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Category Archives: Albany County Legislature

Christmas is Coming Early this Year: Crandall Interviews

The Crandall interviews were done yesterday evening, and will be published in three segments during the week of October 21-25, 2019. There’s a lot of great information in those interview questions, so the Smalbany blog want’s to get it out there in small doses. A short commentary on the interviews will be published in advance of the Interviews. Get the word out and send this link to all your friends and contacts: https://smalbanynewyork.wordpress.com/


Only Cowards Hide Behind Silence and Lies

George McHugh has avoided debating Phil Crandall on at least three occasions. Crandall stated his willingness and provided McHugh with dates for at least 3 debate opportunities. McHugh has gone into hiding. His thugs, calling themselves “Friends of Coeymans,” are taking care of spreading the fear and the false facts (read: lies).

George McHugh was invited at least three times to be interviewed to answer questions about his background, the judgeship he doesn’t seem to want to talk about, his connections with LaFarge, Carver Laraway, Billy Biers, the Ravena News Herald, Mark Vinciguerra, the State Racing Commission, how he allegedly got fired by Carver Laraway, etc., etc., but he has refused to be interviewed. We wanted to know why he has to misrepresent the facts and talk gibberish in his campaign. All McHugh and his thugs can do is make wild vague statements without presenting any real meat-and-potato facts. We have the documents and the facts already, all we want from McHugh is his statements on what we have, but he’s running scared.

McHugh’s version of transparency is about as clear as mud; the same stuff he and his friends like to sling instead of arguing with facts and truth.

Mudslinging: promoting lies and making accusations against the opposing party in order to make themselves look better.
The McHugh campaign strategy supported by the Coeymanazi Clowns, Friends of Coeymans.

If McHugh Won’t Answer Questions Now, Do You Think He’s Going be More Transparent, Open, and Accountable IF Elected? NOT!!!

Why is George McHugh so terrified of debating or interviewing? 

We know why he’s so terrified of debating or interviewing. We have documents and facts to show that he’s a crook, a coward, and worse: a LIAR.

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Wouldn’t it be great if liar’s did actually catch fire?

Zach Collins and Brandon Lefevre: Daddy McHugh’s got your Strings, Boys. Just Dance for Daddy!

So you think Georgie Boy is such a war hero? You think he’s God’s gift to Coeymans with his two young pups; “pups”.that’s short for PUPPETS. Georgie will be pulling their chains and their strings just like he’s doing now. They’re too young and gullible to see through his sneaky plan for them.

Zach Collins + Brandon Lefevre
Enjoy the dance, boys. Daddy McHugh will pull your strings.

For the Tanners and Driscoll-s, and the rest of the friendless and brainless who hang out on the Friends of Coeymans page, and can’t read between the lines of their propaganda, we’re providing you with a picture that you just might understand.

George McHugh and his thugs, Friends of Coeymans, are playing Coeymans voters like puppets on strings.  Dance little puppets! Dance!
Manipulating and controlling with threats and lies. Facebook has become Friends of McHugh’s weapon of mass destruction, and McHugh wants to make Coeymans Ground Zero!


Read the Excerpts from Segments 1, 2, and 3 of the Crandall Interview:
Crandall Interview: Segment 1
Crandall Interview: Segment 2
Crandall Interview: Segment 3

Plus the Featured Resident Comment:
The Coeymans Clowns, the FoC, Are True to Their Reputation: Thugs


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“Friends of Coeymans” a.k.a. “Fiends of Coeymans”: McHugh’s Thugs

Coeymans has always been fertile ground for a bumper crop of bullies but the so-called “Friends of Coeymans,” popularly known by many Coeymans residents as “Fiends of Coeymans,” is a real special brand of domestic terrorist, the George McHugh campaign’s answer to Nazi Germany’s roaming fascist bands of thugs.

Thanks to a number of tips received from a number of Coeymans residents, who appear to be concerned about a new bully group in the Town of Coeymans — as if Coeymans didn’t have enough bullies as it is —, a local group calling themselves “Friends of Coeymans. ” The group’s bully tactics and brutish conduct in public meetings has earned them the dubious epithet of “Fiends of Coeymans.” So, in response to residents’ requests to investigate and to publish our findings, we’d like to respond in this initial post, pending our more in-depth investigations.


First of all, we note that these so-called “Friends of Coeymans” are a very small group consisting of three local clowns — for now let’s just be kind and call them the “Coeymans Clowns” —, with all the charm of a John Wayne Gacy clown, are closely associated with the McHugh campaign for Town Supervisor.[1] We’ll get to McHugh in a very revealing and troubling report on his past and present activities.

The Fiends of Coeymans appear to have an agenda of disrupt, disorder, and confuse the issues of the elections, the candidates, and to create general confusion and conflict in the Coeymans community. Far from being anything you could possibly define as a friend, these Coeymans Clowns are destructive and damaging. Of course, being on Facebook, they have collected a gaggle of Facebook freaks, addicts who spend their waking hours scrolling through illiterate comments posted by their fake friends.

If a group wants to be acknowledged as “friends” of any community, they should first state their goal as being for the public good and acting in the interests of the public, not a partisan political campaign. These Coeymans Clowns are interested in nothing but their Neanderthal sadistic pleasure, something that appears to be their perverse notion of masculinity or good citizenship. Maybe in Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany, but not here in the United States.

Unfortunately, some of the more ignorant and misguided souls (read: Mary Driscoll and her ilk) seem to have adopted this contemporary re-casting of the Three Stooges — and we believe they are actually stooges, stooges of George McHugh and his keepers [2]

Of course, the Fiends of Coeymans have a Facebook page, the Clowns practice their own brand of censorship, propaganda, and abuse on that page, which has also been a problem, say residents.

Creatures from the Shadows: Fiends of Coeymans.
[From left to right, Jeff LaQuire, Nate Boomer and Chris Hagen.]

This is a Fair Use site. One of our contributors received a threatening email from a woman called Kate Lisa, who is working for the rag, the Ravena News Herald, demanding that the Smalbany blog take done the photo of the Fiends of Coeymans. George McHugh is apparently still running the Ravena News Herald, despite the fact that Mark Vinciguerra has purchased it and his misnamed Capital Region Independent Media is mismanaging it. McHugh isn’t going to let his lackeys take any punches. At the contributor’s request, not Kate Lisa’s, we have removed the photo not because we had to, but out of courtesy. Our contributor asked Kate Lisa to give permission to use the photo, just to be friendly, but she refused. No problem, we got our mileage from it. But we do recommend that the RNH watermark their images or at least place a clear and conspicuous © on their images, like anyone else would have the good sense to do. Provincial is as provincial does. Do you smell pork belly burning?

The three clowns behind the Friends of Coeymans, and the operators of the Facebook Friends of Fascism page, have been identified as Jeff LaQuire (is that really pronounced “la queer”?), Nate Boomer (Boomer?!? Is he booming Jeff?)  and Chris Hagen. It may be worth knowing that one of the Clowns, Chris Hagen, is the brother of controversial Travis Hagen, the individual involved in the tragic death of 19-year old Riley Kern last year. It seems the Hagens have a tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As we mentioned above, the Clowns are associated with the McHugh campaign, and are garnering support from the News Herald, George McHugh’s pet.

