTC $8 million more than UTC had expended for their services rendered to the county. UTC was established by the Maggie Brooks Administration as a special non-profit corporation, which is separate from but controlled by county government.

The audit also raised concerns about potential bid rigging in the 2004 award of the nearly $100 million contract, noting that Brooks' Deputy County Executive at the time--Richard Mackey--would soon after retire from county government to take a paid consulting position with UTC.

And most recently, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks finds herself in front of television news cameras putting on her "PR face" after the latest scandal, involving Monroe County Crime Lab director Janet Anderson-Seaquist, who was fired after what a State investigation determined were "significant failures" on her part.

The State agency found that in 2011, the Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory returned DNA evidence to local police agencies in 270 cases, wrongly determining in some cases that the statute of limitations had expired. Key evidence was then destroyed by those police agencies.

It seems as though Seaquist, who in 2008 was employed as a "criminialist" in the Ventura, California Sheriff's Crime Laboratory, was called to testify by prosecutors in a DWI manslaughter case.

In that trial, Seaquist misrepresented herself as an "expert witness", and offered her "expert opinion", on whether alcohol can cause memory loss after an accident.

Anderson-Seaquist's testimony was later thrown out by the judge, describing her testimony as "overreaching," "trying to be cute," and "unfairly exuberant to give information without following traditional protocol."

In the words of the defense counsel, Anderson-Seaquist "made things up as she went along."

On March 19, 2012, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks announced she will challenge long-time incumbent Louise Slaughter, in the newly-drawn 25th Congressional district.

It seems after 8 plus years of County Government corruption, Maggie Brooks is ready to move on.

Update: On Friday June 15, 2012 Monroe County, N.Y. Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn, intentionally waiting for the weekend, announced that his deputies were justified in shooting and killing Diablo.

O'Flynn said, "They responded to the threat of the dog when it came out of the garage when they were up by the house and approached in an extremely aggressive manner and discharged the weapons as they're trained."



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