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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 1300s 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 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.

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.

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.

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. We don’t see the risk of conflict of interest here, do you?

Given the importance of the 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

 
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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

 

Just to Keep Your Attention…

For the visual ones among our readers, we’d like to provide a couple eloquent images for you to think about.
Just to Keep Your Attention
While We’re Working on the Next Story


We’re damned sick and tired of ghetto rats, rapists, abusers, sickos being touted on ESPN and the Sports Networks as heros. It’s got to stop!

We’re sick of providing benefits not only to lazy-ass hippo-hips, but to illegals, too! They can take our money but they don’t give us any respect! Same for our elected officials! This has got to stop NOW!

No comment!



Actually, it makes me want to vomit! Where has a healthy sense of integrity and honesty gone, anyway?


 
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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Enuf Already! Scofflaws & Freaks.

The Community has had enough already, and local, regional and state law enforcement are diddling themselves, while public safety goes to hell in a hand basket. Well, with this communication from an interested and angry resident, we’re starting the new service:

RAVENA-COEYMANS-NEW BALTIMORE

Enuf Already! Scofflaws and Freaks

Here’s how it works: Any citizen who observes a law being broken or a freak in action, emails us with details to rcs.confidential@gmail.com. Please include any photos if you have the opportunity to take any. We’ll verify with you and any others we can identify and publish the report. Here’s one for starters:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at about 3:30 p.m., I was driving South on  Rt 144 and approaching the NYS Thruway plaza 22, when a large box-truck ran the plaza stop sign and entered 144 so that I had to slam on my brakes in order to avoid an accident. The freak was in such a hurry that for at least a mile he didn’t travel more than 40 m.p.h. (the speed limit on that stretch is 55 m.p.h.). Not only did he run the stop sign only to slow traffic down to about 40 m.p.h., his wheels were constantly crossing the centerline as I followed the vehicle (I thought he was either drunk or drugged; probably texting or using his phone!). It got so bad that I decided that I would find out where he was going and give his employer an ear full. Well, as if running stop signs, almost causing an accident, failing to keep right wouldn’t be enough for this freak to lose his license, along the way he made about 3 turns and didn’t use his turn signals for a single one. I followed him, constantly keeping him in sight — it was an ordeal because his erratic driving was highly distracting — he drove through Coeymans Hamlet and through Ravena village, and turned onto 9W going South. I decided to continue following until I could turn off to get home and decided that if he appeared he was going past the junction of 144 and 9W, I’d give up the plan. Well, he used his turn signals for the first time when he signaled to enter the driveway of Eagle Tool Rental on Rt 9W. As he was making his turn, I noted that Eagle Tool Rental was lettered on the passenger side door, indicating that the truck belongs to Eagle Tool Rental. The  NY license plate number of the truck was 38435-KA commercial. Please do not use my name.

OK, Anonymous, you’re the first to help ensure the safety of our community by providing information on Scofflaws and Freaks in our communities!

We verified the truck and the location and the truck appears to belong to

EAGLE TOOL RENTAL & SUPPLY
372 State Route 9W
West Coxsackie
NY 12192
Phone: (518) 756-6531

We’d like to hear from EAGLE TOOL RENTAL & SUPPLY about this incident, and what measure’s they’ve taken to discipline the driver of the truck with NY commericial plate 38435-KA.

YOUR NEW TITLE
The Editor

 

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Keeping in mind that what you see may not be what you get.

Source: Keeping in mind that what you see may not be what you get.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Local Funeral Homes and How They’re Failing You…

Whether they deserve the criticism or not, funeral directors and funeral homes sometimes get some very bad press or we read some devastating review of a funeral service written by persons who expected, needed more than what they got on the price list. Why is that, you might ask yourselves, when you feel you covered very base in the funeralization services the family asked for and you provided.

Are you dropping the ball?

