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19 Comments by StopCorruption


Kabot DWI hearing kicks off, will resume Tuesday

Lets all assume that Linda Kabot is guilty of DWI

Lets all assume that Officer Gonce is guilty of perjury.

Who needs any check on the power of government ?
Who needs a trial ?" Jul 9, 10 5:34 PM

Why bother with a trial, presume Kabot is guilty. Gonce, said he gave two conflicting sworn statements, why have a trial for him.

Let's throw out the constitution, lets just give all authority to the police. Of course ALL police officers are terrific and can be trusted, right ?" Jul 9, 10 5:58 PM

Suspend Gonce without pay pending a disciplinary hearing on his affidavit problems, then it will be three out. Next..." Jul 9, 10 10:39 PM

How awful to put the accusers under oath. The truth might come out, even if only some who take the oath don't lie. Sounds like this is a Judge who isn't going to let the trial be a turd throwing contest, and is going to flush out the turds before trial." Jul 11, 10 7:17 AM

Kabot's pre-trial hearing will continue next week

1. No one is arguing that Linda was under surveillance and stopped conveniently near midnight in WHB.

2. The question is whether she was treated differently AFTER she was stopped. Some will argue she wasn't and that Linda wished she was granted favored treatment; others will argue she was treated differently, and wish she wasn't. (This is setting aside the question of what would have happened if the person stopped was a police officer.)

3. Whether irregularities by the police in handling this case result in an acquittal, or conviction of a reduced charge, it does not change the fact that these irregularities must be scrutinized, regardless of the outcome. False sworn statements by Sleepy, missing or destroyed video recordings shouldn't be acceptable to anyone" Jul 15, 10 7:19 AM

1. Once the state has issued a driver's license to a person, that person has a right to that license.

2. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can result in the suspension of a license, but a field test is not a chemical test.

3. An Officers allegations may be legally sufficient, it depends on what those allegations are.

4. DWI stops / arrests / convictions are common, but that does not mean we move to a presumption of guilt.

5. The conduct of the police is relevant, and it should be a concern no matter what the outcome." Jul 15, 10 5:19 PM

Video cameras are very important, but you have to leave them on and you can't delete any part. Video cameras protect good police officers from false accusations, and it SHOULD be a deterrent to bad officers.

When the video is turned off or a portion of the recording is deleted, it is fair to examine the circumstances. That is what is happening in this case.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

It is important to be vigilant. The DWI part of this case will work itself out, the more demanding aspect of the case is to carefully examine police conduct. " Jul 16, 10 7:32 AM

Whether you want to call it a "special right" or a "privilege" does not matter a great deal. We don't let the government take away or special rights or privileges without due process.

We do not grant police officers authority that will be unexamined or unrestrained, that would be a grant of absolute power. This country is founded upon the recognition that power can and will be abused and there must be checks on any grant of authority." Jul 16, 10 7:37 AM

No one said anything about "widespread police corruption." No one questioned all officers on "the east end." No one said ALL officers are corrupt.

We simply can not assume the opposite, that ALL officers are honest and dutiful. The only way to discern the good from the bad is to do pretrial hearings, and then do the best we can to assess the case.
" Jul 16, 10 12:14 PM

When the Chief issues a directive that under no circumstances is the video to be turned off, and then in the middle of an arrest the directive is ignored. It is not the defense attorney "trying to make something sinister and damning." These are the facts as admitted, of course it would be worse if the video was later edited, but the admitted facts are bad enough. There seems to be repeated efforts in this blog to place the burden of proof on the defense.

It was the police who were under control of the arrest and collection of evidence. When video evidence is missing the police are simply saying "trust us." It will only be through a very careful examination of the remaining evidence that a jury will be able to conclude whether it should just trust the police in this case." Jul 17, 10 5:00 PM

"Mr. Keahon pointed out that a memo had been circulated in the police department by Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean about three months prior to the incident, stating that officers are never to turn off the cameras. Officer Lucas, after being pressed by Mr. Keahon, said he must have signed the memo, but that neither he or Officer McManus, who assisted with the arrest, discussed it before turning off the camera." from 27East on July 9, 2010.

