Since posting the first two blog entries, I have had many questions asked of me, most of which fall into one of three categories:
1. Are you crazy or just kidding about this? If this is illegal, why haven’t I heard about it, or why has nothing been done about it before?
2. You sound like you are against police in general and Pittsburgh law and order in particular! These cops, even off duty, are “on the job” – don’t they have “special rights” when it comes to things that normal citizens don’t have?
3. Aren’t you afraid of retribution, making statements like this, about the police? After all, “they have more guns than you,” the old saying goes – right?
Since these are all good and worthy questions, I will answer them here, for all to read, rather than answer these one at a time in person:
1. No, I am not crazy or kidding about the illegal activity these political insiders have been getting away with right out in the open, in front of everyone – as a matter of fact, I am as serious about stopping this illegal protection racket in Pittsburgh as is a two-week toothache without medical insurance!
I have been watching this amazing police corruption going on around me in da burgh - undiscovered and unpunished - for a long time now, and I have been feeling a little like the little boy in Hans Christian Anderson’s fable about “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Convinced at last that, like that little boy in that fable, I am the only one who can see the truth. I am, like he did, now coming to the public with the truth of the matter.
Why come forward in a blog, and not in a quiet word to higher law enforcement than the Chiefs of the Pittsburgh Police – who have and are themselves illegally involved in this CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY? Another saying goes: “Been there, done that.”
Over several years I have officially contacted the mayor, deputy mayor, the chief of police, the law department for the city, the (totally worthless under the current director) Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI), the head of the local FOP union and their atty., and I have personally served illegally working off duty officers notices that their contracted employment was illegal. After getting no response to reporting on this illegal activity, I went to the District Atty. for Allegheny County, and delivered to him a legal brief that outlined by chapter and exact citation, which laws were being violated, and by exactly which officials and officers. When the district atty. refused to do his duty to arrest and prosecute these criminals, I attempted to file these same criminal charges on my own (through a district justice), as is the right of any citizen who personally sees criminal activity taking place – but the district atty. refused to accept my paperwork. Does everyone know that a district atty. is legally able to “pick and choose” what criminals he wishes to prosecute?
Only the County Police have held their heads above this corruption, while the sheriffs and Pittsburgh police and their rapaciously greedy FOP union have all wallowed like pigs in the mud at this illegal protection money-trough. Read the following article http://www.post-gazette.com/neigh_city/20030815fopcity5p5.asp and note that Jim Hasara of the County Police is saying in this article that he knows that it is ILLEGAL for his county police to do this “off-duty” work (His old boss, Jim Roddy knew, because I personally met with him and told him so). It is also illegal for the sheriffs and Pittsburgh police to do this work, and it is illegal and criminal conspiracy for the chief of police and the sheriff to allow their employees to contract out their labor as security for private employers in an illegal fashion - and even more so when these criminal officers are given official permission to masquerade as public servants with their uniforms on, while officially “off-duty,” and illegally being paid to do work for which they are forbidden by state law to do.
After being ignored at the city and district atty. level, I would have gone to state officials early on with this complaint, but until recently I was working as an aide and legislative analyst for a member of the Penna. House of Representatives, who told me that he knew that this work that the police were doing was illegal, but who also demanded on the threat of me being fired that I NOT report this further. Now that Jeff Habay has been arrested, convicted and faces jail himself, for his own ethics breaches, I am no longer constrained by this threat of losing my job for telling the truth about the legal and ethical actions of the Pittsburgh police. The funny thing in the case of Habay is that once convicted and let out of confinement on house arrest – he was required by the Court to obtain work, and until I had to write his judge a official letter detailing the law and how Habay was violating it, convict Habay got (with help from his friends) work as an well-paid illegally contracted for SECURITY GUARD, just like the off-duty Pittsburgh police who he shielded with threats to me while I worked for him .. Hummm.Why the judge ordered Habay to quit his illegal job, but there were no police charges filed in this matter of illegal employment is your guess… all I know is that within my letter to the judge I asked that Habay be charged in this illegal employment scheme, and that he was only ordered to cease working – I have seen no charges filed by the D. A. in this matter either – Steve, who are you shielding in this particular decision not to prosecute for this latest violation of the Private Detective Act … still the criminal element within the police, or who -since it certainly can't be Habay himself?
2. No, I do NOT hate or disrespect law and order in general OR the Pittsburgh police or the Sheriff of Allegheny in particular. As a former sworn officer myself, I feel a continuing brotherly bond for fellow citizens who now work, as I once did, “on the job.” I do draw a “thin blue line” though, when a fraternal friend goes “off the reservation” and crosses that line, and who commits a crime against the very citizens he is sworn to protect. This fraternal feeling of mine evaporates completely when the officer(s) band together to fleece the very sheep they are hired and paid to watch over - and then arrogantly refuse to cease and desist this self-serving crime when notified informally that their actions are illegal.