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps your funeral director might have exceeded his or her skill set? That what they may have started wasn’t really finished? That they left you and your family, the paying bereaved, at the end of a long pier with nowhere to go but off the deep end

I’m not just picking on the funeral director or the funeral home staff. I’m also talking about poorly trained clergy or clergy who accept a gig with a funeral home but who have no clue how to provide what the bereaved need. For any professional or paraprofessional to attempt to provide services for which they are not fully trained, competent, and experienced is almost criminal, and can have tragic circumstance in the short term and certainly over the longer term, particularly in the bereavement situation? But we still have funeral directors and funeral home staff who try to be spiritual guides and psychospiritual facilitators, bereavement support providers, and they are not trained to do that. Worse still, we have clergy or ministers who have their eye on the fee and attempt to perform effective and complex funeralization rituals but have neither the training, the requisite knowledge, nor do they have the communications skills necessary to the task, and end up simply provided a lackluster service and a meaningless ceremony. Sometimes one really has to ask don’t they have any self-awareness? Are they that arrogant or greedy to think you have the skills to do everything?

Is this where you’re leaving the bereaved?

Well that can happen when they attempt to do more than what they have been trained to do

I’m writing from the vantage point of having witnessed some pretty awful and uninspiring attempts at memorialization and bereavement services that have sent me home almost sick to my stomach, wondering what in the world did that funeral director think when engaging that clown. Or doesn’t that funeral director realize how shallow his prayer delivery is? Don’t they have any sensitivity for the lack of depth they are exhibiting to persons in existential crisis? Obviously no one has bothered to point out their shortcomings to them. Doe they even care? Would they care?

Not only do many funeral homes simply ask if the family belongs to a faith community, and if they do, simply make a phone call to coordinate a funeral service with a minister who probably never even met the deceased or couldn’t pick out the family in a lineup. Some funeral directors simply hand the bereaved a clergy list at some time during the arrangements conference and leave it at that. Others couldn’t even care that much and simply offer to lead a graveside prayer, intoning a bland “Lord’s Prayer” or, if you’re really lucky, might even read a staid “The Lord is My Shepherd”, before flatly dismissing the family. And you wonder that you don’t have customer loyalty? Wake up!

Thanks! But where now….

“Would you like some time with our chaplain?” That might well be one of the most important and meaningful questions a funeral director might ask of the bereaved. It shows several things: First, it shows that they have an appreciation for the various levels of the bereavement experience. Secondly, it gives the bereaved permission to acknowledge that they are also experiencing a spiritual component to their bereavement. Thirdly, it gives permission for the bereaved to open up a discussion about a religious or spiritual component to the funeralization services the funeral home is offering. It also demonstrates that the funeral home offers complete care and are not just interested in selling you tangible products and services. It all adds up to a statement that the funeral home actually cares about your holistic wellbeing, care of you the bereaved. But do they ask that simple question? Have you ever event thought of asking it? Or do they expect the bereaved to come in with a laundry list of services they expect the funeral home to provide?

Falling apart and no one to help!

It is a simple expression that shows they care. It’s a simple expression that shows they appreciate the complexity of bereavement. It’s a simple expression that shows they know their business.

One of the most satisfying things that I have heard recently is when, at the conclusion of the graveside service, the funeral director addressed the family and thanked me on behalf of the family. The funeral director, addressing the rather large group of mourners, said: “We’d like to thank Chaplain Harold for this beautiful service he created for S. I sat in on the family conference he had with M. & H., and I know he really cares.” The beautiful note I received from the family several days later was all the encouragement I ever needed to continue what some feel is a very difficult ministry. It is difficult, and draining at times. But it builds relationships and it brings healing. Sometimes it is incredibly uplifting when you know you really made a difference.

One of the universal characteristics of bereavement, loss of any kind, is suffering. Suffering may be physical or mental or spiritual or all of these. Suffering has been referred to in the professional literature as an illness that benefits from treatment on the path to healing. I’ve often referred to mortuary science as being an extension of medical science; they have so much in common. There’s suffering, illness, and the hope of healing, if not cure. If you think about the parallels for a moment and you’ll be awestruck.

So why is it that funeral homes and funeral directors don’t ask that very important question? Is it that their training doesn’t emphasize the fact of psychospiritual suffering and dumps it all into a big bucket called grief? Is it because funeral directors don’t have a complete understanding of the psychospiritual aspects of deathcare and the importance of spirituality in providing deathcare? Is it because they simply brush it off as the responsibility of the family to find spiritual support? Or is it because they feel, like most healthcare providers, that if it’s not physical, let the clergy have it (regardless of competence)? Or can it be that funeral directors simply don’t want to get involved in anything more than just a disposal service? Could be a little of all of the above, don’t you think so? (Those same questions could be asked of the healthcare professions, too, with similar outcomes!)

