WPCNR HEARSAY. By John F. Bailey. November 6, 2002:Good Day, Mr. and Mrs. White Plains and all the Judges at Sea. We know who you are. Welcome to Hearsay the things WPCNR hears as WPCNR gets buttonholed, fed, leaked, stroked, stiffed and stifled in dealing with the newsmakers and news creators in White Plains. What you are about to read is all hearsay, unless we affix a name who dares to go “on the record” this is stuff, that may happen, should have happened, or might happen, but it’s what WPCNR hears and finds out, which is always the best stuff. In the following, the names have been changed or suppressed to protect the guilty and the innocent. After all, it’s just Hearsay:
Department of Slumlords of Gotham North That hard walking man, the man of the weekly “Hockley Walkabouts,” White Plains Councilman Glen Hockley has told WPCNR he is conducting personal surveillance of alleged homes harboring multiple boarders illegally in White Plains.
He is making a list, and checking it twice and will be turning in his own personal “Slumlord Indictment” of alleged offending homes with addresses over to the Mayor’s Office for investigation and will be asking for answers as to why they have not been prosecuted, closed down, or fined.
Hockley is walking the walk, instead of talking the talk.
He is doing “stakeouts” of the streets. He has company on his personal investigations. He’s being assisted by neighborhood association types in Battle Hill, Fisher Hill, and the Ferris Avenue neighborhood pointing out homes of a suspicious nature.
Mr. Hockley adds that illegal housing is wrong. He feels it is hurting the legal residents of these neighborhoods and it exploits the persons who live in the illegal homes. All you slumlords, White Plains will soon know where your over rented homes are and who you are.
The Councilman feels strongly he cannot turn people out into the street without taking care of them. Hockley reports to WPCNR he will be meeting with Assemblyman-Elect Adam Bradley and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, just elected, and County Legislator Bill Ryan to see if the County or the state can furnish funds to house the illegal residents legally, in temporary or permanent housing.
“These people can’t continue to live illegally. It’s dangerous for them, and dangerous for their neighbors and neighborhoods.” Hockley told WPCNR.
Department of Ultra-Picky, Thorough Lawyers: Speaking of Glen Hockley, and his jamming partner, Larry Delgado of White Plains, It’s one year and one day since the voting machine in White Plains 18th Election District jammed, presenting Glen Hockley with his Council seat, courtesy of the New York State Court of Appeals.
WPCNR wonders how long it will take our Attorney General to get around to ruling on the Larry Delgado request for a quo warranto proceeding. He’s had the request since March 22, 2002. He’s had three of his attorneys working on it. March 22 to November 6. That’s seven months, on a case that was thoroughly argued three times in Supreme Court, Appellate Court and the Court of Appeals. What’s the holdup, Mr. S? Maybe he’s just been holding off stiff-arming of Larry Delgado until after Election Day. Well, it’s November 6, Mr. Attorney General. May we have your final answer?
Department of Wrist-Slapping:Those “holier than thous,” the Commission on Judicial Conduct should censure the Attorney General attorneys like they censured White Plains Judge Roseanne Washington last week for not ruling on cases fast enough when her mom was sick. She is part-time and they come down on her, when the Attorney General Cast of a Thousand Lawyers on full-time, big-time salaries, take six months (how about a little work) on a case already argued three times?
It did not take the Attorney General’s Office half as long to whack Merrill Lynch (a shooting gallery case the federal government handed him on a platter), as it’s taking his three attorneys to consider the Delgado-Hockley matter. The Delgado delay is a joke. Mr. Delgado is reported by close confidents as ready to yank Mr. Spitzer’s chain in about two weeks if he does not hear anything.
Mr. Spitzer, White Plains knows it’s a tough decision, but everybody knows the machine jammed. Have a little respect for the voter!
Sources close to the case told me off the record at the time that the Court of Appeals just didn’t want to work on a lot of election cases and that’s why they reversed the Judge Francis Nicolai decision. The judges of the Court of Appeals said they felt the Election Law did not allow the Courts to call for new elections, and saw a quo warranto as the only avenue open to Mr. Delgado, and that the Attorney General should move quickly to address it.
Are they kidding us? What were they thinking? Not with Elliot Spitzer’s office, it isn’t. He had all his work done for him three times over, by the “best and the brightest” the Court of Appeals, and he still can’t decide? Come on. So much for his Executive ability to make a tough decision under pressure. It’s a full year and a day when the “Jam of the Century” happened. The voters of White Plains don’t count?
