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Category Archives: Hudson Valley

Riley’s Song: Verse Two – Update on Our Investigations.

There are too many contradictions, gaps, inconsistencies in the Riley Kern case to allow anyone with any sense of decency or any trace of compassion to rest easy. While we can’t answer all questions in such a tragic event we can at least try to be honest and thorough in answering those that are answerable. We can at least meet our obligations to come forward and speak the truth. We can at least do our best to connect the dots and minimize doubt and with doubt mistrust. None of this has been done in Riley’s case, at least as far as our investigations and informants have shown. Here’s where we are as of today.

They’re gonna getcha!

Riley Kern was 19 at the time of the accident. Riley Kern’s funeral was on his 20th birthday. Riley Kern, although just before his death, was living with his mother and sister in Kansas, was a local boy. Riley Kern grew up in the RCS area and even attended Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk high school. Riley Kern’s father, Paul Gumpher, still lives in Climax, New York.

A group of local young people loved and respected Riley to such an extent that they got together and made the trip to Kansas to pay their respects and say a last farewell to Riley at his funeral. For all we have to say about today’s young people, that gesture of loyalty and love struck at even our heart chords. There’s no words to say that would do them the credit they deserve but Thank you! You really did Good!

We are asking Travis Hagen: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

A local man, Travis D Hagen, 48 years old, formerly of Ravena, New York, now residing in the Greene County hamlet of Coxsackie, just south of Ravena, has all but disappeared from the radar. Hagen didn’t have the decency even to express his condolences to Riley’s family at the death of their son, a death caused or at least contributed to by Hagen. Hagen is even avoiding the insurance investigators in the case. This raises the obvious question of: If you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, do you go into hiding?

Why are you hiding?

Travis Hagen, 48, was driving a 2007 GMC pick-up truck on State Route 143 at the junction of County Route 106 (Tompkins Road) in front of the Sycamore Country Club. We might ask what Hagen was doing out there in the early evening hours of Friday, July 27, 2018, so far from Coxsackie on a sultry summer’s evening. There’s not a lot out there at that time of day except perhaps some friends and some brews. Informants share with us that Travis does like his brew. More on this later.

The Terry Hagen Golf Tournament benefiting the Lustgarten Foundation

Informants also tell us that there is an annual Terrry Hagen Golf Tournament held at the Sycamore County Club, and that the elder Hagen , now dead, was a popular denizen at the country club and an avid golfer. Dots are starting to connect, aren’t they?

Well, the Terry Hagen Memorial Golf Tourny was held at the Sycamore Country Club on August 18, 2018, so it’s reasonable to suggest that Travis Hagen was at the Sycamore Country Club taking care of “business” over a couple of brews, planning or finalizing details of the golf tourny. Sound reasonable to you? Why else would anyone be in that desolate area on a Friday evening? Now, an investigator would certainly have to question the staff at the Sycamore about Hagen’s being there that evening and what he was doing. Doncha think?

One person killed, NO accident reconstruction, and NO police photos taken.

Riley P. “Jeremiah” Kern

The NYS DMV Police Accident Report (MV-104A (6/04) shows the accident to have occurred on July 27, 2018, a Friday, at 6:22 p.m. One person killed, no accident reconstruction, and no police photos taken. That’s a bit irregular. Although our research with the National Weather Service shows that July 27, 2018, was generally sunny/partly cloudy with a high of 86 and a low of 67, there is no mention of weather conditions in the police report. Wouldn’t you think that would be important? Not according to Patrolman Ian Foard of the Coeymans Police Department, the “investigator” at the scene.

Back to the Police Report: In the Accident Description/Officer’s Notes section of the report, Riley’s vehicle is referred to as V1 and Hagen’s vehicle as V2, in the extract of the Police Report below, we are transcribing V1 to Riley and V2 as Hagen . Foard writes:

“Riley was traveling around a curve at high speed and Riley lost control of the vehicle and laid his motorcycle down.[1] Hagen was traveling Northbound [sic] on Route 143 and as Riley came around the curve it (V1 or V2? Riley or Hagen ?) traveled into the Northbound lane in front of Hagen.  Hagen swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley. Riley was ejected and struck the rear driver side of Hagen’s vehicle. Riley’s vehicle traveled under Hagen ’s causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen s vehicle and eventually ending up behind Hagen ’s vehicle. Riley did pass away from crash-related injuries at Albany Medical Center.”

According to Patrolman Ian Foard, he was the last official to arrive at the accident scene after the EMTs arrived. So where did he get all of this information? Foard’s entry in the form is undated but the report shows that it was “reviewed by” Daniel Contento (acting Police Chief, Coeymans PD) on August 7, 2018, eleven (11) days after the accident, not including the day of the accident! eleven days later. The accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. on July 27, 2018. Riley died at Albany Medical Center shortly after 10 p.m.

Typical cop fashion: Cover me!

Only one “eye witness” is given in the report (we’re withholding that person’s name for now), who was allegedly mowing his “yard” according to Foard. Our visit to the scene would complicate that witness’ claim to having been an “eye witness” because the only property near the scene is to the South and the site of the accident would have been impaired by bushes. But the eye-witness named in the Police Report by Foard and claimed by Foard to have been “mowing his yard” at the time of the accident, is a big problem. You see, the so-called eye-witness lives on Alcove Road — and we are assuming that’s where his “yard” is —, some 4 miles distance from the accident site!

The one eye-witness was, according to Foard, “mowing his yard.” The problem is, his yard is 4 miles away from the accident site!

But that’s the least of the problems with Foard’s very late report. In fact, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 22, § 605. Report required upon accident reads (in pertinent part):

“(a) 1. Every person operating a motor vehicle, except a police officer (as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law ), a correction officer, or a firefighter, operating a police department, a correction department, or fire department vehicle respectively while on duty, if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle, which is in any manner involved in an accident, anywhere within the boundaries of this state, in which any person is killed or injured, or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself, in excess of one thousand dollars is sustained, shall within ten days after such accident, report the matter in writing to the commissioner.”

“2. Failure to report an accident as herein provided or failure to give correctly the information required of him by the commissioner in connection with such report shall be a misdemeanor and shall constitute a ground for suspension or revocation of the operator’s (or chauffeur’s) license or all certificates of registration for any motor vehicle, or of both, of the person failing to make such report as herein required.  In addition, the commissioner may temporarily suspend the driver’s license or permit or certificate of registration of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, or of both, of the person failing to report an accident within the period prescribed in paragraph one of this subdivision, until such report has been filed.  However, no suspension or a revocation shall be made of a license or certificate of registration of any police officer, correction officer, or firefighter involved in an accident while on duty for failure to report such accident within ten days thereof if a report has been filed by the owner of such vehicle.”

“(c) The report required by this section shall be made in such form and number as the commissioner may prescribe.”

The law is clear on the reporting requirement and the time for reporting. In fact, in the next section, it actually states at VTL § 606. Processing of required reports:

“The commissioner [the DMV], when processing reports of accidents filed pursuant to this article, shall give priority to reports involving serious physical injury (as defined in subdivision ten of section 10.00 of the penal law ) or death.”

The investigating officer, when making his report, is an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, that is, the “Commissioner” in the laws. Accordingly, if there is serious physical injury or death involved, the officer is to give “priority” to the report. But it took the Coeymans Police Department eleven (11) days just to get the report written and reviewed! No one is going to tell us that the Coeymans Police Department is that overworked and understaffed that it takes 11 days to fill out a form! Incompetence and indifference; criminal obstruction!

Not only is the police report late and in violation of the law, it is incomplete and inaccurate!

First of all, Patrolman Foard and Sgt Daniel Contento apparently can’t read or understand the clear labels on the form. For example, in the section “Vehicle Model” the form actually gives examples, such as “Mustang, Corvette” but Foard (Contento) insert “Motorcycle” for Vehicle 1 (V1, Riley) but “Sierra” for Vehicle 2 (V2, Hagen).

In the “Emergency Medical Services” the form requires times (in military notation; we are converting to conventional time notation here). EMS was  “Notified at 6:24” and “Arrived at the scene at 6:26 p.m.” The form shows that the EMS “Arrived (with Riley) at hospital” at 7:05 p.m. We don’t find those times to be believable.

First of all, any 911 calls go through the Albany County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center in Albany, who then take down the details and relay them to the appropriate First Responders. That alone should take several minutes. Then the First Responders have to get their acts together and get to the scene, which will take another several minutes, at least. But the accident, according to the report happened at 6:22 p.m. If we are to believe the accident report, the accident was reported after the accident occurred, naturally, that is, after 6:22 p.m., the 911 dispatcher contacted the local EMS, who then got all their information and gear, and personnel together and got to the scene at 6:26. That’s in less than 4 minutes!!! Do you believe that?

That raises yet another question: How long did it take anyone to make the 911 call once the accident occurred?

But it took them about 45 minutes to get the dying boy to Albany Medical Center! And that’s assuming the ambulance arrived at the very same moment as the EMS, which is unlikely because they were also busy trying to decide whether to medevac (Lifeline) Riley to the hospital, a decision that fell through the cracks due to “thunderstorms” in the area (Thunderstorms? No mention of these in the National Weather Service reports. Rain, maybe, but no thunderstorms in Albany County on July 27, 2018).

Back to the report: Patrolman Foard writes that the first point of impact on Riley’s motorcycle was at point 11, the left door. We weren’t aware that motorcycles, much less Riley’s bike, had left doors but maybe Patrolman Foard and Sgt Contento know more about this than we do.

Besides, if you are filling out a form, you’d indicate everything you need to indicate, wouldn’t you? It’s all done half-assed, as usual in Coeymans! We’ve always said, ”You pay peanuts, you get monkeys!”

And then you put them in uniforms and hand them guns.


Editor’s Note: New Law in New York: Serious Accidents to Trigger Mandatory Sobriety Tests in New York. The new law expands the responsibilities of police officers who are first responders to the scene of a motor vehicle accident if the collision either caused a serious injury or caused a death. Now, among the responsibilities that police have as they investigate the cause of the accident is a responsibility to assess whether the driver was in violation of state traffic law or not. Under the previous rules related to field sobriety testing, the laws in New York stipulated that it was up to the discretion of the officer to determine if a person should be tested for impairment. The new rule simplifies and streamlines the system and ensures that drivers don’t simple evade the law when a death or a serious injury happens.

According to New York State Senator Pamela Helming, who was one of the bill’s sponsors, indicated that” “Individuals need to be held accountable for their choices, especially when it leads to the death or serious injury of someone else.” Helming also warned: “Eliminating loopholes in the current law that allow drivers under the influence to escape prosecution at the expense of someone else’s life is a start.” With new evidence available to demonstrate intoxication after serious accidents, victims should be better able to pursue claims for compensation against those who caused collisions while drunk. A New York City car accident law firm can provide help to victims in taking action.

The bill was signed into law on December 18, 2017, and went into effect 30 days after signing.


Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are.

The accident happened on State Route 143 40 ft South of what Foard calls Tompkins Road. The roadway Foard is referring to, apparently, is County Route 106. Tompkins Road is not the roadway’s DOT real designation but is the street name used by locals and the Sycamore Country Club in its address, but then the Sycamore Country Club is located in the hamlet of Coeymans Hollow, not in Ravena! Seems both Foard and the Sycamore Country Club have no clue where they are. Foard can almost be forgiven, being from Mechanicville and given his history (see below, Editor’s Aside].

Annotated Police Report Sketch

The narrative text also states that Riley was “traveling around a curve at high speed.” How does anyone know that as a fact. Foard himself admits that he was the last to arrive on the scene, after the EMS. The eye witness named in the Police Report was “mowing his yard” and lives on Alcove Road. OK. Maybe Foard can explain how a guy mowing his lawn 4 miles away could see the accident? That guy must have one hell of a set of eyes! Or has Foard left something out? What’s your guess?

In the narrative (text) description of the accident, Foard notes that Hagen’s truck sustained “damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle” but Foard does not indicate that damage in the diagram! This raises the question of whether Foard was able to crawl under Hagen’s vehicle to inspect it and on what grounds Foard determined the damage to be caused at the time of the accident. We don’t think that a part-time patrolman has that expertise. Do you?

Foard makes an interesting commitment as to the sequence of the events: He writes that Riley “laid his motorcycle down” indicating that Riley was actually in control of his vehicle and took the emergency measure of putting the cycle into a skid to avoid the accident. This in no way would indicate that Riley “lost control of the vehicle” as Foard speculates in his narrative. Foard was not there and given the situation, it’s unlikely that any witness would be able to state with certainly that Riley lost control of his motorcycle.

Foard then writes that Hagen “swerved to avoid impact and struck Riley.” This is the black letter written narrative that likely went through some editing and, if anything had to be changed before or after Contento “reviewed” and passed the report, that something would have been changed. As it now reads, Hagen struck Riley, not the other way around!

In this narrative the sequence continues: Riley was “ejected and struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s vehicle. According to the damage diagram in the Police Report, Foard indicates in the Damage Codes for Riley’s vehicle: Point of impact 11 (left, driver side door), “Most Damage”: 8 (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: 14, undercarriage; 5, passenger side door (or right side of vehicle), and 11, driver side door (or left side of vehicle).

Foard indicates Damage Codes for Hagen’s vehicle:  : “Point of impact 1” (left, front headlight/fender), “Most Damage: 8” (rear of vehicle), and Foard enters three other damage codes: “1”, (left, front headlight/fender); “”10”, driver side door (or right side of vehicle), and “12, driver side front panel (or left front side of vehicle). But this doesn’t seem right because the pictures taken by an EMS person do not show Driver-side damage at all!

Nothing in Foard’s report seems to agree. And it was reviewed by acting police chief Sgt Contento, and released to the Department of Motor Vehicles! How embarassing!

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(Photo Credits: Thomas Marra)

When asked about this, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that the only damage he documented was on the passenger door side, a dent, probably from impact (how else would you get a dent like that shown in the image?) When questioned further, the EMS photographer/journalist explained that if there were no damage he would not have photographed it; there was not damage on the left side, the driver’s side, of Hagen’s vehicle, according to this EMS photographer/journalist.

So this information, along with Foard’s statements in the Police Report actually damage any credibility of the Coeymans Police investigation, if there were any investigation at all, and contradict or rule out most of what Foard writes in his report!

Here’s some other information that creams Foard’s report. The manufacturer’s specs for the 2007 GMC Sierra driven by Hagen give a front ground clearance of 9.1 inches. The rear ground clearance for this vehicle is 12.1 inches, or an average of 10.6 inches along the length of the vehicle.

The 2008 Buel motorcycle driven by Riley has a width of about 29” and a length of about 78 inches. Given the condition of the motorcycle as shown in the pictures taken at the accident scene, and given Foard’s report saying that Riley’s motorcycle “struck the rear driver side” of Hagen’s pickup truck” and then “traveled under Hagen’s vehicle[,] causing damage to the undercarriage of Hagen’s vehicle[,] and eventuallyending up behind Hagen’s vehicle.” Given the specs of the two vehicles, you think the cycle would have been a mangled mess. It wasn’t — at least not until Burn’s Towing got their hands on it. (Click the link to view the insurance investigator’s photos.)

Insurance Investigator’s Photos

True to local scoundrel form, Burns + Sons Auto Repair & AAA Towing in Ravena (2537 US 9W Ravena, NY 12143 ) didn’t waste a minute getting their hands into Riley’s family’s pockets. We have learned that Burns charged the family more than $1800 ($300 for “towing” the motorcycle and $65/day for storage)! Good Lord! The cycle weighs only about 350 lbs and two men could lift it onto a pickup bed! Thank you! Burns & Sons Towing (Ravena) for confirming everything we have ever had to say about local crooks!

There’s more, much more but we won’t share it until we confirm and vet it. Stay tuned!

This is one of a long series of botched investigations that have become the hallmark of the Coeymans Police Department. It’s not only that they are incompetent and too arrogant to call in real professionals from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department or the New York State Police, their incompetence and arrogance has and is continuing to cause good people a lot of unnecessary suffering. On top of all that, we as taxpayers are paying for this incompetence and abuse! How stupid can it possibly get?!?


Editor’s Aside — Some Notes on Coeymans Patrolman Ian FOARD

It appears part-time Coeymans patrolman Ian FOARD comes to Coeymans from the Mechanicville PD, and he brings a bit of baggage with him.

At the regular meeting of the Mechanicville City Council on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Mayor Baker and the Mechanicville City Council appointed Ian Foard to the position of full-time desk-officer at a rate of $13.47/h (Resolution #20-14)

According to the official minutes of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting of March 22, 2018 Mr. Foard was appointed to the position of Probationary Part-Time Police Officer effective March 26, 2018. Foard’s appointment was contingent upon Foard’s signing a personal services contract with the Town of Coeymans and his paperwork being filed with the Human Resource Clerk. According to the minutes, Foard would be compensated at the rate designated in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Resolution #063-18). At that same meeting, Sgt Daniel Contento was appointed acting Police Chief (Resolution #062-18).

The Albany Times Union reported on January 25, 2018, that Ian Foard was one of five Mechanicville police department employees who filed a multiple-charge complaint with the Mechanicville Human Resources Officer alleging multiple abuses by Mechanicville Mayor Baker. Foard alleges in the complaint that when Foard was dealing with a personal family matter, Mayor Baker allegedly told Ian Foard, that his father is “disgusting, weird” because he is transgender. Baker allegedly told Foard “every mistake you’ve made was because of your dad.”

The 5-page complaint was filed with the Commissioner of Accounts Kimberly Dunn who acts as the city’s human resource officer and city clerk. It was signed by Police Benevolent Association officers President Alexander Dunn, Vice President Matthew Dunn, Foard, the bargaining unit’s treasurer, and Rabbitt, the union’s secretary. Both Alexander Dunn and Matthew Dunn are the City Clerk’s, Kimberly Dunn’s sons; the rumor is that the Dunn boys were put up to the complaint by momma Dunn, who has her eye on the mayor’s office.

Later, on July 12, 2018, the Albany Times Union reports that the charges against Mayor Baker were dropped, and that Mechanicville Police Chief Police Chief Joseph Waldron “retired,” “retired” usually used to pretty up the fact of “resigned.”

Ian Foard subsequently resigned or was terminated from employment with the City of Mechanicville Police Department and was later hired as a part-time patrolman by the Town of Coeymans.

We have requested information from the City of Mechanicville relating to FOARD’s termination or separation.

See the extract from the complaint filed by FOARD and others, below.

This is an extract from the official complaint.


This is not an isolated incident with the Cold-Case Coeymans Police Department. We’ve been covering stories on a regular basis. Here are just a few of the most recent articles we’ve run about the a dysfunctional law enforcement mistake:

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!
More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations.
We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!
Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?
Criminals Thumbing Their Noses to Law Enforcement? Why?
Local Law Enforcement Might Need Some Help with the Math: 2 + 2 = Stahlman!
Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS

We’re in control, Rye!
We won’t let you down.

Click this link to read Riley’s mom’s response to detractors of SmalbanyRiley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.


[1] Motorcycle accidents involving a laydown by the operator of the motorcycle means that when the motorcyclist experiences a sudden emergency and he decides to lay down the bike rather than collide with another object. Because of the suddenness of the hazard, the rider applies the brakes and the bike slides on its side.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Medical Center, Barbara Underwood, Burns and Sons Towing, Capital District, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Department of Motor Vehicles, DOT, Ellis Hospital, EMR, F.O.I.L., FaceBook, FOIL, Geico Insurance, Governor Mario Cuomo, Hudson Valley, Ian Foard, Informants, Insurance Fraud, Investigation, John B. Johnson, Lafarge, Lafarge-Holcim, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Accident, Motorcycle, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Police, New York State Police, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Paul Courcelle, Paul Gumpher, Phil Crandall, Police Dispatcher, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Senate District 46, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen

 

Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All.

First of all: Were you aware of these little tidbits?

At the January 1, 2018, Organizational Town Board Meeting:

Mr. Jeff Ruso appointed former New BaltimoreTown Supervisor, Nick Dellisanti, to be his deputy supervisor. Dellisanti showed his true colors when he refused to appoint non-party campaign workers to key town positions when he took office; his damning response was, “Republicans appoint Republicans.” Seems that New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso takes it a step further, since Ruso was Dellisanti’s deputy supervisor, “Cronies appoint cronies.” The net effect is that Dellisanti, although he had all sorts of excuses why he didn’t want to run again in 2017, got himself appointed to act as supervisor.  Ruso runs unopposed in New Baltimore and gets “elected” to be Town Supervisor and then he selects Dellisanti to be his deputy. Clever little trick, doncha think? Don’t they call that a dictatorship elsewhere? Single party system, unopposed (s)elections. Padding the panel.

Two famous political cronies.

But what really reveals Ruso’s attitude towards his unopposed election to be supervisor are his own words on appointing Dellisanti: “Now the appointment is mine entirely as Town Supervisor,” but Ruso did have the decency to ask the Town Board to ratify his appointment by Resolution. His motion was seconded by his constant sidekick Shelly vanEtten, whose husband also serves on the Planning Board as chairman, and somehow got on the Town Agriculture Committee, indirectly pulls strings on Town committees through his wife, Shelly van Etten, a sitting Town Board Member.

The shyster factor was also confirmed with the re-appointment of Tal Rappelea to be Town Attorney. Rappelea will receive more than $800/month as Town Attorney, generally sitting for about an half-hour next to Ruso or Dellisanti once a month at the regular Town Board meeting, if he even shows up.

There’s much more that our readers should be aware of and can be found in the minutes of that meeting at Organizational Meeting 2018 of January 1, 2018 .