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The Coeymans Clowns are a very good example of the worst in abuse of free speech. They are using not only the local opportunities for signage to mislead Coeymans residents — the Clowns can’t possibly afford to rent the billboard space they have on 9W, so our question is: Who is paying for it? Marc Vinciguerra of the Ravena News Herald? George McHugh? Carver Laraway? —  they’re all in bed together — and they have the willing ear of McHugh’s pet newspaper, the Ravena News Herald, the local media whore. What’s worse is that they have a Facebook page that most social media addicts can find with no problem,  and, if they say what the Fiends of Coeymans, rather, the Clowns of Coeymans want to hear, and if it supports their special interest agenda, it gets posted for all to read. But if you question any of the propaganda or disagree, look forward to being banned, and then after being banned and deprived of the opportunity to respond, they’ll proceed to trash you. Friends of Coeymans, Clowns of Coeymans, at their democratic best.

Lequire, Boomer, and Hagen are three very scary clowns!

Here’s the hypocrisy of the whole Fiends of Coeymans Facebook scam: They invite free and open discussion and even tout freedom of speech but, as in most dictatorships and fascist regimes, your freedom of speech goes only as far as the narrow limits of what the Clowns want to hear, and what they want their “friends” to see. In my book and by my definition, that’s called censorship and propaganda. It has no place in a free and democratic society.

But when the thugs get some computer skills, that’s the place where things go. Fascist thugs and computer skills are a toxic mix.

Problem is, there are so many gullible, ignorant, even downright stupid residents in Coeymans, who are such pitifully lonely creatures, they’ll do anything to get a friend. Hell, they’ll swallow anything — and I mean anything — if you’ll just say Hi! to them. So it’s that bunch that are really attracted to the Clowns’ group. The burning question is: Are you one of them?

If anyone has seen the movies about dictatorships like Nazi Germany or any place where fear ruled, you always have the scene where the thugs enter a public meeting, a gathering, or even a church service and intimidate or brutalize those present to the extent that no one goes to the public meeting because they’re afraid of meeting up with the thugs. Well, that’s exactly what we’re seeing now in Coeymans: the Clowns, the Fiends of Coeymans, are appearing at town government meetings ranging from regular town board meetings to planning board meetings and making unpleasant and embarrassing scenes. Just like in Fascist Germany. Their main purpose: to embarrass our elected officials and to intimidate citizens. Some of their Facebook freak friends actually congratulate them on “the good work they’re doing in the community.” Pure insanity! You can’t make this stuff up!

This sort of bullyism has to stop. Only YOU can stop it. Some of Coeymans misguided residents are urging these freaks on; others are encouraging them by giving them attention on Facebook; others are supporting them indirectly by staying away from important democratic institutions like town board meetings, planning board meetings, and public gatherings. Why? Because fascist thugs work that way: they work with lies, threats, bullyism, and intimidation.

Next time you express support for our military and our servicemen, just remember one thing: Our fathers and grandfathers fought against Fascism. Their sons and our brothers and sisters fought against totalitarianism in Korea and Vietnam. Our brothers and sisters fought terrorism in the Middle East. How can Coeymans residents support those sacrifices and still support a group like the Fiends of Coeymans, who are creating their own special brand of domestic terrorism?

Open your eyes! Open your ears! Open your mouths! Say NO! to the fascist thugs in your own front yard! You owe it to him or her who made the ultimate sacrifice so you can talk freely, assemble without intimidation, and exercise your free right to vote!!!


Editor’s Note: Mr George McHugh has recently published some misleading statements relating to his military service, if you can call National Guard service “military” and a cushy office job in the Staff Judge Advocate’s office (That’s where all the attorney’s hang out, far from any bullets or landmines!). We think he has no clue about what it is to be a real soldier. We’ve invited him to be interviewed to clarify those and other questions about his past but he has so far ignored two of our follow-ups. A third one will go out this week and, if he doesn’t have the guts to interview and answer the questions, we’ll publish the facts that we have. No one can say we didn’t give him the chance to clear the air.


[1] John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer who raped, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. All of Gacy’s known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park ranch house.

[2] The dictionary definition of “stooge” is “a person who serves merely to support or assist others, particularly in doing unpleasant work; perform a role that involves being the butt of a comedian’s jokes; move around aimlessly; drift or cruise.” Aptly applies to the Coeymans Clowns in all aspects.

 

Is George McHugh Avoiding Us?

Is Supervisor Candidate McHugh Avoiding us? Maybe hiding?

Rumor is that Coeymans Supervisor Candidate George McHugh is disguising himself to avoid being interviewed. Please let us know if you spot him!

As most of the local Albany County and Greene County residents and voters are aware, we recently contacted both Mr Phil Crandall, the incumbent Town of Coeymans Supervisor, and Mr George McHugh, a local lawyer seeking election to replace Mr Crandall. We invited both Mr Crandall and Mr McHugh to be interviewed by us and we published on this blog some of the questions we would be asking.

 

coeymans comeback team

McHugh with Running Mates (L-R: Lefevre, McHugh, Collins, Langdon). They’re a colorful quartet, aren’t they?
They want to “take back Coeymans.”

Our posts announcing our interest in interviewing the two candidates are part of the series: “If they want to be elected, we’re going to grill them!” (Click on these links to read the articles: Mr CrandallMr McHugh)

To his credit, Mr Crandall responded almost immediately accepting the invitation to be interviewed. We will be asking him for a date and time in the first two weeks of October, some time later this week.

Although we contacted Mr McHugh at about the same time we contacted Mr Crandall with the same request, and published the questions we want answered, Mr McHugh has so far refused to respond as to whether he will accept our invitation to be interviewed prior to the elections.

George McHugh’s law office in the former Ravena News Herald building, Main Street, Ravena. A strange woman in Mardi Gras  costume has been seen entering and leaving the building.

We followed up today with an email to Mr McHugh’s law offices, again attaching some of the questions for his information, and sent the following message:

Dear Mr McHugh:

We contacted you earlier this month to invite you to be interviewed as a candidate for Town of Coeymans Supervisor.
As of this date, we have not heard back from you, and we’d like to reach out to you a second time to invite you to be interviewed by us for the information of our many readers and the local community.
We would be very pleased to schedule your interview at any time between Wednesday, October 2 – Wednesday, October 16, 2019, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. 
The purpose of the interview, of course, will be to vet facts we already have as well as to explore other relevant issues concerning your fitness to be Coeymans Town Supervisor.
For your convenience, we are attaching a list of questions, which we expect to ask at the time of interview. We do reserve the right to substitute or to add additional questions at the time of interview.
Please be advised that should you choose not to respond or otherwise decline interview, we will proceed with the information we have.
Thank you very much for your attention. We look forward to sitting down with you face-to-face to better inform the voting community.
Once we receive your response, we will provide you with the name of an independent, non-partisan interviewer, who will conduct the interview.
Is Mr McHugh avoiding us, attempting to avoid answering some burning questions about his past? Is Mr McHugh afraid that he’ll have his feet to the fire when we start asking questions about his fitness to be Coeymans Town Supervisor?

We are trying to be fair to the candidates and are offering them both the chance to come clean on some very important issues. Mr Crandall has come forward and agreed to be interviewed.
Will Mr McHugh continue to attempt to hide?

Sorry, George, you can run but you can’t hide!
There are some questions we’d like to ask you.

 

If they want to be elected, we’re going to grill them! Re: George McHugh.

Incumbent Town of Coeymans Supervisor, Phil Crandall, has accepted our invitation to be interviewed, we are now negotiating a date and time for the interview.

In his email response to our proposed interviewer, Mr Crandall writes (September 3, 2019):


“Thank you for reaching out to me in regards to an interview. I am happy to schedule that and should be able to get back to you after the holiday with my exact availability and some possible dates. Thank you again”


We are now calling on Mr George McHugh, a candidate expecting to run against Mr Crandall this November, and hoping to take the office of Town Supervisor, and to take control of the Coeymans Town Council.

Our Reaction.

