THE HEZITORIAL- THE BLUE TRUTH: Disinfecting the Lingering Stench at the Yonkers PBA By HEZI ARIS
On July 05, 2013, Yonkers PBA President Keith Olson, assisted by Yonkers PBA lawyers, seemingly engaged The Quinn Law Firm, L.L.L.C., as if they were in his personal employ as legal counsel. They disseminated a letter admonishing readers of the Yonkers Tribune. The catalyst behind the “seemingly” legal warning stems from concerns over allegations suggesting Yonkers Police Benevolent President Keith Olson engaged in gross misconduct; specifically because he is tasked with the job of protecting the rights of all members regardless of personality conflicts. In his opening statement, Olson took the attitude of blaming everyone for the contentiousness of his conduct. He never directly addressed the seriousness of the allegations of gross misconduct by him and his two collaborators, Yonkers Police 4th Precinct Captain John Mueller, and Det. Sgt. Brian Moran of the Yonkers Police Detective Division, who have allegedly engaged in Olson’s “dirty laundry” for years.
Little time transpired before Mueller and Moran were in charge of the Intel Unit (Intelligence Unit) becoming responsible for all confidential police records and personnel files that had and have allegedly made their way to the copy machine. Sources advise that after the files were copied, the files were moved out from their previously uncompromised place of storage over many years, to the Internal Affairs Unit where they now are now reportedly stored since former Yonkers Police CommissionerEdmund Hartnett’s departure approximately two years ago. Insiders have reported that Moran transported most of the files in the rear seat of his police cruiser. One must wonder why. Olson’s open letter to the readers of the Yonkers Tribune demonstrably proclaimed his close bond to his only “two great” former Housing Department friends. The gist of Olson’s letter is that too much mud has been flung in his direction; his concern is that it cannot be power washed off.
The allegations that Yonkers PBA President Keith Olson vehemently denied or purposely avoided are as follows:
1) The alleged secret meetings with John Fleming, during which discussions took place targeting then Yonkers Police Commissioner Robert Taggart for the purpose of having one of their choosing succeed Commissioner Taggart. Det. Sgt. Brian Moran is purportedly a distant relative of John Fleming who eventually was appointed a Special Adie to then Mayor Phil Amicone.
2) The alleged meetings that took place at which then Yonkers police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett was made aware of the conduct of the “Three Amigos” where he agreed to have a blind eye and sign off on allegedly whatever unauthorized investigations were instigated by the threesome; and
3) Allegedly collecting, gathering, and tampering with official police personnel files and records thereafter to allegedly be used against potential critics and foes as a means of intimidation and retribution; and
4) Allegedly filing false complaints against his own members; and
5) Allegedly impeding internal investigations with frivolous cross complaints; and
6) Allegedly unscrupulous fundraising practices; and
7) Allegations of missing disbursement funds, not to mention an immodestly paid PBA counsel that cost the membership about $120,000 per annum, plus potential referral business; and
8) Additionally, a whopping stipend of $4,000 a month in favor of Yonkers PBA President Olson; and
9) Despite the list of concerns over his conduct and the perception it conjures in people’s minds, Olson dismisses the allegations by not referring to them. He maintains a wall of silence, denial, and lies. His conduct cries out for an investigation and demands assurance that the chain of command is honored without bias, the merits of abiding by the law, and the oath sworn to the Yonkers Police Department.
Their collective dismissiveness found them spinning the hair raising allegations, so out of whack with what is alleged to have transpired over many years, that Olson and Mueller find themselves in an uphill battle to maintain their credibility while allegedly attempting to impede a serious internal investigation into the conduct of the Fourth Precinct Captain. Allegedly the Captain, along with Olson’s union assistance may have intentionally misled investigators, prompting Internal Affairs staff to bear the brunt of the investigation. The jury is still out on that one.
There were also reports that at a recent PBA meeting, Olson’s board members and a handful of Kool-Aide swilling loyalists gave him a standing ovation after he told his membership that he would not step down; that was after he informed them not to expect a contract until 2015, which will mean that almost a decade will have passed before a new contract will be finalized, likely learning that Yonkers Police Department personnel will only gain zeros in contracts further into their future. One must wonder the rationale of greeting this “news” with a resounding standing ovation and handclap by the Kool-Aide swilling believers. Why else would anyone be clapping for a union leader that has not secured a contract for his members under his former friends Hartnett, and former Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone, who is also presently embroiled under a cloud of controversy. This has taken place while Olson landed his sister a high paying job at Yonkers City Hall, and Yonkers PBA union members continued to rack up bills he initiated. The final straw to break this camel may be a looming federal lawsuit rumored to be scrutinizing Yonkers’ own Three Musketeers.
Keith Olson has shown himself to be arrogant, insular, and using his own words regarding his “two great” friends, believes they all allegedly stand above the protocol and procedures defined for them by the Yonkers Police Department, as well as the law. Olson and his friends stand accused of serious internal and unscrupulous conduct clearly supported by internal emails, memos, and internal letters of complaints needing and demanding oversight of the Yonkers PBA leader by an independent, outside investigative agency, and /or an independent commission. Sometimes only an erudite press / media can ask and reveal the tough issues. In Olson’s case he has not publicly addressed any concerns, except for his steadfast legal advice that is meant to deny and obfuscate everything. What is more evident to all but Olson himself is that he is a hot potato who walks about persona non grata. The reverberating echoes heard in the halls and offices of the Cacace Justice Center and various precincts in Yonkers is that no high ranking official wants to be soiled by Olson and his “two great” friends.
Among the many years of august and respected chapters of the Yonkers PBA, there has never been a more propitious time demanding for an independent prosecutor to take a look into the inner working of the Yonkers PBA, specifically under the aegis of Det. Keith Olson, and his rogue supervisor friends that allegedly premeditated and executed some of the allegations he continues to refuse to address. Despite Olson being offered to respond to the allegations divulged, Olson has chosen not to substantiate his conduct and those of his cohorts. Their collective silence diminishes and besmirches the integrity of the men and women in blue. That being the case, how can the administration continue to protect these protagonists knowing that the media is aware of the integrity of the allegations made and others that are still to be revealed?
It should be recognized that the “Blue Truth” series has afforded the Yonkers Police Department the time and opportunity to address the allegations divulged. Were the YPD left to its own internal devices, devoid of political intrusion from within and without Yonkers City Hall, these issues would have been mitigated by now. Instead, every day that passes without remedy tarnishes the YPD, the PBA, and CLSA. That is not right. These concerns must be mitigated and concluded with deference to the law, the oaths sworn by each member of the YPD, in order for function to eclipse the present internal dysfunction.