This article is actually three component articles. Click on the links below to read the different sections. You won’t regret it.

Editor’s Sidebar: Town of Coeymans. We’ve received reports of a fatal pick-up truck — motorcycle accident that occurred during the evening hours of Saturday, July 28, 2018, on Route 143 in the Town of Coeymans. The operator of the motorcycle, a 20-year old man was killed; the operator of the pick-up truck was allegedly Ravena resident Travis Hagen. Strangely nothing has appeared in the local media about the accident. We have contacted the Coeymans Police for confirmation facts but have not received a response. A reader has informed us that he, too contacted the Coeymans Police acting chief, Daniel Contento, and was told only that there was an accident and the police investigated and reported it to the DMV. Is this a cover up to protect a prominent Ravena family? Doesn’t the young man’s life mean anything or do we just sweep the whole thing under the carpet? We need to start asking questions. The 20-year old man is not just another raccoon, Mr Contento!

Go to other articles in this mini-series on New Baltimore:

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his Board: Hide and Deny

New Baltimore Sends “Acting Superintendent” to Highway School. Why?

New Baltimore Property Taxes: Absolutely No Rhyme, Reason, or Answers!!!

The New Baltimore In-Justice Court and Kangaroo Judges: Thomas Meacham, A Case Study.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, Alan van Wormer, Animal Control Officer, Assessment, Assessment Review, Board of Assessment Review, Broken Lease, Burning the Constitution, Charles Stahlman, CHIPS, Civil Right Violation, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Conspiracy, Constitution, Corruption, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Donna Degnen, Elections and Voting, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Grievance Day, Harassment, Hazardous Conditions, Hudson Valley, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Meprision of Felony, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democratic Committee, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Court, New York, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Police, New York State Police, New York State Supreme Court, New York State Town Law, New York State Unified Court System, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Comptroller, Pat Linger, Patrick Linger, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, RCS Central School District, Ronna Smith, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Stahlman, Tal Rappelea, Terry J. Wilhelm, Terry Wilhelm, Tom Meacham, Town and Village Courts, Town and Village Judge, Town Justice, Town Law, Town of Bethlehem, Town of New Baltimore, VanEtten, Zach Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

New Baltimore Property Taxes: Absolutely No Rhyme, Reason, or Answers!!!

The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review met on Grievance Day, May 22, 2018, and the Final Tax Roll was published on July 1, 2018.

The Office of the Sole Assessor, currently occupied by Mr. Gordon Bennett (an employee of the Town), and the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review (all appointees by the current Town board) is representative of the rest of New Baltimore’s dog-and-pony act, their excuse for Town government: Complete Incompetence and Ignorance!!!

Grievance Day is also a dog-and-pony act, where a gang of five appointees sit and demonstrate how ignorant and poorly qualified they are for determining the quality of property assessments in the Town of New Baltimore. The assessor sits by and listens, not contributing much in the way of assisting the poor wretches or preventing them from making complete asses of themselves and taxpayers!

Here’s this year’s tally of stupidity based on documents provided by the Town of New Baltimore and the official taped recordings of the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Reveiw of hearings held on Grievance Day, May 22, 2018, at New Baltimore Town Hall:

Shyster Michael Biscone of Ravena, apparently a bosom buddy of Mr. Bennett, since they are on a first-name basis, even in an official proceeding like Grievance Day, represents two property owners before the Board of Assessment Review, and presents their cases in a rambling fashion, so you have to pay close attention to understand the bottom line on the tapes. [Editor’s Note: For those of our readers, we are providing links to the Greene County online Property Tax Information website, where you can read everything about the properties we’re discussing. It’s all public access. Just click the links in the text below to go to the property information. The link to the main page, where you can search properties by municipality, tax map number, last name, first name, etc. is Greene County Search. ]

The first property is on Roberts Hill Road (565 Roberts Hill Rd, West Coxsackie NY 12192); it’s actually two properties that were once one but was divided in order to sell them. One has a house on it sitting on three acres (Tax Map No. 28.00-2-31.2). The other portion is 37 acres of undeveloped property (Tax Map No. 28.00-2-31.1). Mr. Biscone, on behalf of David Hales, whom he refers to as a “fine young man,” argues that the two properties should be assessed as one. He also admits that Grievance Day is not the place to argue his reasons but he does so anyway. Hales purchased the property in 2017 for $206,000. Bennett assessed the property for $210,000. The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review, practically no questions asked, reduced Hales’ assessment by $49,000. Why? You’ll never know.

The second property is an interesting case. Again, it’s presented by shyster Biscone and is a property owned by William Brant, who, by the way, gives his address as 72 Brownstone Way, Apt. 410, Englewood, New Jersey (!), and owns the property on US Rt. 9W, between the Best Western and New Baltimore Family Dentistry (Tax Map No. 40.00-4-2.111). He’s had his plan for a for-profit senior living project that has been before the New Baltimore Planning Board for several years now, and has finally gotten approval. If you drive down US Route 9W going South, you’ll come to the Best Western Hotel, and then New Baltimore Family Dentistry. The Brant property is between the hotel and the dentists there’s a cute little cottage sitting in the middle of the field (that’s the Brant property) . In fact, you can see the temporary road leading into the property, where construction preps are being done. Looking towards the back of the property is a small building, a “well house” that is discussed below.

The property is assessed at $120,000 land value, but Biscone somehow convinces the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review that it’s overassessed at $70,000 because of a “well house.” Biscone argues on behalf of Brant that the “well house cost” Brant only $27,000 but Bennett has assessed it at $70,000. If you’re lost here, don’t worry, it doesn’t make sense unless you listen to the tapes about 3 times. It’s a smoke and mirrors act and works for Biscone and Brant because the BAR buys it and reduces Brant’s assessment by $25,000. You’d think the members of the BAR would have the property tax reports in front of them to follow along but Hey! If they did that they might have smelled a rat and caught it. But that would be asking too much of a bunch of sillies trying to look important.

One tidbit that Biscone drops is that he will “drop off a number of receipts” that would prove what he was saying (not that Michael Biscone was ever concerned with the truth). But he never had to do that because the BAR made their decision to reduce the assessment that evening, on May 22, 2018, without the benefit of any proof or documentation.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that Biscone mentions that one of the contractors, whose receipts he was going to produce, is none other than Robert van Etten, New Baltimore Town Board member Shelly van Etten’s husband. What’s even more interesting is that van Etten, who owns an excavation-construction business located in Ravena, New York (only per the address), is the chairman of the New Baltimore Planning Board (and of the New Baltimore Town Committee on Agriculture)!!! Yes, readers, that’s the same Planning Board that kept Brant’s application in Limbo for several years and only just approved it! Does anyone smell something like conflict of interest here? Corruption? Stupidity?

Does anyone wonder Why? Mr. Brant got his Planning Board approval for his project after so many years of hassle? Just saying …

Case No. 3 is a property owner whose primary residence is in Long Island and who owns a property on North Ridge Road in Hannacroix. 2 acres with a 1 family house on it. Mr. Crimeni, whose primary address is 48 Lace Lane, Westbury, NY, is crying poverty. You see, he thinks his assessment is too high and he’s paying too much in taxes for his weekend country estate, comparing his New Baltimore taxes to his $8,000 Long Island taxes. Crimeni’s property (Tax Map No. 4.00-3-20)  full market value is $195,000 and is assessed at $145,000 but Crimeni is still not satisfied. (There seems to be some confusion also in the tax records because on one page for the same property we find the full market value to be $195,000 and on another page we find that value to be $116,000. It also shows it to be a 1-family house but the house has 0 living space! Maybe there’s an explanation for this?) Anyway, Rocco Crimeni co-owns the property with Nicola Crimeni (apparently his brother) and to listen to their story and compare it to the tax records is like, well, it’s like pure steaming bullshit. The original assessment was on a full market value of $195,000 which was assessed by Bennett at $145,000 for the 2 acres and the house. After the BAR heard Mr. Crimeni’s sad story we find that the assessment for the 2 acres and the house was reduced to a full market value of $119,298, and an assessed value for 2018 of $85,000, total tax bill of $ ??? The final assessment is $85,000, a total reduction of $60,000 !!! Great job, Ms Degnen and company!

Just for kicks and giggles, here are a couple of excerpts from the Crimeni hearing:

Crimeni: There was a trailer on the property and it burned down because of a wood stove we had there.

Crimeni: We purchased an Amish house for $38,000…the Amish people built it…it’s a shell…We’re finishing it ourselves.

Crimeni: We’re not rich people … the disparity in Mr. Bennett’s assessment is tremendous…We have a house on Long Island…and the taxes are $8000…

Degnen: You said it was a shed…[Editor’s Note: Crimeni did not say it was a “shed”, he said it was a “shell”! Degnan makes many such mistakes throughout the hearings. Is she hard of hearing or just demented?]…What are the dimensions?

Crimeni: 26 x 28, 2-story…We don’t have the money to finish it.

Degnen: Are you living there now? [Editor’s Note: Apparently Degnen missed the part where Crimeni says he lives on Long Island. She also hasn’t done her homework or she would know that Crimeni’s primary address is on Lace Lane, Westbury, NY!!!] … Do you have water and electricity? [Again, Degnen, homework? Familiarity with properties?]

BAR Member: Do you have the amounts of houses near you…did you bring the houses near you? [Editor’s Note: Apparently the BAR member is asking if Crimeni has any comparables, that is, information on similar properties in New Baltimore. The BAR member should know she should have these or could get them online in a couple of seconds. We did! In fact, if you go to the Greene County link we provided, enter the tax map number and go to the property page, you’ll be able to see the comparables for the property. Here’s the page for the Crimeni property:  Comparables.]

Crimeni: We ran out of money…We don’t have no money … We can’t afford this … [Editor’s Note: Here comes the best one: ] … We don’t live up here!

Hi, I’m the village crazy lady, and I’m on the Board of Assessment Review.

Now don’t you just have to sit down and cry hearing a story like Crimeni’s? Well, he apparently tugged at the heart-strings of the BAR because they allowed him a $60,000 reduction in his assessment, no questions asked!!!

For your information, you can find out any information you want on Greene County properties on the Greene County online property tax site, SDG Mate Online, and can search by property tax map number, owner’s name, etc. It’s all public access and available to anyone who is interested. Here’s the site link: Greene County Property Tax Info .

We could go on with the remaining 6 properties that received similar reductions but we’ve made our point. There’s something really wrong in the New Baltimore Assessor’s Office and on the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review and it needs fixing. We think it’s corruption and collusion because there’s no rhyme, reason, or fair play in these determinations. Here’s why:

Two properties on New Street in the Hamlet have been the subject of a great deal of anxiety and discussion because since late 2016, severe damage was identified. In the one case, runoff from the street caused the collapse of the building foundation, making it unusable. Then Town supervisor Nick Dellisanti (now Deputy Town Supervisor) and then Deputy Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso (now Town Supervisor), together with Town Board member Shelly van Etten, personally inspected the site and identified a number of problems. Two days later Dellisanti, Ruso, and then Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan and Deputy Highway Superintendent Scott van Wormer visited the site and confirmed the same problems. After that the New Baltimore Highway Department created new problems and the Town was served with a number of Notices of Claim for the damage. In 2017, the Highway Department and Callanan paved New Street and created a mess. We won’t go into details here but if you want details go to our article: “New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways and Board to be Sued – AGAIN!