Caregivers at all stages in the dying, death and after-death experience should be providing this support up to and and at hand-off to the next caregiver team, including hand-off of the deceased and the bereaved to the funeralization professionals who will be providing deathcare services. The care should be seamless. But far from being seamless it all to frequently is simply non-existent.

In reality, a funeral director can’t do it all; if he or she tries, they run the risk of mistake or even offending, and that can have disastrous repercussions. Professional wisdom and humility would require that they do what they do best and are best equipped to do, and leave the rest to those with the requisite expertise. Why should the psychospiritual care of your families be any different? After all, the funeral director doesn’t entrust embalming or reconstruction to the florist or the hearse driver, do they?

This is the whole purpose of what we do and why we do it.

As a professional interfaith bereavement chaplain, I have spent years studying spirituality. I have covered the literature across cultures and belief traditions. I have established networks of colleagues through retreats, conferences, and continuing education. But more than that, I have assisted hundreds of families in getting through the grief and mourning associated with bereavement, and have helped in the closure and healing through well orchestrated, compassionate, and personalized funeral rituals.

Does your family funeral home offer a holistic funeralization team that provide you and your family that expertise, and can they provide the whole range of psychospiritual facilitation services either on an on-call or p.r.n. basis, or on a part-time basis on site, at their location or at a location convenient for you and your family? The cost is very reasonable and the benefits to you and your family are immeasurably enduring.

Why not take steps to discuss with a trained bereavement chaplain how you can get these services, which funeral homes provide the, and how you can obtain  professional spiritual care for you and your loved ones? Why not do that today, now?

If have any questions, please don’t wait another minute before contacting us for a bereavement chaplain near you for ideas on how to establish a partnership to provide your family with the best deathcare and follow-up care possible.

For Autor Contact Details or for Further Information Please Contact:

Compassionate.Care.Associates@gmail.com

 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Coxsackie Dental Arts/Kurt Froehlich on Professional Misconduct Watch List

Wrapping Up 2016

First of all, we’d like to thank our many thousands of readers for their generous moral support over the past couple of years to make the Smalbany blog one of the most-read blogs in the region. If it weren’t for the contributions and leads from our many readers and followers, we wouldn’t be able to bring the news and the truth to so many avid readers. Thank you all! And best wishes for a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year 2017!

 

Coxsackie Dental Arts, West Coxsakie, and Kurt Froehlich, Dentist

froehlich

Froehlich posing for his prey.

We have received information that Kurt Froehlich of Coxsackie Dental Arts in West Coxsackie, has been investigated by the New York State Department of Education, Professional Misconduct Enforcement investigation unit, and has been put on a watch list, and will be “in the system” should any further complaints be received about him.

This successful and very happy event is the result of a local resident’s formal complaint filed with the NYSDoE, the state department responsible for licensing professionals and for disciplining misconduct in New York state. We reported on the complaint last year, and followed up with a number of very negative reviews of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Froehlich in our article Fraud, Crook, Liar — Keep Your Mouth Shut When You’re at Coxsackie Dental Arts in which we expose his crooked and sleazy practices aimed at taking advantage of unwary patients.

trott

Bruce Trott

Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts came to our attention when several local residents contacted this blog with a request to investigate and to expose Froehlich and his unethical practices at Coxsackie Dental Arts. The reports ranged from alleged insurance fraud, to overcharging, to charging for work he did not do, and multiple other abuses. A search of the sites on which patients can rate dentists and physicians revealed a large number of negative comments about Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts. We found that many of the complaints confirmed each other, including the fact that Froehlich charges up to 3x what other local dentists charge for the same work, and bills patients’ insurance even before the work is done, in one case depleting the patient’s insurance coverage while allegedly falsifying the patient’s records. This was discovered by another local dentist consulted by the patient.

Coxsackie Dental Arts dentist Kurt Froehlich appearing in court.

Coxsackie Dental Arts dentist Kurt Froehlich appearing in court.