Department of Upward Mobility: Jeaniners for Justice? Speaking of the Court of Appeals, rampantly speculating here, WPCNR has heard from Albany handicappers that what we really need on the state’s highest court is the crusading, high profile local prosecutor type we know and love, with a great track record on convictions, great stats, and who knows how to move a case through the courts without going to court, appointed to the Court of Appeals to shake them up.
WPCNR hears from polltakers of pols that a certain local and national high profiler, strong on violence against women, strong against teenage drinking, a real crusader, could seriously be considered for appointment to the New York State Court of Appeals when this person’s current term ends in 2006, or sooner, to get this person closer to Albany where they can do more. This media idol has nowhere to go but up. This individual is well-connected and the position fits them to a “t,” and would be very convenient for the powers that be and great for Westchester County.
Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, George Smith is serving a 14-year term that ends in 2006 (appointed in 1992), conveniently, just the time our crusader will need a job, if they are not reelected. Now Governor George Pataki is reelected, and our highly photogenic out-in-fronter is certainly a logical candidate, given their high standing in Pataki Ville, by ’06 or sooner if they want to move on up.
Dateline: Where’s a Civil Liberties Union When You Need One Department? How can impoundment of a personal computer be legal under the U.S. Constitution? If you wanted to “get” somebody, you simply break into their home or office and upload some incriminating files. You accuse them of doing something to you. The authorities get a warrant, impound the computer, and presto, there’s the evidence. It’s easy. The person does not even know it’s there.
When is some attorney going to file a class action suit on behalf of the hundreds of persons whose computers have been seized and found to contain what warrants say they contain? The amendment in the U.S. Constitution, that deals with this is Amendment IV, it reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Somehow, I do not think “We think he/she has pornography on a computer showing a picture of our Suzi” is a good reason to impound a person’s computer. It’s popular, but is it right? The courts do it because it is for a “just cause.” The child pornography laws have opened up prosecution avenues and investigative techniques that are rapidly being applied to other fields.
The Attorney General’s examination of Merrill Lynch e-mails to make the case for restitution to investors is a good example. Please, if that is not a violation of Amendment IV, I do not know what is. Whatever is seized is entirely circumstantial and could have been planted. The reaction of law enforcement is always, “of course it’s not.” But someday, it could, actually could be planted. You never know.
Can Anyone Take This Property Off JPI’s hands Department? Privately we hear from two real estate sources that JPI is shopping the 300 Mamaroneck Avenue property. No dirt has been moved by machine for about six months. Maybe certain “official designated developers of Westchester County” will step in and bail them out.
Department of School Budget Hits: Johnnie Cochran’s law firm continues to prepare its discovery proceedings against the White Plains City School District in the matter of the October 2000 Highlands sexual assault of a Highlands student. This most likely will result in a multi-million dollar school budget “hit” when it hurts the most.
End of CCOS As We Know It Department:
Principals of Concerned Citizens for Open Space could be in some serious law problems if their Article 78 lawsuit is upheld by the New York State Supreme Court. New York Presbyterian Hospital, if they were feeling particularly nasty, could sue CCOS principals for interference with a contract, as well as Westchester County Medical Center.
As WPCNR reported last week, and if CCOS and participants in the suit do not know it, the CCOS law firm, Oxman, Tulis, Kirkpatrick, Whyatt & Geiger has a relationship with Westchester County Medical Center. One of their principals ( Marc Tulis) being the chairman of the board of the agency that runs the Westchester County Medical Center.
Let’s think: It makes sense for O.T.K.W. & G to step in give CCOS a hand. The organizations have similar interests, and law firms can represent clients in fields where they are active, despite interlocking relationships. It’s the nature of the business. The Westchester County Medical Center is a direct rival of New York Presbyterian Hospital contending for the dwindling pool of Pataki biotech research dollars NYPH needs to build its proton accelerator/biotech research facility. The Westchester County Medical Center wants biotech funds, too. Sounds like it makes very good business sense for Westchester County Medical Center and Mr. Tulis, and Mr. Oxman (an Andy Spano supporter, now ousted Executive Director of the Democratic Party) to use their law expertise to step in on the side of good old Concerned Citizens for Open Space. Who better? Very much like Shoprite trying to stop a Stop N Shop project.
CCOS and their good people being used to make a point?