McHugh is campaigning behind an ambiguous campaign slogan, “Take Back Our Town,” which makes us wonder who is taking back whose town, and what’s going to be left for small businesses and for any remaining residents, after the so-called Friends of Coeymans all get their share of the post-election booty.

But in all fairness, we want Mr McHugh to have a fair opportunity to clarify some issues and to show that his commitment to transparency is no bullshit. Back to  our invitation to Mr McHugh. Here are our proposed questions for Mr McHugh:

Dance, Georgie! Dance for us, Georgie!

Proposed Interview Questions
George McHugh
Candidate, Town of Coeymans Supervisor

  1. You were elected to be Town of Coeymans Supervisor back in 2001, served one term, and then did not run for a second term. Why was that?
  2. The question of the Blaisdell Farm property and your housing project on that property has been the subject of a number of inquiries, particularly the fact that the property was annexed by the Village of Ravena at about the time you were Coeymans Town Supervisor, or shortly after you left office. Would you please comment on the circumstances of that annexation and how you benefited from it?
  3. You were appointed to a federal administrative law judgeship. It would appear that you are no longer serving in that capacity. Can you tell us what happened to the judgeship?
  4. Your campaign slogan is “Take Back Our Town,” from whom do you expect to take it back?
  5. Who are the Friends of Coeymans? Do they have names?
  6. According to our information, you serve in several capacities as a paid consultant or employee of the Carver Companies. Will you be resigning those positions if you are elected?
  7. How will your cozy relationships with Carver Laraway and the Carver group of companies affect your fitness to be Supervisor of the Town of Coeymans?
  8. You were outspoken in your opposition to the Town of Coeymans clean air law which purported to ensure good air and environmentally friendly air quality but you campaign on a promise to improve quality of life in Coeymans. That law was passed. How does opposition to clean air advocate quality of life for Coeymans residents?
  9. In terms of improvement of quality of life, and other than opposing clean air, what other proposals do you have for QoL improvements?
  10. In you campaign ads you suggest that you will do a number of things if elected. But our investigations show that you would not have the authority to make good on those promises, since most, if not all of those promises are state level powers. What do you have to say about that?
  11. As former owner of the Ravena News Herald, can you please comment on your relationship with Mark Vinciguerra and the Ravena News Herald, now owned by V. as part of his Capital Region Independent Media?
  12. Do you currently hold an ownership or financial interest in the Ravena News Herald?
  13. What do you feel you can offer Coeymans that current Town Supervisor Crandall cannot?
  14. What would be your major criticisms of Mr. Crandall and the current Coeymans Town Board?
  15. Given the questions regarding the role of the Coeymans Police Department in the death of 19-year old Riley Kern: What would your plan be for the Town of Coeymans Police Department.
  16. Hypothetically, if you were Town Supervisor, how would you good faith in responding to the many questions in the Riley Kern alleged wrongful death case?
  17. There is evidence that acting Coeymans Police Chief Mr. Daniel Contento and Coeymans police officer Ian Foard had handled the Riley Kern investigation not only unprofessionally but professionally negligently. We are aware that you have been in contact and communicating with Mrs Kern about her son’s death. If elected, what would you as Town of Coeymans Supervisor, in cooperation with the Town Board that would be controlled by your group, plan to do to support Emily Kern’s efforts to get recognition for her son, and to make amends for the circumstances of his death?
  18. What would be your five priority TO DO items for immediate action upon taking office, if you were elected Town of Coeymans Supervisor?
  19. What would be your five priority TO UNDO items for immediate action upon taking office, if you were to be elected Town of Coeymans Supervisor in 2019?
  20. Apart from any new industrial developments in the works, and given the small business situation in the Town of Coeymans, what would your plan be to encourage and to support small business creation and development in the Town of Coeymans, particularly in and around Ravena, the Hamlet of Coeymans, and the beautiful waterfront available to the Town and its residents and small businesses?
  21. Will you be continuing your law practice if elected to be Coeymans Town Supervisor? If so, would you continue to provide legal services to Carver Laraway and the Carver Companies?

*****

Well, Mr McHugh and his running mates are running on a number of positions, one of them is transparency. Well, in our opinion, if transparency is such a big concern for McHugh and his group, then he won’t have much of a problem with our questions. Or will he? We’ll find out and when we do, you’ll know, too. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, please read our recent McHugh-related articles:

Russian Mafia in Our Back Yards?

Please don’t Mug Me! Just Pot Me!

The Russians are Coming!!!

To McHugh or Not to McHugh.

It’s your community, too, and we want you to have a say in all of this. That’s why we’re asking our readers to send us their questions for consideration. If your questions are selected, we’ll include them in the interview of Mr McHugh.

As we go forward with the interviews, we’ll post names and questions for the candidates we choose to interview, and ask for your inputs.

Of course, we’ll keep you updated and informed on how the candidates respond, and we’ll share their answers with our readers.

Please send your questions to rcs.confidential@gmail.com. You can also leave a public comment on this blog with your questions.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2019 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2019 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th Senate District, Accountability, Albany County Coroner, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County EMT, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Medical Center, AMC, Amedore Homes, Andrew Cuomo, Boris Jordan, Boris Jordan, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Carver Companies, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Church of St Patrick, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Conservative Party, Conspiracy, Corruption, Cuomo, Curaleaf, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death Education, DEC, Department of Environmental Conservation, Elections 2019, Emily Kern, Eurasian Mafia, Eurasian Mob, FBI, FBI Public Corruption Squad, George Amedore, George Amedore, George Langdon, George McHugh, Government, Governor Mario Cuomo, Greed, Hudson Valley, Ian Foard, Independence Party, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Corporation, Johnson Newspaper Group, Kate Lisa, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Lafarge, Lafarge-Holcim, Law Enforcement, Lies, Lustgarten Foundation, Marijuana, Mark Vinciguerra, Medical Marijuana, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Moscow on the Hudson, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Police, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Port of Coeymans, Public Corruption, Public Office, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, Republican Party Committee, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Russian Mafia, Russian Mob, Russians are Coming, Selkirk Cogen, Smalbany, Smalbany Articles, Take Back Our Town, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Town of New Scotland, Transparency, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, Vote NO!, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Fraud, Fake Non-profits, Tax Evaders. They’re everywhere!

They think they’re pretty slick but someone’s watching.

The Non-Profit and Not-For Profit Tax Dodgers Right Under the New York State Tax and Finance Department’s and the IRS’s Noses!!! What’s the deal? Joe Average gets fines and penalties for a mistake while the real winners get non-profit or not-for-profit status and make the big bucks. But that’s because most of the sheeple simply closer their eyes to the problem, stick their heads in the sand, and keep paying…and paying…and paying! Question: Are you one of them?


Most of us are aware of the various taxing jurisdictions which use the real property tax to raise the money needed for their operations. Every county uses this form of taxation as do the cities and towns within a county. Within towns one sometimes finds villages which also levy property taxes. The biggest property tax bite for most homeowners is the school tax.

Property taxes provide the bulk of the funds required for local government and public primary and secondary education. A large variety of services including road maintenance, police protection, libraries, deed registry, justice courts, building code enforcement, etc. are all provided for by county, city, town and village taxes. The school tax pays the salaries of teachers and administrators and maintains the buildings and equipment required by the school system.

We all know the sickening stories about General Electric and Amazon, and other US corporations and the fact that they get away without paying any taxes. Well, there are plenty like them out there and here are some local examples.