Froehlich has a great trick to get into your pockets. First his office manager will hand you a pile of forms to read and sign. So you think they’re the usual benign forms you always get to sign when you go into a medical or dental office. READ THEM AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. You see, Froehlich thinks that if you get handed a ream of paper, you’ll just scan and sign. Most people do. But you must read them because Froehlich or his shyster friend Kinderhook lawyer, James “Pudgey” Kleinbaum (YES! Another JINO!) have concealed in those seemingly innocent forms clauses that make you liable for ANYTHING, even work Froehlich has not done!!! Froehlich and his JINO lawyer recently dragged a local resident into court suing the resident for work that Froehlich claimed he did but didn’t do. The resident even brought in a letter from his usual dentist and dental records clearly showing that Froehlich didn’t do the work. But of course, in Cairo town court and with the likes of Lehland Miller hearing the case — Miller get his instructions from the lawyers appearing before him, doesn’t know shit from Shinola about the law — and so Froehlich’s lawyer told town justice Lehland Miller what to say and what to do, and the stupid hick did as he was told. Meanwhile, Froehlich’s standing there like a mini-Jabba the Hutt lying his way through the proceedings.  Decided against the resident, who was refused his rights to present his evidence. Local justice at its finest!

Lawyer James Kleinbaum (Kinderhook JINO) made up for court.

Lawyer James Kleinbaum (Kinderhook JINO) made up for court.

Oddly enough, Froehlich appears to have recruited a corpselike creature, Bruce Trott, to join the Coxsackie Dental Arts den of thieves. Trott must really need a job badly if he has to practice with the likes of Froehlich!

In our well-founded opinion, Kurt Froehlich and anyone working with him at Coxsackie Dental Arts, should be tarred and feathered and run out of town. Froehlich, a JINO (Jew in name only) is an insult to any ethical Jew and to the dental profession overall. Froehlich needs to leave West Coxsackie and Coxsackie Dental Arts should be avoided like trench mouth!

Froehlich is  apparently creating ratings for himself on the Internet

In our experience, it appears that Froehlich is constantly re-inventing an image on the Internet, and he’s apparently creating ratings for himself and for CDA, in order to counteract the negative image his unethical and crooked business practices have created. He’s really a sleaze and we wouldn’t put anything past that bastard.

As mentioned in our previous article on Coxsackie Dental Arts and Froehlich, Froehlich has a job with a practice in Port Jervis, NY, Aesthetic Family Dentistry (Dr. Seth Horn and Dr. Dide Tosyali, 155 East Main Street, Port Jervis, NY 12771), and he’s there on Fridays, which means he has to close the Coxsackie office on Thursday afternoon. Aesthetic Family Dentistry must be scraping the bottom of the barrel if they need the likes of Froehlich. And if Froehlich’s practice is so great in Coxsackie, why would he need a second job in Port Jervis? Sounds like he’s not doing all that well in Coxsackie for obvious reasons. Check out our article Fraud, Crook, Liar — Keep Your Mouth Shut When You’re at Coxsackie Dental Arts for more information.

If you have had any negative experiences with Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich, please let us know. We acting as the clearing house for complaints against Froehlich and Coxsackie Dental Arts in this area. There are a number of people in our community who have been screwed badly by Froehlich and need your support. Help us to clean up our community and let’s get together to rid our community of the crooks, liars, and frauds. (Let us know if you need help in filing a complaint. We can provide you the name of the investigator and the address for the investigations department.)

monster-dentist

Steer Clear of Coxsackie Dental Arts and Kurt Froehlich!



Bob Krug’s Barking Dog Nuissance and New Baltimore Town Hall

Bob Krug’s constantly barking dog and the New Baltimore Town Board incompetence

We reported on the problem of National Historic Resident and convicted bank robber Bob Krug’s constantly barking dog and the New Baltimore Town Board incompetence in enforcing New Baltimore Animal Control Law to bring some peace and quiet to residents in the NHD.

We reported that New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joseph Tanner, holds a full time job with the Department of Transportation, while receiving about $4,000 a year in salary plus mileage, and a cell phone paid for by the town as Animal Control Officer. Our question was how can he enforce town law when he’s miles away. The answer we found when we demanded town records was: HE CAN’T! And he doesn’t.

Definition of Stupidity

Definition of Stupidity

Stupid is Defined, Mr Dellisanti, as doing the same thing over and again and expecting different results!

We demanded that something be done by the Town of New Baltimore to bring peace and quiet to the suffering neighbors in the National Historic District, who have to put up with listening to the barking dog day-in-day-out, sometimes all day long, and even on Saturday and Sunday included. Entertainment provided by Bob and Bonnie Krug and courtesy of the Tow

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti: Nope! No dorgs barking 'ear!