After being a policeman long ago, I was a bonded international security expert and bodyguard, a bonded courier, and later a private detective, criminal investigator, and legislative aide. I have worked in law enforcement and law creation service almost all of my life. Including former Atty Generals and many current and retired law-enforcement personnel .. most of my friends are or have been involved in upholding US and state laws. I value the laws that keep society together, and I can tell you I have personally worked in foreign countries under police state law, and it AIN'T, folks, a place you want to live. Saying this, I see Pittsburgh as being a city under police rule, not the rule of morality or of public Law. As a matter of fact, after investigating this protection racket for years, I KNOW it is! (keep reading my blog, and soon you too will know this sad fact).
I live here, and my family and friends live here, and this is where I have chosen to try to make an honest living, doing the very same things the police have illegally usurped but that I am licensed to do. The illegal and immoral actions of a few crooked police are interfering with my right to live in a free country governed by the laws of men, not governed by the biggest gang or the gang with the most guns. I will NOT live in a police state (or a police city) and keep my head bowed and bahhha like a tame sheep, that is NOT the American way.
But, having said this, I am in NO way anti law, or anti police.
I have happily and at my own request sat on a local board of citizens who have put together at great effort and cost a series of “Law Enforcement Appreciation” luncheons, one of which honored my friends, (former) Sheriff Pete DeFazio with an award that he merited, I felt. Now, as a licensed criminal investigator, with evidence at hand, I am calling Pete, and his deputies who performed illegal work with his approval .. CRIMINALS. Nothing personal or hateful with that, it is what it is.
While I speak of CRIMINALS, the new acting Sheriff is, in my view, twice the criminal that the former sheriff was, because William Mullen, now our county’s proud acting sheriff, also was a co-conspirator in the illegal protection racket - when he worked for the Pittsburgh police department, prior to making an “insiders jump” to acting sheriff. I have no respect at all for Sheriff Mullen, as, along with then Chief McNeely, he flatly refused to meet with me to discuss resolution of this matter short of legal action.
Sheriff Mullen, if you are reading this, I say to you now in public, what you would not listen to in private before: that some of your deputies are contracting out their services in your uniform, and are working illegally with your permission, just like certain of the police officers under you before did. This makes them criminals, and you even more so, as I charge here and now that you are guilty of criminal conspiracy to violate sections of the County Code and the Private Detective Act of 1953.
Since there seems to be some who may not believe my evaluation of the law in this town, I invite you to sue me for calling you a criminal (I am calling you just that) if you truly believe your actions and those under you are in keeping with the laws of our Commonwealth. If you have had competent legal advice you will already know you are a crook, and you will not dare to sue me, because that might be the only way I can get this protection racket to be heard by the court.
We will talk about where all the money gathered by these officers and deputies goes later.
As far as "special rights" for police, other than the "rights" offered by law of arrest powers, to be used ONLY ON BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC interest, while on official duty .. when it comes to speeding, parking, drug use, gambling, driving drunk or other violations of the public laws (to include the restriction placed against police with arrest powers NOT being allowed to contract their services as security or guard work to the public) police officers should be held to a HIGHER, not a LOWER standard than the average citizen. All moral police officers know this, as I suspect do most average citizens: One can not be entrusted to enforce the very laws that he does not obey himself - Particularly where violations of the law puts large amounts of cash into the officers pocket.
Am I afraid to bring this illegal activity to light?
Well, sure, who wouldn’t be? I said above that I was not crazy! I have already had anonymous calls warning me to stop this investigation “in the interest of my health,”and I have been assaulted in the Strip district by an uniformed off-duty officer, when I asked him if he was on or off duty. Also, in the past, several of these illegal off-duty uniformed thugs working the Strip “barked” derisively at my lovely date, trying to egg me on, and the list can go on.
When I first tried to bring this illegal activity to light, and attempted to bring this information to Allegheny County District Atty. Steve Zappala, Steve, admittedly one of the “good ol boys,” not only refused to take my testimony to impanel a Grand Jury to investigate this serious police crime, he also refused to honor my request for witness protection for myself and my family, or even to issue or loan me a bullet proof vest, as I requested.
So, yes, I worry about reactions of the organized criminals whose activities I bring out into the light of day, but in no way will I allow that worry to stop me, or even to slow me down:
In this case, as in many others (though I hate to say it exactly this way) another saying is valid: “What does not kill me, only serves to make me stronger”
Stay tuned .. much more to come