Dellisanti and Ruso’s game was “deny and hide,” handing the matter over to the town’s insurance company and their lawyers. Town Law would allow the town to make out-of-court compensation to the owner subject to the approval of a NYS Supreme Court judge but NO! they’d rather force the already traumatized owner to have to go to court and then to the poorhouse. That’s Republican fair play, apparently. No one in Town Hall wants to admit the wrong done. In fact, Dellisanti’s personal notes of a discussion with then Superintendent Jordan records that Jordan’s response to the resident’s request for a meeting was, “Let them sue us!” Apparently Dellisanti and Ruso agreed.

The owner of the property continued paying his taxes like a good citizen even though he couldn’t use the property and the damage was continuing because the Highway Department didn’t know what they were doing and Dellisanti and Ruso didn’t either – or they didn’t have the balls to go after Jordan directly. So the property owner requested a reduction in taxes on the collapsing building and the other impaired property, and appeared before the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review with a complete written history of the case and numerous photographs showing the damage.

The problems first began when New Baltimore Sole Assessor refused to provide the members of the Board of Assessment Review with copies of the property owners request saying, “It’s not our responsibility.” But it is his responsibility to provide the BAR with copies of all complaints, it’s in the Real Property Tax Law!!! At the Grievance Day hearing, Gordan handed the four members present ONE copy, his file copy, of the requests for reduction of assessment on two properties. The hearing was a complete mess, confusion, the BAR couldn’t follow the conversation and Degnen kept on saying, “That’s not our problem. You have to go to the Highway Department,” and had to be repeatedly reminded that the information was being provided for background only, so the Board would understand the history of the problem. Degnen just couldn’t get it. The rest of the Board had no idea what the property was.  By the way, New York Real Property Tax Law requires the Board of Assessment Review to be familiar with the properties they are considering. They were not, which was obvious already in the Hales, Brant and Crimeni cases.

The bottom line: The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review made all their decisions that evening, during the 4 hours they were hearing 11 case presentations, and did not adjourn to reconsider additional information, did not go into executive session to discuss any details of any property, as they should have done, did not request additional information, and refused to inspect the property. They approved 9 out of the 11 cases for reductions of between $12,000-$60,000, properties whose owners simply thought they were being taxed (Hales, Brant, Crimini) but the properties that were damaged and destroyed because of Town of New Baltimore negligence got NO CHANGE!!!

The Town of New Baltimore, the Office of the Assessor, and the Board of Assessment Review refuse to respond to inquiries or to answer communications on the subject. New Baltimore public servants at work, it seems. Any questions? You won’t get answers from Town Supervisor Mr. Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Highway Committee member Shelly van Etten, Sole Assessor Mr. Bennett, or Board of Assessment Review Chairperson, Donna Degnen.

The board is made up of five appointees including: Donna Degnan, Linda LeClair, Ronna Smith, Lynn Taylor, and This year, the members of the  Board of Assessment Review, chose Donna Degnen to be the chair. The fifth member, Bernard “Bernie” Jones was absent on Grievance Day.

The members of the BAR receive $200 each, and the chair, Ms Degnen, $250, with an additional $50 per meeting for meetings beyond two meetings. So that came out to about $50.00/hr for each of the members of the BAR for the 4-hour Grievance Day hearings. Degnen received an additional $50.00. Total for Grievance Day circus appearances: at least $1050.00 to give away almost $300,000 in property tax reductions, the majority of which were totally unsubstantiated if you listen to the tapes!

The Board of Assessment Review and the Office of the Sole Assessor are just as indifferent and incompetent as the Office of the Supervisor and the New Baltimore Town Board.

We have obtained the taped recordings of the proceedings of the Grievance Day hearings before the Board and can only say that the bowel sounds in a special ed class would make more sense than what we had to listen to in the tapes. Degnen was dithering and the rest seemed intent on making their presence and importance known by asking irrelevant and generally uninformed questions. None of the four Board members were familiar with any of the properties presented. Just a minute, one member, Linda LeClair, was the only member who showed any interest in the properties and the only member who had personal knowledge of a property. That’s a very poor showing.

But the Board did hear presentations on a total of 11 properties and granted reductions in 9 of them. Two properties, one literally collapsing and unusable and the other defaced by former Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan’s incompetence, were left unchanged, despite comprehensive exhibits and a clearly well-founded presentation. We think that there’s some collusion/conspiracy with the Town of New Baltimore and the BAR to avoid admitting any damage to the two properties, since, if any department or agency of the Town of New Baltimore admits the severe damage to the properties, it will cause havoc in Town Hall. Town Hall has been ignoring the damage and trying to discourage the owner from demanding compensation in their usual way, that is, let their insurance company lawyers make any court case impossibly expensive. That’s New Baltimore Town Hall at work. They ask for residents’ votes and then send them to the poorhouse when something goes wrong and the resident asks the Town to be fair and evenhanded. It’s a lousy system.

Several of the 9 reductions stand out as particularly loathsome and examples of the corruption in small town appointed committees. But first of all, let’s look at some general facts:

The assessments in New Baltimore are done on the basis of the Full Market Value and an Equalization Rate is applied. The Equalization Rate is a percentage that is applied to the Full Market Value to arrive at the assessed value. In New Baltimore this year the ER is 71.25% which means that the assessed value of properties this year is 71.25% of the Full Market Value. That’s legit in our estimation. But that’s were the legitimacy stops cold.

The total value of the properties is divided into two items: the land value and the property value (living area, etc.). The problems start with the Sole Assessor’s, Mr. Bennett’s method for determining the land value, which has absolutely no rhyme or reason and, in Bennett’s own words, the basis for determining the land value is, “Because it’s easier.” “Easier?” Yes, it’s easier to just apply a random value per acre than doing an actual calculation. It’s easier for Bennett.

Here are some examples:

In the Town of New Baltimore, Bennett has assigned land values to comparable properties as shown in the examples below:

The wide discrepancy in the Sole Assessor’s land values is one example of a huge irregularity.

The chart shows properties that are in the same area of the town, actually the Hamlet, but if you look at the land assessment, compare it to the acreage, and then to the per acre assessment, you’ll see why we are so up in arms about Bennett’s crazy assessments! They just don’t make sense! How can the land value of a property of 0.18 acre be assessed the same amount as a property of 1.03 acres, that is, a land value of $11,000??? Then have a look at the difference in the proportional value (last column) per acre!

A property on S. Main Street in New Baltimore of 0.05 acre (Total assessment: $56,700, Land assessment: $9,600) has a proportional price per acre of $192,000!!! WTF?!?!

We’ve written to Mr. Bennett several times and he refuses to answer. We’ve also complained to New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso about the fact that his employees and appointees refuse to answer inquiries but he’s refused to respond as well. It appears that when New Baltimore officials feel the heat of unpleasant questions, they tend to hide or ignore questions. (See Ruso’s comments regarding the resident’s letter, above.)

What’s even worse is the fact that the Board of Assessment Review was very generous in granting their friends handsome reductions, while denying reductions to touchy properties, like ones that are impaired because of Town incompetence. Here are the results of the Board’s “deliberations”:

The Board’s reductions ranged from $0 – $120,000 but there’s no logic; the stories behind the reductions are, however, very troubling. For example:

Brant is the developer who has the property on 9W, just behind the New Baltimore Family Dentistry buildings. Brant is a developer and has been planning to develop the property to put in some sort of housing project. He’s complaining because he feels his property is being overassessed. So, moneybags Brant pulls on the heart strings of the Board and they give him a reduction in assessment of $25,000.

Another property owner, Spence, is apparently interested in selling the property but wants a reduction in assessment for some reason. So the board hands Spence a reduction of $12,000.

But the worst example we have to offer from our investigations, listening to the hearing tapes, and reviewing the documents produced by the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review and their determinations is a property owned by a downstater, Mr. Cremini and his partner:

Cremini owns a primary residence in Long Island and 2 acres in New Baltimore, where he and his partner a building a weekend home, which is livable and has electricity and water. Cremini is crying the blues because his assessment is “too” high. He pays about $8,000 in property tax on hi primary residence in Long Island and, convinced the Board that he can’t afford the taxes on his New Baltimore property. So the board reduces his assessment by $60,000!!!! Cremini lives in a primary residence on Long Island, can afford to own more than 2 acres and a house in New Baltimore, cries poverty and the Board reduces his assessment by $60,000!!! Of course, Mr. Bennett agrees.

Another property got a $12,000 reduction. Go figure.

Of course, the Board of Assessment Review doesn’t response to our inquiries regarding the reasoning behind these reductions. But our information comes from the actual tape recordings of the hearings made by the Board, and from the official Order for Change in Assessments and the so-called “minutes” of the Board’s meeting.

Got questions? New Baltimore’s got secrets and no one is talking. But these are the facts, people.

 

Go to other articles in this mini-series on New Baltimore:

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his Board: Hide and Deny

New Baltimore Sends “Acting Superintendent” to Highway School. Why?

The New Baltimore In-Justice Court and Kangaroo Judges: Thomas Meacham, A Case Study.

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The New Baltimore In-Justice Court and Kangaroo Judges: Thomas Meacham, A Case Study.

We’ve just been informed that Zachary Stahlman and Charles “Chuck” Stahlman’s continuing harassment of a local business has been rejected by the Greene County Court. Shyster loser Brendan Baynes (Brendan Baynes Law Firm), representing the Stahlmans in their bid to continue harassing a local business, and his motion to reargue the case, claiming that the Greene County Court and County Judge Terry J Wilhelm didn’t understand the facts or the law, got kicked out, as we predicted. For background on the Stahlmans and Baynes, see our article, “Shyster Meets Psycho: Brendan Baynes and Zachary Stahlman a.k.a. Fat Cat Antiques“. Their attempt failed miserably, of course.

In a Decision & Order dated July 2, 2108, Greene County Court Judge Terry J. Wilhelm denied Stahlman’s motion for reargument, which was stupidly filed by local shyster Brendan Baynes of the Baynes Law Firm of Ravena, NY (we’ve already commented on the fact that Baynes’ law firm isn’t in Ravena, his P.O. box might be, but his office is in what appears to be a chicken coop on US Rt 9W in Greene County; it’s not even in Albany County!). If Baynes doesn’t even know where his office is located do you want to trust him with your legal work? But that says a lot about the Stahlmans.