We’ve already reported on a RCS Board of Education (BOE) member and former BOE president, Mr. James Latter, an employee of the Saudi Arabian-owned company, Sabic,  who got away without paying a year’s taxes on his $300,000 + new construction in Ravena. That was because the Ravena Building Department never reported the construction to the Assessor in the Town of Coeymans, who violated the property tax laws by not assessing the in-progress improvements on the property, although you can almost see the house from the town offices. That one instance involving Mr. Latter’s ostentatious new dwelling cost the Town a couple of grand in property taxes, and Latter didn’t offer to make good on it. You can bet your life on that one. [Read our article, “Board of Education Member James “Hadji” Latter: Is he paying his fair share of property taxes?“]

[Editor’s Note: According to the NYS Real Property Tax Law, If you add a room or put in central air conditioning you would naturally expect your assessment to increase. [Note: In some states new construction cannot be assessed until it has been completed and a certificate of occupancy issued. In New York State, the assessor is required to value the property exactly as he or she finds it on taxable status date (to be defined later). Thus a partially completed garage would ordinarily receive a partial assessment.]

So, now let’s look at a local attorney and his slick operations to avoid paying his share of property taxes: George McHugh, the shyster who’s got his hands in everything from p****y to pot. Yes! He’s the same crook asking you to elect him to be Coeymans Town Supervisor so he can make things easier for his keepers, Carvery Laraway and his pot-growing Russian pal, Boris Alexei Jordan.

Did George McHugh evade paying property taxes on his Blaisdell Farm project?

We’re also wondering about George McHugh’s little housing project on the Blaisdell Farm property. Did McHugh get the same tax break on that biggie that Latter got on his property? That’s a little project we’ll be sure to look into over the next couple of weeks. Did McHugh get away with not paying his property taxes on the project because the Ravena Building Department and Building Inspector never notified the Town of Coeymans Assessor of the project?

Jason Tantra, a British subject here on a visa, claims he’s operating his business, Tantra 4 Gay Men, legally in the USA, and paying taxes. Really?

It’s going on all over the place but the real scammers are the ones who manage somehow to get non-profit or not-for-profit status by some slick tricks. One of the organizations that has recently caught our attention because of their involvement with a charlatan from the UK who managed to get a visa to operate a sex-services company in the US. The organization is located in Washington County, New York, near Greenwich, about an hour’s drive from Albany. It calls itself the Easton Mountain Retreat Community and caters for anything and everything for gay men with lots of cash to spare. What caught our eye is that it claims IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit offering  — now get this –“ religion-related” and “spiritual development” programs. You’ll have the same reaction we did when we looked at their offerings and their prices: WTF!!!

To put things a bit in perspective, the town of Greenwich in Washington County, NY has a total of 61 non-profit organizations with assets totaling $19,876,829+ and total incomes of $8,395,791. Most, if not all of that multimillion dollar figure is tax exempt, while the rest of us are paying through the nose with property taxes, sales tax, and other indirect taxes that the state calls “fees,” cleverly and sneakily avoiding any word even suggesting “tax.” Same goes for all those add-on charges to your phone and cable bills. Fees but in reality taxes. Add them up and have a coronary.

No shame. They actually ask for donations!!!

Even Albany Medical Center is tax exempt!!! Think about that when you get your next bill! Read below to see what the Tax Code calls a tax-exempt organization and then go to AMC’s profile at Albany Medical Center, and note there’s nothing about real estate development or property management. So what’s the deal with AMC’s owning a huge chunk of central Albany real estate that was once privately owned and residential? Our government at work, people, and AMC’s CPAs and lawyers ensuring that the non-profit can make the CEOs and the board of directors’ payroll.

The Albany Times Union published an article in November 2018 entitled, “Capital Region hospitals earn poor grades on patient safety,” and reported that Albany Medical Center’s grade went from a “C” to a “D”. Other Capital Region Hospitals weren’t any better; in fact, most went from bad to worse! The best performers in the report remained unchanged from the year before. Now that’s pretty crappy!

There are also reports that patients were being infected by machines that should have been junked but AMC, despite warnings and recommendations, continued using the machines, causing a number of life-threatening infections in patients.

And then there’s the horrible story of the young man, Riley Kern, killed in a pick-up truck-motorcycle accident last year by a local, Travis Hagan, that went uninvestigated by the Coeymans Police Department. The young man was transported to Albany Medical Center where he was the victim of a number of ER mistakes; he died a couple of hours after they had their way with him. The documents provided by the boy’s mother after a grueling year of questions without answers read like something out of a scifi horror script!!! We’re waiting for permission to publish what we have obtained. (Read our reports: “We Are Re-Opening the Case: Riley Kern, Young Man Killed in Coeymans Hollow, Sycamore Golf Course,” “Riley’s Song: Verse Two – Update on Our Investigations,” “Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective,” and “Memorial Service for Riley.”)

Not only was the ER staff incompetent, Pathologist Bernard Ng apparently doesn’t know how to correctly complete a death certificate. Incompetence at every level. What’s even more shameful is that the hospital CEO refused to launch an investigation; swept the entire thing under the rug. 

But Albany Medical Center is the Albany Greed Center! On their website they actually ask for donations to support AMC. NO SHAME!

They actually ask for donations on the AMC website (http://www.amc.edu/)!!!

But back to Easton Mountain Retreat Center as our example of real tax scammers.

Do you really think that all of these organizations should be non-profit or tax-exempt? Click here for a list of Greenwich non-profit organizations. Greenwich Non-profits.

Easton Mountain Incorporated, NY Department of State Entity ID No.  2897573 (Initial DOS Filing Date: April 22, 2003) is a New York corporation (Employer Identification No. (EIN): 01-0778873) NTEE classified[1] as Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C. and designated under the Nonprofit Tax Code as 501(c)(3) defined as:

“Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.”

Yeah. And pigs have wings, too!

But here are some of this year’s programs. Right from the start we do not see a connection with “religion related” or ”spiritual development” programs nor do we see anything that corresponds to the Non-profit Tax Code for a 501(c)(3) entity. If you do, please let us know and we’ll publish a correction:

  • Best Friends Program (One-year package for multiple “events” depending on availability: $1,995.00 – $3,495.00)
  • Summer Gay Spirit Camp July 29 – August 4, 2019. Offers men a chance to establish lasting friendships in a fun and uplifting environment
  • Spirit Deck Party – Day Pass $25.00
  • Sun Clad – A naturist gathering for men who love men You love to be naked. (4 days, $395.00 – $795.00)
  • SUMMER: Freedom Camp, Gay Spirit Camp, Bear Your Soul Summer Camp
  • WINTER: Winter Gay Spirit Camp, Bear Your Soul Winter Hibernation
  • FALL: Kink Odyssey, Singles Weekend

Incredibly, Easton Mountain claims to be a non-profit organization meeting the above IRS criteria. How does a corporation catering for an affluent segment of the gay male population – Yes! we said “affluent” because Easton Mount is not cheap. Their programs run pretty pricey. For example, a program described as Gay Spirit Camp, which runs from July 29-August 4, 2019, which Easton Mountain describes as a “6-day program” but is actually a 4-day program, since :[t]he event begins with dinner at 7:00 pm on Monday, July 29., “ends with lunch at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 4.” You have to have some pretty hefty recreational money or disposable income because the prices posted for this particular mid-range event by Easton Mountain range from $595.00 (bring your own tent) to $1,095.00 for “semi-private” accommodation.  A so-called “5-day” event August 6 – 11, 2019, with our friend Jason Tantra, runs the same  You can browse the other programs on the Easton Mountain Site (Source: https://eastonmountain.secure.retreat.guru/programs/, last accessed on July 3, 2019)

Those prices are low compared to some of the events. Now we ask you very seriously: Should Easton Mountain be considered a tax-exempt, non-profit religion related, organization for spiritual development? Maybe you should have a look at some of the other programs offered at Easton Mountain Incorporated and decide. Then maybe you should call the New York State Department of State, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the IRS, or just write to them asking how Easton Mountain has finagled the tax laws to arrive at non-profit status as a religious organization of anything under IRS 501(c)(3)!?!