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti: Nope! No dorgs barking ‘ear!
[That’s because all the “dorgs” are in Town Hall!]

n of New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joe Tanner. So New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, feeling a mild surge of testosterone, decided he would man-up and “check out the situation” on his way to do his weekly “park inspections.” Mr Dellisanti reported back to the upset resident that he, Dellisanti, had been by the Krugs several times over the period of several weeks and heard no barking dog. What Mr Dellisanti did not report is that he drove by the Krugs property every Sunday at the very same time in the morning. We all know the definition of STUPID don’t we? (See the Stupid Elf, above.) Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Right? So what do we call Mr Dellisanti who drives by on the same day of the week at the same time and expects to find something different? You guessed it!

We know for a fact and have personally investigated the barking dog kept on Robert and Bonnie Krug’s  property in the National Historic District of New Baltimore, and we have verified by personal visit that the dog is barking almost constantly at any given time of the day, even on Christmas and New Year’s day (both Sundays!). One of Krug’s neighbors stated to us that, “Their dog needs daycare!” If Mr Tanner or Mr Dellisanti had the brains and balls to stop and ask the Krugs’ neighbors about the problem, they might have done the community the service that they are being paid for as town officials. But that might take brains, balls and some effort. They don’t have any of these.

We hope New Baltimore voters remember the names of the town board members who pull this sort of crapola: Dellisanti, Ruso … We’ll be reminding voters before the next elections. We have in the past demanded that Joe Tanner be fired, since he can’t possibly do the job he’s being paid to do. He’s still on the payroll and the dog’s still barking!


New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan: “Let them sue us!”

Late last year, in about October 2015, we started reporting on the New Baltimore Highway Department’s failure to maintain drainage installations in the National Historic District. One resident has been keeping tabs on the Highway Department’s incompetence under the supervision of Mr Denis Jordan for about 6 years, but over that period, despite getting regular reports, complaints, and notices, the Town of New Baltimore did nothing, and Denis Jordan ignored both residents and the town board.

In our article New Baltimore Town Supervisor Dellisanti to Resident: “When does this turn into Harassment?” (published in November 2016), we reported on the residents multiple requests for a traffic cone to mark a dangerous hazard created by Jordan and his circus monkeys on New Street. We also reported on the damage to the foundation of a residential structure caused by Jordan’s failure to maintain storm drains, drainage ditches, and culverts in the National Historic District of New Baltimore. The water draining from the road surface and the overgrown and non-functioning drains caused water to flow into the building’s foundation and the building is now unusable and collapsing. In September 2016, Town Supervisor Dellisanti, Deputy Town Supervisor Ruso, Town Boad Member Shelly vanEtten together with Jordan and his Deputy, Scott vanWormer, participated in a show and tell tour led by a local resident. Two days later, Jordan and his crews were digging up New Street. When asked to stop work to discuss the work and how it was to solve the problems, the resident offered to provide photos and measurements to help solve the problem, Jordan never responded. When pushed by the town board, Jordan responded, “Let them sue us.”

When Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso remarked that a culvert seemed to be going nowhere, and the New Baltimore Highway Department Deputy Supervisor, Scott vanWormer and his crew followed the culvert to discover a storm drain buried under several inches of soil, remarked that in some 18 years he never knew that the storm drain (or the culvert) were there! Wonder why there’s a drainage problem? Says a lot, too, for the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department meeting it’s maintenance responsibilities under the law. Actually, the New Baltimore Town Board could get rid of that imbecile Denis Jordan but they don’t have the cojones or the political guts to do that. Instead, they’ll let him waste taxpayer money, cause as much damage as he can, then he can retire and collect a hefty pension. Now that’s good government, isn’t it?

All that’s going down the drains in New Baltimore, it seems, is taxpayer money!

Well, now the residents are suing the Town of New Baltimore, and initial hearings have been held with the Town of New Baltimore’s insurance company’s lawyers. The evidence is very powerful in showing the town’s negligence and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department’s fault in causing the damage. In fact, evidence shows that the work done by Jordan and the Highway Department made matters even worse after they dug up New Street and they never fixed the problem of water draining into the foundations of the damaged building; in fact, they made it worse. This is how New Baltimore’s taxpayer dollars are being spent.