The whole fiasco started in New Baltimore Town Court when former one-term town justice Lee Davis, a New York State Health Department attorney, no less, couldn’t interpret the terms of a commercial lease correctly, and started the ball rolling in a cascade of confusion worthy of the antics of a group of circus clowns. One of the biggest clowns, local attorney Brendan Baynes of Ravena, New York, jumped into the act to demonstrate how incompetent a New York attorney can be. The Stahlmans got what they deserved. Losers!

Our investigations as reported in our article, “Are Charles H. “Chuck” Stahlman and Son, Zachary Stahlman a Bit too Cozy with New York State Police?” received a very prompt and concerned response from the New York State Police Internal Investigations and the Station Commander at the New Scotland State Police, who flatly denied any connection with the Stahlmans, except that they were the ones who arrested Charles “Chuck” Stahlman for passing fake money, but once the case went to Albany  County DA P. David Soares, that’s where the NYSP connection ended. In fact, Charles Stahlman has a date in court in September. We’ll be watching what Albany County DA Soares does to botch up the case, which he no doubt will do.

The State Police also sent Chuck Stahlman and wifely Stahlman packing when they cried harassment when legally served with court papers. The Stahlmans are displaying a “We Support the Bethlehem Police” poster on their property on US Route 9W. Yeah, we bet they do!  Too bad for the bad-news boys in Stahlmanville.

The only remaining question we have at this point is whether Albany County District Attorney David P. Soares will screw up the case when Chuck Stahlman has to appear in September on the charges of


AND AGAIN IN NEW BALTIMORE TOWN COURT…

We’ve been looking at elected officials’ and public servants’ oaths of office and find that just about every one of our local elected officials and public servants have sworn an oath they cannot possibly uphold. They just won’t admit that they are ignorant and incompetent. They don’t know their jobs, take the public’s money and are, well, thieves!

THE NEW BALTIMORE TOWN COURT or THE CENTER FOR BACKWATER INJUSTICE

In a recent letter to New Baltimore Town Justice Thomas Meacham, a resident demands to know why a complaint made with the Town of New Baltimore Animal Control Officer (ACO), Joseph “Joe” Tanner, was dismissed without notification of the parties, including, at least according the Mr. Tanner, the Animal Control Officer. The letter (June 6, 2018) reads in part:

“Mr. Tanner informs me that the complaint was “discarded” by you. Mr. Tanner further reports that he had discussed the case with you and was surprised that you had discarded it.

“My question to you is on what grounds and authority did you discard/dismiss the case without having consulted with me or without a hearing.”

Meacham responds on July 5, 2018, by sending a so-called Decision, without even so much as a note, dated September 26, 2017 (!!!) which reads:

“On 9/26/17 the hearing was held at the Town of New Baltimore Courthouse in Greene County, NY. Neither the Animal control officer (ACo) or the complainant were present in the court at the hearing.”

Overlooking the horrible grammar in this official court document, there are some very significant problems in how this case was handled. The Complainant, upon receiving Meacham’s response, addressed a letter to “his honor” in which the Complainant pulls no punches:

“While the document mailing postmarked July 5, 2018, indicates a decision of the court dated September 26, 2017, it gives no further statement as to why the apparent Decision of September 26, 2017, was sent out on July 5, 2018, and only after I demanded information from the Court as to the status of the complaint. If one does the math, that is fully 10 months after the fact; by any standard, even if one applies the standards of a Town or Village court and the competence of a Town or Village “justice,” such an untimely notification is unacceptable.

“But the untimely notification is not the sole unacceptable observation to be made on hand of the Court’s apparent response.

*****

“The document indicates that the “[d]efendants were arraigned on 8/29/17.” Presumably, that date notation is intended to mean August 29, 2017.

“The fact that I made the complaint by me The “personally with Mr. Joseph Tanner on or about Tuesday, July 11, 2017, immediately following a so-called “trial” in the matter of Thompson v. Krug [sic, recte “People v. Krug”], a dog nuisance case, which you sua sponte dismissed after coaxing the complainant telling him you were going to dismiss the case even without hearing the facts or witnesses who were waiting to be heard. This fact raises the question as to why it no less than took 7 weeks for the New Baltimore Town Court to “arraign” the defendants on a dog nuisance violation?

*****

“The Decision document also states that a “hearing was held at the Town of New Baltimore Courthouse” on 9/26/2017 (September 26, 2017), and that “[neither] the Animal Control Officer (ACO) [Mr. Joseph Tanner] or [sic] the complainant were present in the court at the hearing.”

“In other words, Sir, in the case of People v. Krug, while mis-captioning the matter before the court, you unilaterally eliminated the People from the matter.

*****

“First of all, in an animal nuisance complaint, it is the Animal Control Officer (ACO) who prosecutes the complaint before the court; it is the Animal Control Officer who is the prosecutor. The court cannot “hear” a case in which the prosecutor is not present; the Court cannot entertain an ex parte hearing. A hearing, sir, involves the parties, not a single party but all of the parties! Mr. Tanner is the New Baltimore Animal Control Officer and in the subject matter he is the prosecutor and the representative of the People of New Baltimore. How do you presume to abrogate to yourself the prerogatives of the executive branch (enforcement and prosecution) from your position in the judiciary?!? How do you presume to disregard the doctrine of separation of powers in violation of the New York State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States, both of which you swore in a solemn oath of office to support?

*****

“I am at a loss, as would anyone who is even remotely familiar with the administration of justice, how it would be possible for both the prosecutor and the chief Complainant to be absent from a hearing without red flags going up everywhere. Didn’t it occur to you that something was awry when the prosecutor and the chief Complainant were not present at the hearing?

*****

“According to the document you provided as a Decision, you arrogantly proceeded with a so-called “hearing,” heard the defendant(s) without the benefit of the prosecutor or this Complainant, and dismissed the case.

“Your questionable conduct in this one case raises a plethora of questions as to your competence as a member of the judiciary, not only in terms of an understanding of your role but questions even your appreciation of the implications of your oath of office and your knowledge of procedures. Given these primary questions and the secondary issues and questions that arise therefrom, it would appear that you are in violation of a number of regular and ethical rules.

“Your conduct of this matter may subject you to discipline, and given the circumstances, I shall immediately file a complaint with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, demanding that you be at least censured if not removed from the bench.

“Before this matter becomes any more embarrassing to the Town of New Baltimore or to the New York State Unified Court System, you may wisely and prudently consider resigning with immediate effect.”

The Complainant’s letter was sent on or about July 30, 2018, and copied to the New Baltimore Town Clerk, the New Baltimore Justice Court Clerk, Town Justice Joseph Farrell Jr, and mailed to Mr. Meacham.

We have demanded insight into the Court records in this case and have been informed that they will be made available for inspection on August 20, 2018, at the New Baltimore Town Hall. We’ll have our representative there to inspect those records and recommend further action.

All of our public servants have to swear an oath of office in which they swear to support the New York State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States of America. That’s the joke of the century.

Not a single one of the officials we have examined has any idea of either of the Constitutions and they are continuously violating the highest laws of the state of New York and of the United States, their Constitutions. Our public servants have no clue about the constitutions they swear to support and they’re violating our rights on a day-to-day basis.

The voters of New Baltimore elected a dolt to be a town justice, Thomas Meacham, who has no clue of what it means to be a member of the judiciary nor any idea of any boundaries set by the separation of powers in the three branches of government.

Meacham not only is ignorant of any constitutional provisions of separation of powers, he seems to make his own rules of procedure as he moves blindly along violating the public’s rights and traumatizing the people’s trust in an unbiased and non-partisan judiciary, something that is alien to New Baltimore and most towns and villages that are plagued with the antiquated and incompetent system of town and village justices, who are not educated in the law and are required to have only a high school education or equivalent to be voted into the court system!

We have been studying the Town and Village Court System of the New York State Unified Court System and have found that it is the source of problems for almost 100 years. The fundamental problem is that local communities elect local residents to be local judges, called town or village justices (formerly “justices of the peace”), most of whom have absolutely no training in law or anything close to it. The only requirement to be one of these dolts is the equivalence of a high school graduation and the necessary votes, that is, one more than your opponent!! There have been attempts to eliminate the town and village court system but communities don’t like interference from above and legislators are not all too eager to risk pissing off voters by doing something that might be right or necessary. Perish the thought!

Go to other articles in this mini-series on New Baltimore:

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his Board: Hide and Deny

New Baltimore Sends “Acting Superintendent” to Highway School. Why?

New Baltimore Property Taxes: Absolutely No Rhyme, Reason, or Answers!!!

*****

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, All the Justice You Can Buy, Baynes Law Firm, Bob Krug, Bonnie Krug, Brendan Baynes, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Stahlman, Chuck Stahlman, Civil Lawsuit, Civil Rights, Constitution, Corrupt Judge, Corrupt Justice, County Legislator, Criminal Judge, Crystal R. Peck Esq., David Soares, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Democrap, Democrats, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, Felony, Fraud, Glenmont, Government, Greene County, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Harry Davis, Hudson Valley, Intimidation, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, Joseph Tanner, Judge Davis, Judicial Ethics, Judicial Misconduct, Justice and Courts, Kangaroo Court, Law, Law Enforcement, Lee Davis, Lee Davis, Leland Miller, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New Baltimore Town Court, New York, New York State, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, New York State Constitution, New York State Police, New York State Police, New York State Unified Court System, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, P. David Soares, Public Corruption, Robert Krug, Tainted Judge, Terry J. Wilhelm, Terry Wilhelm, Thomas Meacham, Tom Meacham, Town and Village Courts, Town and Village Judge, Town Justice, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Board Served with an Open Letter Exposing their Indifference and Negligence in Dealing with Malconduct and Incompetence of former Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan Malconduct and of his Deputy Superintendent Scott van Wormer.

Letter Broils New Baltimore Town Supervisor and Town Board: Incompetent!


An example of the abject stupidity and short-sightedness of the New Baltimore Town Board (Greene County, NY), the Greene County Independence Party, and the Greene County Republican Party is the fact that they are now circulating petitions to get Jordan’s Deputy Supervisor Scott van Wormer on the ballot to be elected to be Town of New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways. This is the same man who was hand-picked by the criminal Denis Jordan to be his deputy, his lacky, and the same man that stood by watching, and participating in Jordan’s unlawful activities and said and did nothing. It’s incredible that the Town of New Baltimore would even consider keeping him on the pay roll, much less out of jail, for not coming forward and exposing what was going on in the Highway Department under Jordan. Now they want to put his monkey in Jordan’s chair. Unbelievable!!!


The New Baltimore Town Supervisor, Jeffrey “Jeff” Ruso (R), and The New Baltimore Town Board, Mr. Scott Brody, Ms Kelly Downes, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Irving, and Ms Shelly van Etten, were served with an Open Letter on Monday, July 9, 2018, by a local resident on behalf of several other New Baltimore residents and the community. The Letter does not paint a pretty picture of former Town Supervisor, now Ruso’s “Deputy Supervisor,” Nick Dellisanti (R), Town Supervisor, then “Deputy Supervisor,” Jeffrey Ruso’s, or the Town Board’s performance over the last several years of former New Baltimore Supervisor Denis Jordan’s alleged unlawful activities in the Town at taxpayer expense. Jordan was forced to resign under investigation by several agencies.