ORGANIZATION NAME ADDRESS CLASSIFICATION REPORTED ASSET AMOUNT REPORTED INCOME AMOUNT FORM 990 REVENUE AMOUNT EXEMPT STATUS DATE FORM 990 FILES
EASTON MOUNTAIN INC
(c/o RAYMOND NIRO)
391 HERRINGTON HILL RD
GREENWICH, NY 12834-5809
Charitable Organization; Religious Organization
(Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C.)
$100,000 +* $500,000 +* $500,000 +* 500,000 +* 03/2005

(Source: https://www.taxexemptworld.com/organizations/greenwich-ny-new-york.asp, last accessed on July 3, 2019)

We obtained the Easton Mountain Incorporated IRS 990 for the Tax Year 2016  — Easton Mountain publishes only their 2014 IRS 990 form filing (the last year available on the IRS site (2016 Form 990 Filing, Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 6-Jul-2018) (Source: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/, last accessed on July 3, 2019)

Now you know. 

Slick operators, incompetent local public employees, fake non-profit organizations all are eating at our table and getting fat, leaving us to pay the bills. Isn’t it time we split the check? Isn’t it time we demanded state and federal government agencies, including law enforcement, to start taking a closer look at how much tax avoidance and tax evasion is going on and leaving the rest of us to pay the bill? Your tax dollars are paying those public employees to sit on their fat flabby asses doing nothing while waiting to collect fat tax-free pensions!!! Isn’t it time we demanded they do their jobs?

 

[1] NTEE = National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities codes

 

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2019 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2019 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Albany, Albany County Chamber of Commerce, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County EMT, Albany County Legislature, Albany Medical Center, AMC, Antonio Delgado, Antonio Delgado, Assessment Review, Assistant DA, Board of Assessment Review, Boris Jordan, Brandon LeFevre, Business, Capital District, Capital Region Independent Media, Carver Companies, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Catholic Church, Church, Church and State, Church of St Patrick, Coeymans, Coeymans Assessor, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Consumer Protection, Corruption, Daily Mail, Death Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Taxation and Finance, District Attorney, Easton Mountain, Elected Official, Elections 2019, Ellis Hospital, Emily Kern, EMR, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fraud, Fraud, George Langdon, George McHugh, Government, Greed, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County News, Hudson Valley, Ingo Tantra, Internal Revenue Service, Investigation, IRS, IRS 990 Tax Filing, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Tantra, Joe Stanzione, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Stanzione, Lafarge, Lafarge-Holcim, LafargeHolcim, Law, Law Enforcement, LGBT, Mark Vinciguerra, Men who Love Men, Men's Groups, Miami-Dade District Attorney, Misconduct, Money Laundering, Neotantra, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News and Information Media, Non-Profit, Not-for-Profit, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Perjury, Phil Crandall, Police Investigator, Port of Coeymans, Pot, Protected Rights, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, Riley Kern, Riley P. Kern, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Cemeteries, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Sacred Sex, Sex 4 Sale, Sex Work, Shame On You, Smalbany, Smalbany Articles, Suffolk County District Attorney, Tantra, Tantra 4 Gay Men, Tax Avoidance, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Tax Law, Tax Returns, Taxation, Taxes, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Times Union, Travis D Hagen, Travis Hagen, United States Attorney, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, United States Department of Justice, United States Government, US Department of State, US Senate, Visa, Washington County District Attorney, White Collar Crime

 

Happy Independence Day! Everyday.

No Flag-waving, Sunshine Patriotism. It’s all Phony. We are Celebrating Truth, Instead.

Our gift to our readers, followers, and supporters on this Independence Day. From the movie Idiocracy (2006), President Camacho’s State of the Union address:


Editor’s Note: Idiocracy is a 2006 American science fiction satire/comedy film. The film tells the story of two people who take part in a top-secret military human hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years later in a dystopian society where anti-intellectualism and commercialism have run rampant, and which is devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights. The main character, Joe Bauers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for the top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive. Many in the media and commentators call the film a “documentary” rather than a comedy, and discuss how the theme of the film is actually coming true!


We’re celebrating the REAL America. We’re celebrating the Catskills!

Unlike most journalism and unlike most media, Smalbany is Independent, totally Independent, and doesn’t sell out for cash, ratings, future promises. Smalbany cherishes the guaranteed freedom of press and opinion, and will never abuse that guaranteed right. Smalbany is no slave to any special interest, any politician, or bribery of any kind. No other area print or online media can make that claim. That’s why we are the areas most read and most trusted journalistic source for truth and openness.

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The Smalbany a.k.a. Albany, NY, team wish all of our readers a safe and peaceful Independence Day 2019.

The Smalbany Blog again celebrates their 5th Independence Day, Yes! 5 years already serving the community and beyond. Smalbany Blog confirms and re-asserts their

  • Independence from allegiance to any political party, ideology, special interest, religion, or group; Smalbany’s only allegiance is to Truth and Fairness.
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  • Idependence from hearsay, rumor, or gossip. What you read on Smalbany has been investigated and vetted; that’s how we keep our credibility.
  • Independence from fake loyalty to any flag or national myth; Smalbany is supranational, above any nation or national symbol, Smalbany avoids idolatry and false prophets.
  • Independence from fear; Smalbany knows more than it posts, and keeps the scoundrels and villains in the community and beyond on their guard.
  • Independence from corruption in public services, public servants, elected officials; Smalbany doesn’t ask any public servant or elected official for any favors. This means that the crooks in government can’t buy their way out of their crimes.
  • Independence from any blame or guilt; Smalbany has always maintained the highest level of integrity — and will continue to do so — and has nothing to fear from the powers to be.

And speaking of misinformation, Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed. The actual resolution of independence was made on July 2, 1776, by the Second Continental Congress in a closed session. So why July 4th? The declaration resolution was publicized on July 4, 1776. In 1781, the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration. But it wasn’t until 1870 that the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, and only in 1938 did Congress change Independence Day to a paid federal holiday; in 1941 the day was expanded to become a “national” holiday. (5 U.S.C. § 6103). (Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th, last accessed on July 3, 2019)

That’s the kind of Independence we at Smalbany wish each and every one of our contributors, followers, readers, and supporters. We wish you all a Smalbany Independence Day, every day!

The Hudson River represents natural freedom and independence. Keep it pure and free.

 
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Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office

From its Very Beginnings, the Office of the Coroner was Tainted by Politics, Greed and Corruption.

The office of the coroner has existed for about 800 years and began in England, in the 12th century (1194) when the office of the “crowner” was created to investigate suspected felony deaths. Then, as now, there was government interest in such deaths and it wasn’t justice or public health. You see, the coroner, if he found that the death was due to a felony, would then investigate and confiscate the felon’s property, which went to the crown. Of course the coroner would get a cut of the goods, too. So, from its very beginnings, the office of the coroner was tainted by politics, greed and corruption. Add to this toxic mix the Democrat political machine in Albany, and it can’t get much worse.


Three out of the four incumbent coroners are Guess what? funeral directors actively practicing in the Albany County region. Charles Smoot, the de rigueur token African American at the Albany County Coroner’s office, and one coroner the others would like to get rid of for a number of reasons, John Keegan, and Paul Marra are funeral directors and work as coroners. There’s a conflict of interest here because the coroner has to call a funeral director or funeral home to take custody of the body after the investigation. If you were in the business, who would you call?

Timothy Cavenaugh owes his claim to the coroner’s office to his political connections and to the fact that his father, James Cavenaugh, was Albany County Coroner before him. It appears that the Albany County coroner is not only political, it’s hereditary.