I mean somebody, some organization, or some account has to pay Oxman, Tulis, Kirpatrick, Whyatt & Geiger’s fees, and it is likely not to be the “deep pockets of CCOS” which may be more accurately described as “a tin cup with change in it,” inasmuch CCOS has never divulged how much money they raised in two separate pleas for funds with the last six months. The tab on an Article 78 is like a White Plains parking meter. It goes up fast. Who’s funding that?
Oxman, Tulis, Kirpatrick, Whyatt & Geiger is reported by CCOS to be giving CCOS a real cut rate. WPCNR commends the law firm for its generosity and pro bono spirit doing what’s in the best interest of CCOS. But wouldn’t it also be in the best interest of Westchester County Medical Center to stop the proton accelerator, or acquiring it or its biotech lab for themselves? It makes logical sense that O.T.K.W & G, experts at winning contentious zoning battles would be a logical choice of both the Westchester County Medical Center and CCOS to go hard at the City of White Plains
What’s curious is what we can only assume is coincidental timing when Oxman, Tulis, Kirpatrick, Whyatt & Geiger were formed: in the spring of 2001. The law firm was created just after New York Presbyterian Hospital settled the lawsuit they had against the City of White Plains in January 2001 and had announced their plans to build a proton accelerator. Within three months of that settlement, Oxman, Tulis, Kirkpatrick & Whyatt was formed. John Kirkpatrick is a zoning expert, and Mr. Whyatt was a zoning, environmental specialist long a CCOS advocate, who were invited to join the law firm. They were circling the wagons against a New York Presbyterian Hospital approval which was granted just four months later in August of this year?
Whyatt continued to speak out for CCOS as the proton accelerator environmental review began and his signature is on the lawsuit as being affiliated with Oxman Tulis, Kirkpatrick law firm in the current CCOS Article 78 action. Why would Messrs. Oxman and Tulis, highly successful zoning and real estate litigators, want to affiliate with Messrs. Whyatt and Kirkpatrick at that time?
Mr. Whyatt’s legal advice, reportedly pro buono had produced mixed results for the CCOS cause: 1.)The loss of 60 acres of free land through Whyatt’s argument to revisit eminent domain, and 2.) The persuasion of the Common Council that they had a right not to refer the NYPH project for review.
The Council decision that Mr. Whyatt argued for and prevailed, precipitated the disastrous (for the city) New York Presbyterian Hospital Article 78 suit against the Common Council and subsequent “blackjack” settlement with NYPH in January 2001, giving Presbyterian Hospital the whip hand over the city, blocking any chance at negotiation for park land. Did Oxman and Tulis think CCOS needed more help than Whyatt could provide on the Article 78?
Department of Employment The new Stop N Shop on 90 Westchester Avenue at the City’s eastern “Gateway,” is advertising for staffers. The very sharp redbrick edifice completing rapidly at South Kensico Avenue and Westchester Avenue, unfortunately marred by “Mobil Ugly” has openings for part-time Grocery, Produce, Florist & Cashiers at $6.75 an hour, Meat & Deli men at $7.50 an hour, Bake Shop Salad Bar, for $6.35 an hour, Seafood guys for $6.50 an hour, and baggers, $6.05 an hour, and Night Crew, $8.25 an hour plus 10% premium. Go to the Stop & Shop Website at www.stopandshop.com, or telephone 914-686-8913.
Department of Unemployed Reporters In what came a complete surprise to us, because we do not quite understand it, The Journal-News, the only daily newspaper in Westchester County, is looking for a Director of Public Relations. Another surprise: They are also looking to upgrade their website content aggressively, seeking an “Online Multimedia Content Developer, to research and write online content for their site, propose and develop new online products. Research and recommend multimedia components to supplement content.”
That’s a serious mistake: writers, creative types – idea men and women — do not have a clue on how HTML, Photoshop and streaming media works, news clips work. They just have great ideas. Getting a tech type in is not the way to improve a website. Bells, Whistles, Icons is not what you need. Content is the key. Creative, ever-changing content. If you’re interested, E-mail resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax your resume to 914-696-8174, tell them the WhitePlains CitizeNetReporter sent you.
Department of Parking Garage Management: The Westchester Mall is gearing up for the holiday season and holding an Open House for Valets, Cashiers, Traffic Directors at $6.75 an hour. Monday 10 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at 125 Westchester Avenue at the South Paulding Entrance. Email your resume to: KStorm@Parking.com, or Fax it to 914-683-8596.
That’s what we heard last week. That’s the beauty of Hearsay you never know what you’re going to get. Look for more Hearsay, when we get it. Remember, it’s just “Hearsay.”
Good Day, Mr. and Mrs. White Plains.