Also mentioned in the letter is Greene County District Attorney, Joseph Stanzione, claims to be investigating Jordan and his activities, but is just as weak in making a statement as Ruso or Dellisanti. The local Democraps may be backstabbing crooks but the local Repukelicans are backstabbing cowards, it appears.

The Letter refers to the June 12, 2018, by Columbia-Greene Media (CGM) reporter Richard Moody that appeared in the CGM newspaper, the Daily Mail, in which Mr. Moody reports on Jordan’s resignation, the investigation of the New Baltimore Highway Department, the New Baltimore Town Board’s glossing over the situation, and District Attorney Stanzione’s understatement. (Read the entire article ‘New Baltimore highway superintendent resigns; department under investigation.”)

The Letter also provides a so-called Memorandum of Law which points out all of the state laws that provide the Town Board with the powers to have prevented and avoided, or at least curbed Jordan’s devastating activities in the Town but which the Board and Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, as well as DA Stanzione ignored.

The Smalbany Blog was cc’d with the letter and we are providing it in its entirety for our readers’ information (See the link at the end of this article.).

Here are some excerpts from the Letter:

The letter starts out setting the tone by describing what can fairly be said to apply to most of the local municipalities in the Capital District (Albany, New York) region:

“Many of us in this Town of New Baltimore are angry and fed up with the corruption, indifference, back-scratching, cronyism, and lack of integrity in our local Town officers and employees. It’s a country club of log-rollers, and the residents and voters are being handed the dirty end of the stick.”

The Letter rightly tars and feather’s Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso at several points, but we’d like to include also former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, now Ruso’s “deputy supervisor,” in the statement:

“Mr. Ruso, you are blowing more than smoke when you evasively stated, “It’s more like he retired.” It’s me, Harold W. Vadney, you are facing now, and you know I know the truth and the background to former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti’s and your own stormy relationship with Mr. Jordan.”

In the article, mealy-mouthed Ruso tells the reporter, “It’s more like he retired…” But Jordan didn’t “retire,” he resigned and he resigned under investigation by both the Office of the New York State Comptroller and the Greene County District Attorney! The author of the Letter correctly observes:

“If he “resigned,” there would be a clear and substantial reason for his resignation. If he resigned, the taxpayers of this community and the voters need to know the reasons. He is, or was an elected public figure; the public has a right to know. The reasons given by Mr. Ruso are not reasons; they are speculation. They’re also very weak-minded and are a slap in the public’s face.

“Do I need to inform you, Mr. Ruso, members of the Board, that there is a vast difference between “retiring,” Mr. Ruso, and “resigning.” The implications of “retiring” or “resigning” for the individual and to the Town and taxpayers is enormous.”

The general impression made by Supervisor Ruso, and Town Board member “Charles” Chuck Irving, who states in the article, ““All I know is that he resigned,” and the author of the Letter sharply but accurately notes:

“How can it be true that the very people sitting at the table before us didn’t know a thing about what was going on in the Town. That’s reprehensible! That’s simply unbelievable. What are you hiding and whom are you protecting. My guess is you’re hiding your own culpability and negligence in allowing this charade of local government to get to this stage in the first place, and the ones you are protecting are yourselves, for your negligence and indifference!”

This blog has reported for years and has directly contacted the New Baltimore Town Supervisor, the Highway Department and members of the Town Board about former Superintendent of Highways Jordan’s unlawful and unprofessional activity and incompetence, so it’s a very true statement when the Letter strongly criticizes Ruso and the Board with some strong words:

“Mr. Ruso, you are quoted as having said that “The Town is not investigating.” How can the Town be so negligent and indifferent as not to have investigated. The Town has been served with at least 4 Notices of Claim citing the Town of New Baltimore, the Town Board of New Baltimore, the New Baltimore Highway Department, Highway Superintendent Jordan, and all that the Town does is ship the Notices of Claim off to the Town’s insurance company, who then ships them off to a law firm, who then proceeds to protect the insurance company’s interests while trampling the rights of Town residents and taxpayers! Is that how you serve this community and its residents? Is that what we elected you people to do? You avoid fair play, justice, and your fiduciary obligations to residents and taxpayers in this Town? You beg for our votes and then you defecate on us!”

and

“Your statement, Mr. Supervisor, that the “Town is not investigating Jordan,” is an embarrassment and an admission of neglect, indifference and incompetence on the part of the office of the New Baltimore Supervisor and the Town Board.”

We have to ask the same question that the author of the Letter asks when he questions that if outside agencies are investigating the New Baltimore Highway Department, how can it be possible that the Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, and the entire Town Board of New Baltimore know nothing about the investigations? That’s a classic example of a bare-faced lie!!!

“Furthermore, and an even more scurrilous and specious evasion of your duties and responsibilities, Mr. Supervisor and members of the Town Board, is the statement, the indictment of you all in fact, that “If there are outside authorities investigating, I would not know about that?” Isn’t it your job to know about that, sir? And isn’t it your jobs to know about that, ladies and gentlemen of the Board?… It was YOU, Sir, ladies and gentlemen, and your predecessors’ duty to have investigated Mr. Jordan, but you were derelict in that duty, and now you are playing ignorant and innocent. But we know better, don’t we?”

The author of the Letter wipes Supervisor Ruso, former Supervisor Dellisanti’s and the entire New Baltimore Town Board’s faces in doggy doo, and doesn’t for a moment forget the disservice and incompetence, even malpractice of Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, when the author cites numerous provisions of New York state law and authoritative legal opinion to show how incompetent and indifferent the Supervisors, Town Board, and the New Baltimore Town Attorney, Tal Rappelea, were when turning their backs on the residents and taxpayers of New Baltimore.

“…[New York state] Town Law provides you with every possible opportunity to have taken charge of Jordan’s activities, to provide relief and compensation to the residents and taxpayers whose properties were damaged by Jordan’s incompetence and negligence — and I might add, the Town’s indifference and complicity in Jordan’s malfeasance —, and the means to have removed Jordan, and even to have made Jordan personally liable for any provable damage or waste he might have caused. It’s all provided in the New York State Town Law and New York State Highway Law…”

Far be it from the author of the Letter to leave it at that! He actually provides the Town Supervisor and the Board with a so-called Memorandum of Law listing and explaining the provisions of law that were available to the Supervisor and the Board, but were ignored!!! (Memorandum of Law re Hwy Super and Hwy Dept.)

“Then and now the Town Supervisor and Board played the three-monkey-game: See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. Good for monkeys but pretty shoddy practice for an elected supervisor and elected board members who have the power and authority to have eliminated evil or at least to have controlled it, but refused to do so, while aiding and abetting it to the detriment of taxpayers and residents.”

It is clear that the entire Town of New Baltimore operation is a failure, and that the corruption and incompetence, the abuse and indifference was not and is not restricted to the Town Highway Department and its crook Superintendent; New Baltimore Town Hall is infected through and through.

“But the abuse and indifference goes beyond our elected Supervisor, Town Board, Superintendent of Highways, and extends to our appointees and employees. The Code Enforcement Officer, the Sole Assessor, and the tax-paid Board of Assessment Review all have refused to budge when it means doing what’s right.”

The author doesn’t leave the abuses and violations at New York State Town Law and Highway Law, he accuses the Town elected and appointed officers, Town Supervisor Ruso, former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Superintendent Denis Jordan, and others of violations of civil and constitutional rights and violation of their oaths of office!

“Let’s now move from your ethical and moral dereliction, from your administrative failure, beyond your violations of tort and contract law, to some violations of some US and New York constitutional violations, which you also managed to accrue.”

A very appropriate and brief final paragraph sums up the author’s challenge and his demands on behalf of residents, taxpayers and the community of New Baltimore:

“Mr. Supervisor, Mr. Deputy Supervisor, ladies and gentlemen of the New Baltimore Town Board, Mr. Jordan may be gone but the spectre of his acts and omissions haunts this Town Hall; Jordan may be gone but we still have the wounds and scars inflicted by his incompetence and indifference. The question remains: What do you intend to do to cure the injustice and to heal the wounds?

The Town of New Baltimore is just one sorry, pitiful example of the rampant corruption and incompetence that we find in our local elected officials and town halls. The nit-wits that stroll through our communities around election day campaigning, smiling, promising, begging for votes, once in office screw the daylights out of residents, voters and taxpayers. We all become invisible until the tax bills come rolling out. The Jordan affair was allowed to happen. It was allowed to happen because New Baltimore Town Hall allowed it to happen. It was allowed to happen because the gutless cowards working with Jordan were ignorant, stupid and indifferent to the unlawful and unprofessional conduct that was happening right under their dirty noses and overhanging bellies!

It’s worthwhile to repeat the Letter’s last paragraph and ask the Town Board, Mr. Ruso, Mr. Dellisanti, Mr. van Wormer how they are going to repair the emotional, psychological, physical and fiscal damage done by Jordan and his deputy van Wormer, and how the Town of New Baltimore is going to make those who suffered damage during Jordan’s term whole again?

“Mr. Jordan may be gone but the spectre of his acts and omissions haunts this Town Hall; Jordan may be gone but we still have the wounds and scars inflicted by his incompetence and indifference. The question remains: What do you intend to do to cure the injustice and to heal the wounds?”

The letter was distributed to the Town of New Baltimore and the Town Clerk was requested to distribute the Letter to the Supervisor and the members of the New Baltimore Town Board on July 9, 2018, in time for the regular public meeting of the Town Board. The letter was also copied to the Smalbany Blog, to the publisher of Columbia-Greene Media, LLC, Mr. Mark Vinciguerra, the editor of the Daily Mail, Ms Mary Dempsey, Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller, Office of Local Government.

Mr. Patrick “Pat” Linger, Republican/Independence Party Greene County Legislator representing the Town of New Baltimore, was copied separately, as was New York State senator Mr. George Amedore, representating New Baltimore, and who we cited in an earlier article for his irresponsibility in channeling money into the Jordan highway department, taxpayer dollars that were completely squandered under Amedore’s nose (See our article, “George Amedore, NY State Senator for 46th District, Needs to do Some Homework“), the Town Boards, and at least two Town Supervisors’noses (Dellisanti and Ruso), as well as on the watch of county legislator Patrick “Pat” Linger and Greene County DA, Joseph Stanzione.

They’re Running for Election and the Petitions are Circulating

Please sign my petition…give me your vote!

They’ve come out of the woodwork again and are asking you for your support and your vote. What are you going to do? Just sit there with your thumbs up your butts as usual?