We reported on the hole and the sharp grate in our article “We asked for a traffic cone … to prevent this …

The residents have on multiple occasions advised the Town of New Baltimore that the hazard created by Denis Jordan and the New Baltimore Highway Department is even worse now that the hole is filled with leaves and snow, and the jagged sharp metal of the grating in the hole will tear flesh and tires. But the Town of New Baltimore has refused to even provide a traffic cone to mark the hazard.

money-down-the-drain

There are several other complaints and an ongoing lawsuit against the Town of New Baltimore because of the New Baltimore Highway Department’s mismanagement and incompetence. All that’s going down the drains in New Baltimore, it seems, is taxpayer money!

At this point, the residents intend to contact the town’s insurance company, Trident, to make a direct claim for the damage and to point out the indifference and the negligence of the town and its officers and employees, asking how Trident can justify insuring a town that doesn’t lift a finger to protect its interests or the interests of its residents, property owners and taxpayers.

If you have similar problems, we’d like to hear from you, too. The Town of New Baltimore is treading on thin ice with its insurance company. A couple of years ago the Town of New Baltimore couldn’t get insurance. Wonder why? Once the cat hits the fan and Trident is advised of what’s going on in New Baltimore, New Baltimore may not have any insurance. And you’ll know who to thank for that, won’t you?


Well, that’s a start for our recap of 2016. We’ll move on to Ravena and Coeymans shortly. But we did want to bring these couple of current and continuing issues to the attention of our friends in New Baltimore. If we can be of any help, please let us know.

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient! Don't let this happen to you! The Editor

Another happy Coxsackie Dental Arts patient!
Don’t let this happen to you!
The Editor


Upcoming Articles

  • Coeymans Police Department: Chief McKenna more than $61,000 under Budget. Why are Crandall and Youman’s trying to screw things up?
  • Progress Report: Lawsuits against the Town of New Baltimore.
  • Town of Cairo Justice Court: Justice Leland Miller is a Lawyer Lackey! Miller scared of attorneys and gets led around by his snotty nose. Formal Complaint to be Submitted to New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
  • Exposé of Town and Village Courts. Why they need to be abolished. Some local examples from New Baltimore, Coeymans, Ravena, and Cairo.
  • Local Resident to Break Biggest Story Ever to Smalbany! We’re investigating. Details to be published soon!
 

Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS

Drive-by Shooting in Coeymans!!!

Drive-by Shooting in Coeymans!!!

The Coeymans Police Department is investigating a case of drive-by shooting and is asking for your help in apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators, the criminals who are endangering lives in our community. They must be neutralized and we ask that you support the Coeymans Police in their efforts to keep our families, friends, neighbors safe and free of the threat of criminal elements in our community. Here’s the information and the contact number at the Coeymans Police:

The Town of Coeymans Police are currently investigating a Drive-By Shooting that occurred Friday night 10/28/2016 at approximately 8:20 p.m. The incident occurred at 1627 Route 9W, the All Safe Storage. The owner was in the building at the time it was hit but he is OK.  An unknown person or persons slowed down, drove North past the building and fired a shotgun at the building striking the building and the front door. From video obtained Coeymans Police are looking for a dark colored vehicle, and operator and passengers, possibly a Dodge Charger or Challenger or a similar vehicle type that has the total wrap around tail lights.

We hope that the Greene County Sheriff and the Investigations Unit of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is sharing their information with the Coeymans Police in a related criminal investigation. We think the New York State Police should be involved and some ego maniacs in law enforcement should stop the territorial bullshit in our law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement should fight crime, not each other in territory disputes! After all, our lives and safety is at risk when law enforcement gets more involved in territory disputes and politics than public safety! 

If you have any information, please contact Investigator, Steve Prokrym, Investigator, at 518-756-2059.

Shot marks in door and sign. Window blown out by shotgun blast.

Shot marks in door and sign. Window blown out by shotgun blast.

Now, for our most recent reports on local scoundrels click on one of the links below:

Lee Davis Scandal (New Baltimore)

Tom Meacham Scandal (New Baltimore)

Kurt Froehlich/Coxsackie Dental Arts Scandal

Jim Youmans Scandal (Coeymans)