You’ve all seen the Newcomer Cryptkeeper ads on TV.

It does get worse, though, and here’s how: One of the contenders for the elected position is Frank Simmons, another funeral director, who — according to the recent Albany Times Union report —  works for Guess who? Newcomer Funerals and Cremations in Albany. Yes, that’s the same nickel-and-diming, factory funeral provider that’s part of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group, the funeral home chain that operates in some 10 states. Newcomer just opened a new location in Latham and it seems they need more bodies so why not run for coroner? Does anyone see the plan, the agenda, the potential for corruption and conflicts of interest in this coroner system as it operates in Albany County? (The Holubs dumpster-diving moghuls of the Ghettochopper, that is, Pricechopper fame have bought a share of Albany government; now it’s Newcomer Funerals and Cremations who what their share of the local action?)


Editor’s Note:

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our articles on Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Service Corporation International (a.k.a. Dignity Memorial), and StoneMor, please see our articles at:


In a 2010 article published in the Times Union  (Coroner saw much in his decades on job, Times Union, November 24, 2010) reported on an Albany County Coroner, Bill Loetterle (now deceased, see his obituary), in which Loetterle describes some of his experiences, and provides some insights into the operations of the coroner’s position in Albany County. He describes how in one case he was ready to call a murder, the police stepped in and overruled him calling it a suicide. Sends up red flags already. He describes serious mistakes being made in the coroner’s office like getting names wrong for the bodies in their custody. In that article, Dr Jeffrey Hubbard, a pathologist working with the Albany County Coroners Office is quoted as saying “the coroners office doesn’t have the answers and doesn’t know when they are going to come about. They are waiting for the pathologist, or pathology lab or for the police.” Makes you wonder why there’s a coroners office in the first place.

Then why have the extra level, the coroners, if they don’t have the answers and have to rely on the pathologist or the police? The County of Albany is already paying the pathologists and the police are already on the payroll. Sounds political and corrupt to us.

You might go back to Loetterle’s tale about the homicide called suicide by the police, overruling the opinion of the coroner. Do you really think that isn’t possible given the fact that the politics in Albany County run law enforcement and the coroners office? Better think again!

Former Albany County Coroner William Loetterle was a Purchasing Agent at GE

So, Loetterle (A Democrat, of course!) came on board as an appointed part-time coroner in 1979 and stayed on the job until 2010, 30 years! Loetterle worked for GE as a purchasing agent. That’s the qualification of the guy who’s going to determine the circumstances of a suspicious or unattended death, whether on the street or in the hospital, and sign the death certificate. It’s no wonder that death statistics are so screwed up!

In the TU 2010 article, though, Mr Loetterle, if you don’t believe he was part of the machine, totally unqualified and just outright ignorant, we read that in his “educated” opinion, “having coroners is better than having medical examiners because it’s much less costly for the taxpayers.” We’ve done a thorough study of the coroner and ME system and we know that that statement is categorically untrue and incorrect, as we’ll point out below.

Albany County Coroners are so good that they actually sent a woman who was still alive to the morgue!

The coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job

Furthermore, the office of coroner is for all practical purposes antiquated and obsolete. Moreover, it’s more costly to taxpayers because it actually duplicates effort and costs, and is actually detrimental to the public health efforts and programs at state and federal level because the coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job. That and the fact that it’s an elected position and only those candidates that get local political party approval get on the ballot.


Incompetence goes viral….

In a New York Times article, the writer refers to the coroners office as a “relic.” The article goes on to describe how an elderly woman was found in her apartment in an Albany complex for the elderly:

The old woman was sprawled on her living room floor, cold and motionless, and the apartment manager who found her on Wednesday was sure she was gone. Paramedics and the Albany County Coroner… found no heartbeat, no pulse, no breath or other signs of life, and the [Albany] coroner declared her officially dead.

They zipped Mildred C. Clarke, 86, into a body bag, took her to the morgue at the Albany Medical Center Hospital and left her in a room where corpses are kept at 40 degrees, pending autopsies or funerals. About 90 minutes later, the chief morgue attendant went in to transfer her to a funeral home.  (NYTimes

Albany paramedics and an Albany County coroner declare the woman dead, transfer her to Albany Medical Center, and no one there has any interest in confirming she’s dead or alive, and she gets put into a refrigerator where she stays until a morgue attendant notices the body bag moving. Something out of a horror flick? Hell, NO! It’s Albany County and Albany Medical Center at work!

Lucky she wasn’t an organ donor! But according to a NYT follow-up report Mrs Clark later died a week later at Albany Medical Center of ‘undisclosed causes,’ according to an Albany Medical Center spokesperson. (NYTimes)

William X Kienzle even includes the incident in his book, Requiem for Moses  (Kienzle, William X. Requiem for Moses. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub, 2013). That’s how Albany County gets on the map, we suppose.


So that brings us to another Times Union article published just recently, on May 23, 2017, entitled “Albany coroners race could have Democratic Primary. Democratic nominees face 4 others in Albany County” The reporter writes, “following a long, often contentious and disorganized Albany County Democratic Committee meeting…two incumbent coroners secured the Democratic nomination” for the coroner posts up for re-election. Four others were also endorsed by the Democrats. Can it get any more political?

Of course, the Albany County Democratic Committee chairman, Jack Flynn, would not comment on the strong interest in the coroner post but we will.

Albany County: No politics. No power. No patronage. No way!

A couple of years ago, Albany County considered changing over to the medical examiner system where a licensed and specially trained physician would do the death investigations (“Charter panel weighs coroner’s role,” Times Union, April 29, 2013). That article describes the Albany County Charter Committee as “11-member panel will tread lightly around the perception that it’s bent on curtailing anyone’s power.” Power. Not the public’s interests or welfare but power. The article is otherwise uninformative beyond confirming the corruption of the Albany Democratic machine and the infighting.

Somehow Albany has managed to misinform and keep the electorate ignorant and County Executive McCoy, Democratic Committee chairman Flynn, Majority Leader Frank Commisso (majority leader since 1993!), and certainly not the coroners or their highly-paid local pathologists or Albany Medical Center, whose facilities the Albany County Coroners Office uses for storing bodies and for forensic examinations. They all have an interest in keeping the obsolete and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office in place despite good evidence that it should be dumped and replaced by a medical examiner system. But no politics, no power, no patronage? No way!

This wouldn’t be a political position and would be governed by the professional ethics and oversight agencies that watchdog physician’s activities. But that wouldn’t be something the Albany Democrats would be interested in, would it? No politics. No power. No patrons. No way!

We should mention here that both Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties, as well as the majority of the rest of the country, especially those more advanced locales, have opted for the medical examiner system over and against the coroner system. There are many good reasons for this and we’ll be discussing them in future parts of this series of articles. The unfounded opinion of some supporters of the Albany County Coroners Office that the coroner system is less expensive to tax payers are misinformed and make no sense. The coroner system is in most studies of the system found to be incompetent, inefficient, expensive, and detrimental to the public’s health. Too many unqualified or politically ambitious people tend to seek these offices and should take their egos on a vacation. Coroners, at least the Albany County Coroners, have another agenda, as we’ll point out below.

But in the old days, local docs could be found who would sell their signature for a Tootsie Roll., and we have evidence of one physician, now deceased, who assisted the Office of the Albany County Coroner by signing death certificates for a fee-per-signature; he was actually selling his signature for a fee, and didn’t give a damn what was on the DC. His cause of death was always ASD, heart disease! If you examine the death certificates he signed you’ll find he certified almost every single death inappropriately using an abbreviation (more on this later), ASD, “arteriosclerotic disease”, making the false impression that almost every death investigated by the Office of the Coroner was due to heart disease. Think of what that could mean to national statistics on death due to heart disease if such corruption is widespread! It is. And published studies prove that fact. Scientific, peer-reviewed studies show that heart disease as a cause of death was a highly reported fake cause of death. It was over-reported by ignorant people completing death certificates with no qualifications, or who didn’t really care what the cause of death was, so cardiac death was an easy way out.  Frequently still is.