Mr. Keahon is simply pointing out what is obvious, and undisputed. The question is whether, in spite of these clear violations of department policy and in spite of Sleepy Gonce's testimony, the prosecution will be able to carry its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for the crime charged or some lesser offense." Jul 18, 10 7:57 AM

1. The affirmative decision to stop recording evidence of the interaction between police officers and the person they have stopped is not the same as chewing gum, or not wearing your hat. It really isn't defensible, the question is whether there is enough evidence in spite of this failure to overcome the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. The concurrent representation of a DWI defendant accused by members of the Westhampton Beach PD, and the representation of 2 Officers who have also been accused of misconduct by that same Westhampton Beach PD is NOT a conflict of interest. In fact it is quite the opposite, all three have an interest in the airing of all the department's dirty little secrets. It seems that the department is not going to have much fun as it happens.

3. How many more dirty little secrets will be out before this is all over? Remember Verbeck ?

Mr. Wheeler repeats that the accused in the DWI case failed two sobriety tests. Did Mr. Wheeler see the video? By what objective measure did the accused fail ?

The Presumption of Innocence should be respected until the prosecution has sustained its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; if it can carry that heavy burden on the work product of this department." Jul 18, 10 1:55 PM

Whether violating an express directive of the Chief of Police, and whether giving to sworn statements that are contradictory is just the tip of the iceberg or only an ice cube is the question being resolved before trial." Jul 19, 10 7:18 AM

Did our neighbor who was arrested (we are all neighbors, we are all subject to arrest, we should all insist that proper protocols be followed, we should all be revolted by falsely sworn statements) Did our neighbor decline the field breath test before or after the blackout period on the video ?" Jul 19, 10 8:58 AM

Kabot hearing concludes with no decision on arrest tape

In any civil action the attorneys get to examine witnesses under oath before trial (EBT).

A criminal defendant in New York does NOT have the right to such EBTs. SO, a good lawyer seeks pretrial hearings so that he can get to examine witnesses and prepare the defense. Once witnesses testify and it becomes more difficult for the story to change once they have been committed to it under oath (Lt. Gonce notwithstanding).

It would be a mistake to assume that the goal of the hearing was to get rid of the tape. That was one Possible Goal, but that is not certain, you can be sure it was not the only objective." Jul 20, 10 6:35 PM

More accounting mistakes discovered in Southampton Town; audit to be released

If all of the "mistakes" are to the minus side, are they really "mistakes?"" Jul 21, 10 9:09 PM

Southampton Town lawmakers walk out of discussion on MTA lawsuit

Meetings are presumptively open.

The Board of Trustees has an attorney client privilege that the board, in its corporate form can waive at any time. It is not an individual prerogative.

When a majority refuses to waive the privilege, the public must ask why ? It it truly some secret strategy involved that should not be disclosed?

The issue in this case is purely a question of law. No strategy, just good legal research is required, no sleight of hand, just good hard legal work.

Not only should the privilege be waived, but the public documents in the case should be posted on the Town web page. There are a lot of attorneys who would be paying attention.

Are we getting a value for our tax dollar ? Who knows what lurks behind the privilege." Jul 28, 10 11:12 PM

Southampton Town supervisor floats cop consolidation plan

There you go ! The village police departments simply can't do the job.

Imagine having to arrest your neighbor? Worse, imagine arresting someone who is not your neighbor, you get back to the station house and it is the Chief's/Lieutenant's/Sergeant's, or Fellow Officer's - neighbor. In big departments these problems are minimized. In villages the officers learn to duck, don't make any arrests, don't solve crimes... otherwise you might have to make an arrest that could be detrimental to your continued employment." Aug 5, 10 7:27 AM

Thiele calls for Stony Brook president to step down

Theile used to have fresh, interesting ideas. Now he is just stale." Aug 13, 10 10:52 PM