Patrick “Pat” Linger is running for re-election in November, as is Jordan’s former deputy (Jordan replaced him when A. van Wormer ran against Jordan), Alan van Wormer (Jordan’s Deputy Highway Superintendent Scot van Wormer’s brother), who is now running on the Republican/Independence Party ticket for the office of Superintendent of Highways. And you thought Ravena was the only community with an established incest tradition? We say that house needs cleaning. The house needs fumigating to get the stink and the vermin out. Remember all of this on election day. We’ll be there to remind you.

Thank you for reading and becoming active in cleaning of the Town of New Baltimore.

Something stinks in New Baltimore Town Hall and in the Greene County DA’s Office. What’s that smell?


Click on the links below to read the original documents.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Amedore Homes, Arlene McKeon, Baynes Law Firm, Bitter Bob (Ross), Board of Assessment Review, Bob Ross, Brendan Baynes, Capital District, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Irving, Charles Stahlman, Chuck Irving, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Corrupt Legislature, Corruption, Crook, Daily Mail, David Louis, David Louis, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Diane Jordan, Diane Lewis, Diane Louis, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, Fourteenth Amendment, Fraud, George Amedore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Independence Party, Harassment, Hudson Valley, Ignorance, Incompetence, Independence Party, Indifference, Irene Beede, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kurt Froehlich, Lynn Taylor, Marjorie Loux, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Meave Tooher, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Family Dentistry, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New York, New York State, New York State Civil Service Department, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Pat Linger, Patricia Hildebrandt, Patrick Linger, Patty Hildebrandt, Public Corruption, Public Office, Ravena News Herald, Scott Brody, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Susan K. O'Rorke, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tooher & Barone, Town Board Meeting, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Smalbany Knew, the Daily News Knew, Greene County DA Stanzione Knew, but New Baltimore Supervisor Ruso Didn’t Know.

 How can New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso deny that the Town of New Baltimore forced Highway Super Jordan to resign? How can New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso say he wouldn’t know if outside authorities were investigating the New Baltimore Highway Department and Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan? How can Ruso be so ignorant of what’s going on in his town and everyone else is reporting on it, including our Smalbany blog for the past at least 4 years, the Greene County DA, the state Comptroller’s Office, the Daily News and Hudson Valley 360, just to name a few. But Ruso knows nothing?

So finally the Catskill Daily Mail picked up on the Denis Jordan scandal in New Baltimore. Congratulations, Daily Mail, it only took you about 4 years to get off your dumbasses and inform the public about what has been going on in New Baltimore for almost 20 years.

Congratulations, Daily Mail, but you fell short of any real reporting. But that’s no surprise, given the quality of the overall reporting. But then, you’re not called Hudson Valley 360 for nothing. You see, 360 means that you’ve made a totally nonsense turn only to arrive where you started from. Now does that make sense? They keep inventing themselves and are now the Hudson Valley 360. They’re not fooling anyone, really. We all know that they are not in the pubic information or the news business, they’re main focus is advertising. Just pick up one of their so-called newspapers and you won’t have any trouble seeing what we mean. In fact, Columbia-Greene Media Corp or CGM as they like to refer to themselves,  a division of Johnson Newspaper, is a full-service advertising agency and publisher of digital and print newspapers (judging from that sentence lifted from their website, their English ain’t all that great, either).

But the Catskill Daily Mail print news and Hudson Valley 360 did put out a blurb and a blurb it was, about the Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent’s so-called “voluntary” resignation. Now an involuntary resignation is when you get fired, and that’s what it’s called, “fired,” “terminated,” “pink-slipped.” So a resignation, by definition, is necessarily “voluntary,” isn’t it? Now, you may be given the opportunity to resign or be fired, in which case you have a choice and you might resign, instead of being fired. But that’s still not really what happened in New Baltimore, and we all know it, including Mr. Jeff Ruso, who knows damned well both he and his predecessor, Nick Dellisanti would have given their right arm to be rid of that incompetent dodo, Denis Jordan.

Since 2013, we’ve published at least 42 separate articles about Denis Jordan or that mention Denis Jordan in some negative context. How could you possibly not know?!?!

Smalbany Articles about Denis Jordan

And we know that Mark Vinciguerra and others at the Columbia Greene Media Corp. were well aware are what’s going on in New Baltimore because they read this blog and, to make matters even worse for Columbia Greene Media, we’ve informed them directly about the wrongdoing in New Baltimore. So, again, we have to ask, Where have you been for the past 4 years, CGM?

Columbia Greene Media is one thing. They are a private advertising and “news” reporting company and can do whatever they like.

New Baltimore Town Hall
Home of the Ho’s

But when it comes to our elected officials, that’s were the big buck stops! That’s why, when we read the blurb in the Daily Mail and on Hudson Valley 360, we almost had a fit. Here’s why…


But first a little historical — or histerical, or both — background:

In the article “New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Resigns; Department Under Investigation,” published in the Daily Mail and Hudson Valley 360 on about June 12, 2018, the author, Richard Moody, reports our illustrious New Baltimore Town Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, as having “denied that the town forced Jordan’s resignation.” What a load of steaming New Baltimore bullshit! Ruso and his predecessor, former Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, would do anything to rid themselves of that boil on their butts, Jordan. But they didn’t have the balls to do anything. We have personal knowledge that Ruso and Dellisanti were looking for any way possible to get rid of Jordan and they both knew, as did their predecessors, former New Baltimore Town Supervisors Susan O’Rorke and David Louis and their Democrap boards at the time, what was going on in the New Baltimore Highway Department under the direct supervision and authority of Democrap dodo Jordan. The problem was that Democraps take care of Democraps and most were on Jordan’s favors list. So they didn’t want to kill the goose laying their golden eggs, did they?

So the Democraps over several election cycles ran New Baltimore and Jordan remained a Democrap as long as it served him. Jordan ran successfully 4 times and has been New Baltimore Highway Superintendent for almost 20 years. How does it happen that someone with barely a high-school diploma, no education beyond high school, no training in engineering or a related field, never attended any continuing education courses in highway maintenance or related subjects, although there are quite a few very good ones like the Cornell Local Roads Program (CLRP), but was allowed (by voters and with little supervision by the Town Board) to run a complex department spending hundreds of thousands, millions of tax payer dollars?!? Well, it’s called local politics, the favors system, and very little county or state oversight. It’s criminal so why isn’t it covered in the local press, like any other crime or cases of corruption? Because locals like to keep their very dirty laundry hidden.

But Dellisanti and Ruso are supposed to be Republicans? Right? Correct. And they bend over willingly to get the Conservative and Independence parties to endorse them and their candidates, not that there are that many. That explains why Dellisanti and Ruso were so keen to get rid of Jordan not only because he was ignorant and incompetent, and corrupt, but because he was overconfident, thinking that he had his voter base (after all, he took the last election by one vote only. Big base, right? But then there’s the fact that absentee votes were mismanaged and no one demanded a recount.)

While the Democraps in New Baltimore are and have been corrupt and crooked writ large, the Repukelicans are hell bent on ignoring the people and taking care of their visions of “prosperity” — the problem is that they don’t have any appreciation of local culture or history, they have no intelligence or training in government, civics, economics, development, and they want to run the town like a business, which does not work.

Former supervisor Dellisanti, for example, came from downstate, around New York City. In terms of New Baltimore and its culture and lifestyles he might as well have been from Uranus. He didn’t have a clue how to deal with locals. Two terms and out he went — he “voluntarily” decided not to run again for office; after all, it’s easier to quit than to learn or to fight for what’s right.

Current Supervisor Jeff Ruso ran for Town Supervisor back in 2011 but lost to Democrap Susan O’Rorke, a real bitch and a super-disappointment, Dellisanti ran against O’Rorke in 2013 and won; he was re-elected to be Supervisor in 2015. When Dellisanti decided not to run for a third 2-year term, his deputy, town board member Jeff Ruso, who lost his bid for Supervisor in 2011, ran. Ruso ran as a Repukelican — the New Baltimore Democraps didn’t come up with a candidate, so Ruso was unopposed. When there’s only one candidate to choose from, that’s not democratic process; you can vote for yourself and be the only voter and stil win. That’s just about what happened with Ruso in 2017, when he finally was elected — no one ran against him — unopposed, the only way he could win. (We asked voters in New Baltimore to withhold their votes for unopposed candidates, not to give them any numbers; more than 33% of New Baltimore voters who went to the polls responded by not casting a vote for unopposed candidates. That was a clear message to Ruso and others running unopposed.

Back to the Jordan scandals …


What’s even worse is that New York Town Law practically handed Supervisor Dellisanti and Supervisor Ruso the very tools to have gotten rid of Jordan but they never moved an inch to do it legally. They had the power of the purse string and could have used financial strategies to get control over Jordan and stop his illegal activities. They had the power to call Jordan before the town board and have him report about what he was doing. But they didn’t. They could have called Highway Department employees before the Town Board and questioned them. But they didn’’t. They could have asked the Greene County DA to step in and help get rid of Jordan. They didn’t. They could have made a petition to the New York State courts to remove Jordan for a great many reasons. But they didn’t.

In the meantime, Jordan was having his way with taxpayer dollars and playing all sorts of favorites games while ignoring very serious problems in Town’s drainage and roadways.

Thanks to Jordan’s negligence, incompetence, indifference, and utter vindictiveness, some property owners in the Town of New Baltimore have suffered incredible losses and damage to their property and the Town of New Baltimore supervisor, who is the chief financial officer of the Town, and the New Baltimore Town Board, instead of making good and playing fair, seeing that justice is done, simply handed the problems over to their insurance company who then handed the case over to their lawyers, who did everything to deny residents and taxpayers justice! That’s our New Baltimore democracy at work. That’s what at least 4 Town Supervisors and their boards have done to residents and taxpayers in New Baltimore by not taking action against Denis Jordan.

New Baltimore Town Supervisor should hide his face in SHAME when he admits that the Town of New Baltimore is not investigating Jordan. He’s also either damned ignorant and stupid or a bare-faced liar when he claims that if outside authorities are investigating, “I would not know anything about that.” That’s simply too stupid or too crazy to believe. How on earth could outside agencies be investigating a Town of New Baltimore department and a Town of New Baltimore elected official and the Town Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, claims he knows nothing about it?!? Maybe someone should investigate Ruso for severe brain damage!

How is it that this Smalbany blog has known about these “investigations” since last year – and reported on them, although exact details were not available. How is it that the Office of the New York State Comptroller is investigating and Ruso knows nothing about it? How is it that the Columbia Greene Media Corp, the Daily Mail, Hudson Valley 360 know about the investigations but New Baltimore Town Supervisor Ruso doesn’t know anything about the investigations?

This stinks of more lies and corruption and it gets worse because Jordan is a Democrap and the New York State Comptroller’s Office is a Democrap-run office in a Democrap state administration. Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione is a Republican as is New Baltimore Town Supervisor Ruso and the majority of the board. We’d like to think that justice will be done objectively but we all know better than that.