Investigating Deaths with Almost No Qualifications!

Studies also show that coroners and many physicians do not know how to properly complete a death certificate. And many physicians don’t know when they are legally authorized to sign a death certificate, frequently giving an incorrect cause of death. If physicians can make those blunders think of the damage an untrained, poorly educated coroner like Bill Loetterle, Charles Smoot and others like them can do!

The On-call coroner Frequently Doesn’t Even Go to the Scene but Completes and Signs a Death Certificate

If it works for one, it’ll work for many. This scandalous practice continues to be the case. We have received information from the Albany County Coroner’s office that when a call reporting a death is made to the Office of the Albany County Coroner, the coroner goes directly to the scene of the death, investigates, makes his report, and, depending on his findings, completes the death certificate and signs it. That’s what the coroner’s office tells us.  What we have learned from some professionals who work with the Albany County Coroner’s Office is that the on-call coroner frequently doesn’t even go to the scene but completes and signs a death certificate. Incredible? Maybe, but really quite likely knowing how Albany County operates.

Now let’s have a closer look at Albany County before we proceed with a more detailed discussion of what MEs and coroners are required to do and how it affects us as individuals, and as a state and nation. Albany has been a Democrat party stronghold literally for generations, and the Party has a stranglehold on public office. Most of the institutions in the City of Albany and Albany County are controlled by the local Democrats who have established a powerful system of patronage: If you’re not a Democrat and a log-roller, or you don’t know someone in City Hall, you simply don’t get a job or you don’t get elected. It’s a simple but corrupt system to say the least. Qualifications or credentials may play a role but it’s really who you know, not what you know. So it’s no big surprise to note that all of the Albany County Coroners, all elected officials, are all Democrats.

You may also find it interesting to know that two of the four coroners are licensed funeral directors running local funeral homes, Paul Marra of Marra Funeral Home (Cohoes), and John Keegan of Magin & Keegan Funeral Home (Albany). One of the coroners, Charles Smoot, claims to be a licensed funeral director, and if he is he must be doing behind the scenes work – so-called “trade” work — for other funeral homes; no one seems to know where he works but the Albany County Coroner’s office confirms that he is a licensed funeral director. Informants in the funeral services business in Albany tell us they never see him at any continuing education events, a requirement for funeral directors and for coroners. So Smoot, as we have mentioned, may be just a fixture in the Coroners Office, the token, but even so, he’s not popular in the Albany County Coroners Office. They’ve been trying to get rid of him for some time now, we hear. We also have information that alleged funeral director-coroner Charles Smoot has close connections with Anthony Perniciaro of the McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home (Troy) so guess who’s likely to get Smoot’s bodies.

How Public Office is Inherited in Albany County

The fourth Albany County coroner is Timothy Cavanaugh is a good example of how positions in the Albany Democrat machine get handed out, or in Cavanaugh’s case, handed down. Timothy is the son of a former, now dead, Albany County coroner, James Cavanaugh. The Cavanaugh dynasty is an example of how public office is inherited in Albany County. The same is true of one other coroner, Paul Marra, son of former coroner John Marra, also of Marra funeral Home in Cohoes. See the patterns? We’d also like to note that Paul Marra and John Keegan are not listed as owners on their respective funeral home web pages. We find that rather questionable, since we feel that those web pages should list the owners’ names or at least let the visitor know who is running the show. Or is does this have more sinister implications related to the owner’s holding a public elected office and possible conflicts of interest. You know, of course, that the coroners have to contact a licensed funeral home to transfer and take custody of the body once the investigation is completed.

Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Cohoes

So we found it a bit suspicious when we asked about funeral homes used by the coroners, the Albany County Coroner’s Office could provide no information on which funeral homes the coroner’s tend to use for transferring the deceased. Three coroners who are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of which claims to be a licensed funeral director with close connections with a Troy funeral home. Now there couldn’t be any conflict or interest or abuse of public office here, could there? Not in Albany County?

And it does get even worse…

John Keegan not only co-owns and operates Capital District Affordable Cremations LLC in Albany, New York, Anthony Pernicaro of McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home, Troy, is also one of the co-owners. That’s the same Anthony Pernicaro and the same McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home we connected with Albany County Coroner Charles Smoot! Insider information received from local funeral home operators indicates that the three Albany County Coroner/Funeral Directors are abusing their positions to steer business to their own funeral homes and their other businesses.

Given the importance of ethics and integrity in public office and the adverse effect on health statistics information collected by death investigators like coroners, you’d think recordkeeping would be a high-priority item on the list of coroner administrative requirements; after all, it’s the office that is required to collect information and report it on such a serious occurrence such as a death. Well, recordkeeping is not really a very high priority in the Albany County Office of Coroners.

Here are just a couple of deficiencies we found in our investigation:

First of all, we place great value on documentation and fact-finding. This requires a system and it also requires a knowledge of how information and data collection affect other departments, programs and even government agencies. Apparently, the Albany County Coroners Office got left in the 1300s, while other locales changed over to the medical examiner system or at least developed data collection forms that reflect the importance of the death investigation data collected during the coroner call.

If anything clearly demonstrates the substandard workings of the Albany County Coroners Office, it’s the form used for documenting the death investigation. Here’s an Albany County Coroners Call Sheet used to document the facts of the scene investigation. Compare it to this one from Indiana (+coroners general death investigation protocol_indiana)or even this simplified one from Cleveland (+Coroner-Call Sheet (Cleveland Ohio)). But our investigation found even more substandard practices in the Albany County Coroners Office. Here are just a few:

  • No up-to-date or upgraded software for entering and administering information collected by coroners (A key employee of the Albany coroners’ office tells us that the software they are using dates back to the 1980’s and has not been updated; the office can’t do queries or generate reports from the software. What’s up with this, Albany County?) (Per information received from the Coroners Office, “The computer system used by The Albany County Coroner’s Office is an internal spread sheet that has been created for our use. All records are also kept as paper copy within the Albany County Hall of Records.”)
  • No way to determine which coroner had which case and when (Wouldn’t that be of interest when you consider almost 1000 coroner calls in 2015 and more than 900 coroner calls in 2016?)
  • No way to report cases that were closed without autopsy and those that went to autopsy
  • No way to determine which coroner used which funeral home to transfer the body Now that’s convenient, isn’t it, considering that three of the coroners are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of whom allegedly has a close connection with a Troy funeral home?)
  • An unacceptable delay in getting autopsy reports: up to 90 days! When cases go to autopsy, there is a significant delay in getting the autopsy reports from the medicolegal/forensic pathologist (the Albany coroners office has four pathologists on call Drs Hubbard, Sikirica, Balasubramaniam (“Dr Bala”), and a Dr Ing, and one physician assisting the coroners, a Dr John Len). So why the delay in the autopsy reports and the consequent delay in closing the case?
  • Apparently there is no way for the coroners office to report which cases are pending closure and which are closed.
  • Cases are not tabulated by coroner; they are tabulated only as a total The Albany County Office of Coroners is unable to list dates of coroner’s calls with a corresponding coroner’s name, location, funeral home, or case closing date. We find this to be gross dereliction of responsibilities!
  • The Albany County Office of Coroners does not keep a list of funeral homes used by the coroners. We don’t wonder Why? Do you?
  • Contrary to personal informal reports we have received, and which resulted in our interest in this topic, the Albany County Office of Coroners tells us that they have received no complaints regarding the performance of their coroners. (Per the Coroner’s Office, “As stated above any complaints against The Albany County Coroners would go through The Albany County Board of Legislators. In checking with them on this matter, no complaints have been filed against this office.” Do you wonder?)

Although the coroners have no medical training, and can be elected from any status in the general public, as long as they can get on the ballot. According to statute coroners must participate in a minimal death investigation course. The Albany County Office of Coroners reports that “all” county coroners receive annual training through the

  • New York State Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (NYSACME)
  • The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and
  • Funeral Director CEU (continuing education units).

We note that the Albany County Office of Coroners response clearly reads “[a]ll of our coroners receive yearly training through those organizations. Does “all” mean all as in every, each? If it does we have some questions. One of those questions arise because we have personal communications from funeral professionals who state that they don’t see Charles Smoot at any of the funeral director continuing education events (CEU). Where is he getting his continuing training? Who’s paying for it? The answer to the first question is: Nobody knows. The answer to the second question is: We are.

Given the inadequate documentation, and without some documentation of a coroner’s whereabouts at a particular time a coroner’s case is called in and a death investigation is supposedly being done it will be very difficult if not impossible, to defend against any claims that the coroners are not attending at the death scene but are signing death certificates without due and diligent investigation. This is a serious issue and must be responded to and dealt with. We now publicly submit this question to the Albany County Office of Coroners and demand a response.

Here’s what the Albany County Budget for 2017 lists for the Albany County Coroners Office:

 Albany County Coroners Office Personnel Count

2015 2016 2017
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $725,824 $733,039 $733,239
2014 2015 2016
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $693,504 $727,294 $728,729

So the budget figures don’t lie but they also don’t tell the whole story. So we filed several demands for production of documents and information under the New York State Public Officers Law or the Freedom of Information Law. All criticisms aside, we have to give credit where credit is due: The clerk / administrator and confidential secretary at the Albany County Coroners Office have been very helpful and forthcoming, and we hope honest — in providing information in response to our demands. Unfortunately, much of what they provided does not speak in favor of the coroners office:

Albany Medical Center Propaganda

In 2015, Albany Medical Center performed all of 222 autopsies for the Albany County coroners. In 2016 , Albany Medical Center again performed a majority of our 230 autopsies for Albany County. Ellis Hospital began a contract with Albany County at this time but, according to the Coroners Office “a breakdown of these numbers is not possible with out going through each case by hand.” This is the 21st century, people! Everyone has computer software for keeping these sorts of records! Why doesn’t Albany County?

Albany County does not bill for out-of-county residence. If a person dies within Albany County, Albany County picks up the cost of Coroner involvement, pursuant to New York State Law. According to a Times Union report these costs totaled nearly $113,000 from January 2012 to August 2013 (“The dead’s tab: $61,426. When a patient flown to Albany Med dies, Albany County pays for the autopsy.” Times Union, November 25, 2014). During that same period the $61,426 for 56 outside cases in 2012 accounted for about 10 percent of the coroner’s overall $603,000 2013 budget. .But they can and should bill the cost back to the county of residence.

As mentioned above, the Albany County Coroners Office uses outside pathologists: Jeffrey Hubbard MD, Michael Sikirica MD, and Nadarajah Balasubramaniam MD a.k.a. Dr Bala. We demanded information regarding the costs of pathologist services and the Coroners Office provided these figures:

Pathology rates per patient:
Autopsy 770.00
Certification of Death 75.00
Review of records/exam/Certification 360.00

 

Amounts Paid to Pathologists
Per year
2015
Dr. Hubbard $46,980.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$138,075.00
2016
Dr. Hubbard $68,125.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$146,725.00

Albany Medical Center Autopsy Room

In addition to the three pathologists, John Len MD is a so-called physician assisting the coroners. Len was paid $3,350.00 in 2015, and $11,285.00 in 2016 for “assisting” Albany County coroners. Len, in other words, sells his signature to certify deaths when there is no personal physician.

Albany Medical Center has been the Albany County Coroners Office’s primary autopsy and lab and facility for the years 2015 and 2016. Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) began a contract with Albany County at the end of 2016, it is on a trial basis continuing through 2017.

Amount Paid to Albany Medical Center (Autopsy Services)
2015
Albany Medical Center $198,890.94
2016
Albany Medical Center $189,532.98
Ellis Hospital $6,550.00

Additional Laboratory Testing Services: In 2015 and 2016 National Medical and Bender Laboratories were used for additional toxicology services.

2016
National Medical $7,242.00
Bender Laboratories $27,500.00
2015
National Medical $13,881.66
Bender Laboratories $1770.00

We have demanded this same information from the Schenectady and Rensselaer Medical Examiner Offices and from the Greene County Office of the Coroner. As of this writing, their responses are still outstanding. Once we receive that information, we will publish a comparison of the systems.

Literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office

Whereas the New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) has implemented an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a number of counties in New York State,  implementation of the system in 2017 does not alter the fact that substandard recordkeeping in the Albany County Coroners Office has prevented any attempt at quality control or even retrieval of important data for administrative, study or research purposes. This means that information on literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office.

It’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

It’s the 21st century and it was a long time in finally coming but is still not fully implemented throughout the state, New York State’s Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a secure web-based system for electronically registering deaths. EDRS simplifies the data collection process and enhances communication between health care providers and medical certifiers, medical examiners/coroners, funeral directors, and local registrars as they work together to register deaths. That having been said, it’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

For now, though, Albany County Residents and our readers far and wide can draw their own conclusions about Albany County and it’s questionable rationale in keeping the obsolete, inefficient, and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office, apart from the obvious corrupt and self-serving political, power, patronage and economic interests involved.

We’d like to invite you to share your experiences of the coroner and medical examiner system with us. We’ll share them with our readers to enable them to be better informed and to improve their public health systems.

It’s time to do a forensic autopsy on Albany County and the Albany County Coroners Office!

Time to Autopsy the
Albany County Coroners Office
The Editor


Editor’s Note

The Albany Times Union reported that Mr Frank Simmons, one of the controversial candidates for Albany County Coroner, is an employee of Newcomer Funerals and Cremations: “Simmons, a funeral home director at New Comer Funerals and Cremations, intend[s] to petition to be on the ballot for the Democratic primary in September.” We have received information from a reliable source and in the funeral service business that Simmons is not employed by Newcomer but by the John J. Sandvidge Funeral Home, Troy. We are looking into this information and have notified Ms Amanda Fries, author of the Times Union article.


 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Elections, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Police, Anthony Perniciaro, Arthur Fitch, Bill Loetterle, Bring out your dead, Bureau of Funeral Directing, Capital District, Charles Smoot, Conflict of Interest, Corruption, County Legislator, Craig D. Apple Sr., Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Democratic Party Committee, Dignity Memorial, EDRS, Elected Official, Electronic Death Registration System, Favoritism, Frank Commisso, Frank Simmons, Freedom of Information Law, Greene County, Greene County Coroner, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Hudson Valley, Jack Flynn, James Cavanaugh, Jeffrey Hubbard, John Keegan, John Len, Law Enforcement, Licensed Funeral Director, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marra Funeral Home, McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, Michael Sikirica, Nadarajah Balasubramaniam, National Funeral Directors Association, New York State, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Newcomer Funeral Home, Newcomer Funeral Services Group, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Nick Facci, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, P. David Soares, Paul Marra, Public Corruption, Rensselaer County Medical Examiner, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Schenectady County Medical Examiner, SCI, Service Corporation International, StoneMor, Timmothy Cavanaugh, Uncategorized, William Loetterle