We need to see a public outcry, a public demonstration of solidarity in New Baltimore. We need to see our neighbors in Coxsackie, Greenville, Coeymans, Catskill and Coeymans show up at the next New Baltimore Town Board meeting on July 9, 2018, at 7 p.m. to make many, many voices heard demanding fair play and justice in our towns, and a stop to the lies like those we are hearing from Jeff Ruso and others. We need honesty, integrity, fair play and justice in our towns. All American government starts in our towns and villages, our hamlets and in our families. What we allow to happen at home we soon find in the White House!

YES!!! The State Comptroller’s Office and the Greene County District Attorney did receive complaints and we know where those complaints came from. We also know that at least Nick Dellisanti and his sidekick Jeff Ruso have known for the past at least 4 years what was going on and did little or nothing. We want to see something done NOW, Mr. DiNapoli and Mr. Stanzione. Did you hear us? We said NOW!!!

P.s. Mr. Ruso and your New Baltimore Town Board, you have done a lot of damage and we’ve lost a lot of confidence in you. Payback time is just around the corner and it’s called election day and you are called past history (that’s redundant, we know, but we just wanted the Columbia Green Media Corp to know we can write like they do, too.)

Final Word from the Editor

First of all a word to all our readers who live in La-La-Land and refuse to believe the facts and truth we publish. For four (4) years now we have been disclosing the truth about what has been going on in the New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Town Hall. We’ve been telling you about what has been happening to honest, hard-working New Baltimore residents and taxpayers at the hands of our elected officials and our town employees. It took four years for the Greene County DA to wake up and do something. It took four years for the local trash media, Columbia-Green Media, the Johnson Newspaper Group, etc. to wake up and tell you all what was and is going on in our town. We’ve been on watch for you and telling you as it was and is happening. You’re welcome, I’m sure.

If you are stupid enough to believe that Supervisor Jeff Ruso, after having been in the thick of it for at least 6 years, can claim ignorance of what’s been going on, ask us. We have had personal discussions with both Ruso and his predecessor, Dellisanti. We’ve been present at meetings to assess the damage caused by Jordan and his team of Yahoos. We’ve spoken to Dellisanti and to Ruso about the work done by Jordan on private properties and both Ruso and Dellisanti admitted they knew but “couldn’t do anything about it.” That’s the truth. But it was a lie. State Town Law, and we told Dellisanti and Ruso, provided a number of ways to solve the Jordan problem; problem was that there were too many cowards in Town Hall to put the law into action.

When residents and taxpayers appealed to the Town to remedy problems in roadwork and drainage in the National Historic District — that was back in 2006!!! — nothing was done. In 2016, when Dellisanti and Ruso personally visited New Street together with Denis Jordan and his deputy Scott vanWormer to view the situation and the damage to private property resulting from Jordan’s negligence and indifference, they were made fully aware of the situation. They did nothing!

When Callanan was paving in the Hamlet and Jordan was nowhere to be found and Callanan, under the supervision of Jordan’s deputy, Scott vanWormer, were dumping tons of blacktop and creating hazards, the Town was informed and they did nothing!

When residents went through the process required by the law of serving the Town of New Baltimore and its officers and board with Notices of Claim, official notices of complaint and claim, regarding the damage done by Jordan during his time as Highway Superintendent, the Town of New Baltimore, under Dellisanti and Ruso, DID NOTHING. Well, they did something: They turned the cases over to the Town’s insurance company, the Argo Group, through the Town’s insurance agent Marshall & Sterling of Leeds, NY.

Here’s Dellisanti’s and Ruso’s idea of fair play and justice for New Baltimore taxpayers: New Baltimore insurers Marshall & Sterling (Leeds, NY), Trident Brokerage, and Argo Group (Bermuda) (the Town of New Baltimore is dealing with an off-shore company enjoying the tax sanctuary of Bermuda! Nice going, patriots!) are being paid to work against New Baltimore Residents and Property Owners with good faith claims for damages. The Albany law firm of Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C. have been hired by New Baltimore’s insurers and New Baltimore to make sure New Baltimore residents, property owners and tax payers don’t get justice and fair play! Isn’t there something wrong with this picture? Don’t WE pay the bills in this town? If we as private citizens damage town property our sorry asses are in jail! Maybe that’s where our Town Board, our Town Sole Assessor, Gordon Bennett, and definitely our Town Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan, should be!

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Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan Forced to Resign

We pay these pompous, arrogant dumbasses’ paychecks with our tax dollars! But they sit there all in a row, staring into the papers in front of them, better than those who pay them and who put them where they are, and gaze out, through the citizens and residents sitting in front of them as if they weren’t there. Stuffed shirts, empty heads, and ignorance all in a row, deciding on your lives. And do they stick together?  like fleas on a dog’s back. Nice picture, isn’t it?


New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan has been forced to resign amid several pending investigations of Jordan’s activities as Town Superintendent of Highways and the operations of the New Baltimore Highway Department under his direct supervision. Jordan’s resignation became effective May 30, 2018.

We have reported numerous instances that point to unlawful and unethical practices by Jordan which have been known for years but only after we brought the issues into the open and public view did the Town of New Baltimore and law enforcement finally wake up and start taking action.

Jordan is not the only New Baltimore public official who should be investigated. We demanded also that former Town Supervisors and Town Board Members who were directly informed of Jordan’s operations should also be brought to justice! For the past several years we have been hounding former Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti and his deputy, Jeff Ruso, now Town Supervisor, and others to be responsible and honor their oaths of office! They failed this community and violated their oaths of office!

We have also contacted and informed Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione of Jordan’s activities and the Town’s indifference to the illegal and criminal activity going on in the New Baltimore Highway Department. Last year Stanzione refused to answer our inquiries saying only that he could not make a statement because of pending investigations. We want to see and hear what he has done to investigate the other employees and elected officials, past and present, who knew about what was going on and DID NOTHING!!!

We want to know why employees in the New Baltimore Highway Department, in particular Jordan’s deputy superintendent Scott VanWormer kept their mouths shut when Jordan was using his elected office, public property, public moneys to do favors for special parties and totally ignored other residents and taxpayers whose property was destroyed by Jordan’s indifference and negligence.

We want to know who is going to reimburse the public treasury for the money that was misspent, squandered and wasted during Jordan’s years of mismanagement, particularly in the past 2 years, when the Town Board was most intensely aware of Jordan’s operations.

We want to know who is going to answer for Jordan’s abuse of residents and taxpayers, and who is going to foot the bill for compensating the property losses and damage caused by Jordan’s negligence and incompetence.

We want answers from the Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione, former New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Deputy Highway Superintendent Scott vanWormer, Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, and others yet to be named!

Local government is a failure…

And now on the Town of New Baltimore Office of the Assessor and the Board of Assessment Review: Grievance Day is a Sham!

We  have been looking closely at the Town of New Baltimore’s weird property tax situation and have come to the conclusion that the operation of the Assessor’s Office under Gordon Bennett and the five member Board of Assessment Review (BAR), consisting of Donna Degnan (chairperson), Lynn Taylor, Bernie Jones, Ronna Smith, and Linda LeClair. Linda LeClair appears to be the only functioning brain in the lot!

Under Gordon Bennett’s oversight and Donna Degnen’s chairmanship, the BAR is an incompetent drain on the public treasury. Bennett is not an elected official, he’s a hired fixture. Degnan, too, is not elected but an appointee and the sockpuppets on the Board of Assessment Review, lard asses that they are, handed the chairmanship of the Board over to Degnan, who is a dithering wing nut!

We have examined the NY Real Property Tax Law and its provisions relating to the Assessor’s Office but more precisely those provisions that relate to the Board of Assessment Review and have found that currently too many mistakes are being made and they are not complying with the law. We have an ignorant board with very little training and they’re making a mess of assessments, especially assessments grieved by taxpayers who are not being treated as the law requires.

We intend to notify the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance of New Baltimore’s non-compliance and we intend to notify the Office of the New York State Comptroller of these deficiencies so that they can be targeted at the time of the next audit.

And the New Baltimore Town Court and Justices are soon to be pilloried by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York state committee that oversees the operation of the courts and judges and, upon complaint, reviews the court or the judge and has the power to discipline them for acting in bad faith, unethically, with malice, or in ignorance or abuse of the law. New Baltimore town justice Tom Meacham is at the top of our list.

And the incompetence and ignorance doesn’t stop at the Highway Department! The Assessor’s Office, run by Gordon Bennett, is just as bad and the Board of Assessment Review is a gang of d-bags if we ever met one. Donna Degnan chairs the Board of Assessment Review but is more of a dithering crone than a competent chairperson. Can’t even figure out what property is being discussed and then gets stuck on a thought and you can’t get her off of it. No one listens and no one hears. Read the submissions? Hell NO! Follow the discussion? Hell NO! Four morons in a row! Local government is a failure and we expect state and federal government to be any better? Wake up people!!! No one cares and the apathy is killing us! All we can get is criminals and dumbasses to run for office and, worse still, the dumbasses appoint dumber dumbasses to the local government boards and committees! 

We can agree that the whole system needs overhauling but unless people, voters, taxpayers, residents stand up and work together, we’re going to be stuck with these dumbasses, crooks, liars, and criminals, and we can only blame ourselves. We can’t do it alone. We need to join hands and stop the corruption!

Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels….

Of course they’re going to stick together like fleas on a dog’s back. They work in Town Hall where nobody is more than 20 feet away from anyone else. Nothing’s private. They all kiss each other’s asses and make nice-nice in the great love fest at Town Hall, while waiting for the next opportunity to stick in a knife. Most of them hate each other’s guts but they have to stick together or they’ll all end up jobless and in jail. So don’t think for a moment that you have such a great case that they won’t all get in a circle (called a circle-jerk) and make sure no one makes a peep that could incriminate anyone else. They may be incompetent, ignorant, arrogant but they are making the decisions and if you don’t like it, well, you’ll have to hire a lawyer. Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels. Well, that’s where the Jordan case is going to get real interesting because now we have not only a weak link but an actual break in the love chain in Town Hall. Things are a happening…let’s keep the momentum and see what’s going to happen next!

We want to see as many residents and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore as possible at the next (July) public meeting of the New Baltimore Town Board, and we want everyone to make a public statement about this development and what the Town of New Baltimore is going to do to make things right!

Next Regular Town Board Meeting is on July 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

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Posted by on June 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Assessment Review, Bernie Jones, Board of Assessment Review, Bob Ross, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, David Lewis, David Louis, David Louis, Democratic Caucus, Democratic Party Committee, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Diane Jordan, Donna Degnen, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, George Amedore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Grievance Day, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph A. Farrell Jr, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Linda LeClair, Lynn Taylor, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democratic Committee, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Police, New York State Town Law, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Professional Misconduct, Ravena News Herald, Real Property Tax Law, RegisterStar, Republican Caucus, Republican Party Committee, Resignation, Ronna Smith, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town Board Meeting, Town Supervisor