Armed Revenue Collectors Screwing the Public and Compromising Homeland Security
March 06, 2004
�Armed Revenue Collectors� buying expensive toys, screwing the public, and compromising Homeland Security
State Homeland Security Office Under Fire
March 6, 2004, By TRACY GORDON FOX, Hartford Courant Staff Writer (ctnow.com)
Calling the Division of Homeland Security an "inept and wasteful bureaucracy," Senate President Pro Tem Kevin B. Sullivan on Friday proposed that the agency be removed from the state police and placed under the Office of Emergency Management.
In testimony before the state legislature's government administration and elections committee, Sullivan said that without legislative oversight, "what was once a model emergency management system has been turned into a rogue agency more interested in expensive toys than terrorism."
Sullivan told legislators that the homeland security operation "is a disaster waiting to happen" and the agency needs to be completely overhauled. He urged legislators to draft a bill that would at least require the next director to be approved by the legislature, even if the agency remained under the state police.
Under mounting pressure from Sullivan and local police and fire officials frustrated by homeland security's poor communication, Gov. John G. Rowland now believes "the homeland security apparatus needs to be changed and reformed," Rowland's chief of staff, Dean Pagani, said Friday.
Rowland is considering having the Office of Emergency Management take over distribution of $26 million in federal grant money to cities and towns, Pagani said. Homeland security also probably will be moved from Waterbury to Hartford, where it will be more centrally located, Pagani said. The Waterbury office is near the home of former Director Vincent DeRosa.
Sullivan's testimony came one day after it was disclosed that Maj. John Buturla, acting homeland security director, had been verbally reprimanded for buying a car from DeRosa, his former boss.
DeRosa, a friend of Rowland and his former driver, retired from the post after it was disclosed he had a used car dealership license in violation of state police ethics regulations.
Buturla, who was at the state Capitol Friday for another hearing, chose not to attend the one on homeland security, and had not been invited.
The committee will decide whether to draft a bill on homeland security in the next week or two. Sullivan also urged the committee to:
Establish clear professional standards of training and experience for the director of homeland security and require legislative confirmation.
Create a statewide Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Coordinating Council, which would be equally composed of representatives of all state agencies related to security and emergency management.
Require that non-state federal homeland security funding be fully and directly available to local and regional authorities, based on compliance with statutory criteria rather than state control.
The state's Office of Emergency Management has been gutted "to make way for the Keystone Kops in DeRosa's cherry-picked Division of Homeland Security," Sullivan said.
Pagani said the governor strongly disagreed with Sullivan's scathing characterization of the homeland security department, but said the whole structure needs to be looked at, including whether it should be run by the state police or by emergency management.
Jerry McGuire, principal labor agent for the state police, said at the hearing that there are 37 hard-working troopers in homeland security: "I would hope the remarks made this morning don't paint them with a broad brush."
"Maybe the agency needs to be fine-tuned, rather than gutted," McGuire said.
Local police and fire officials have complained about how homeland security has managed federal money and have accused it of poor communication.
West Hartford Police Chief James Strillacci, president of the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association, said that from the start, local emergency responders were worried that the operation was moving to state police control.
"I think we've heard some concerns with homeland security being only state police, and recently they did some more outreach but we're a little far down the pike," Strillacci said. "It may be greeted with some relief. I don't think we've found this to be very responsive under the previous leadership."
Sullivan said most of the $26 million designated for local towns is for "grass-roots support," but the state police have asked local agencies to sign a memorandum of understanding that gives the department of homeland security "control over every penny,"
"In other words, sign up and give us your money or you get nothing," Sullivan said.
Kerry Flaherty, director of emergency management, said he wants to continue to work closely with homeland security. There has been discussion about how to merge the two agencies, he said. After the creation of homeland security, nine employees were laid off from emergency management.
"Going back awhile, the office of emergency management and homeland security have talked about how there would be a merger, because we do need to be coordinated in a response," he said. "It is just a matter of how does it officially get merged."
Pagani said the federal government wants the state to distribute money to the towns. He added that the state's homeland security department has been touted as a model for the nation "and it is largely because of the work of Vinnie DeRosa.
"I don't think Sen. Sullivan has ever been to the homeland security office. I think for him to make these kind of statements is irresponsible and unprofessional," Pagani said.
Civilian Oversight of law enforcement is desperately needed for American checks and balances. Quality Control Questionnaires should go out to those needing police protection and services. �Steven G. Erickson (Vikingas)
More on the Governor Rowland scandal in Connecticut:
By Helen Ubi�as, Hartford Courant (ctnow.com)
Won't You Help This Guv?
March 7, 2004
So the State Ethics Commission this week might put a crimp in Gov. John G. Rowland's legal defense fund, setting a $100 limit on contributions and requiring that donors' names be public. Too bad - no more anonymous largess from fat cat pals with $2,500 to burn. Johnny Handout's going to have to go retail. Just imagine ...
"Starting today, you can have the life you've always dreamed of but couldn't afford. No matter how little you make or how tightly you're bound to ethical behavior, you can tap into the tools, strategies and insights necessary to obtain all the material objects your heart desires. All it takes is 30 days and the new six-CD package from self-gratification guru John Rowland, creator of `Unleash the Inner Mooch.' With these time-tested lessons, you too can learn how to go from just making a living to living large, how to form relationships that will really pay off. And if you order right now, you'll also receive as an extra special bonus, a tape of Rowland's latest release, `The Art of Self-Preservation.' At three easy payments of $33.33, it's an investment in a new lifestyle. Order now!"
The NPR approach:
"Hi, this is John Rowland. I know you count on me for the kind of government I bring you every day; now you have the chance to help see that it continues. You may think I rely on state contractors and government employees for support, but the truth is, I also depend on contributions from people just like you. And I'm grateful for your help. In fact, I have some exciting gifts for you if you pledge in this hour. For a gift of $100 - less than $2 a week - you'll get a one-of-a-kind hot-tub coffee mug. If you and your spouse each give at the $100 level, you'll be entered in a drawing for a stay at my vacation house. And if you, your spouse, all your kids and your company's executives each pledge $100, I'll come stay at your vacation house! I'll bring you more fine governing in just a few minutes, but meanwhile, won't you pick up the phone and call in a pledge?"
"Please permit the introducing to my humble self. I am Patty Rowland, wife to the High Governator of the State of Connecticut. My husband is at current times beset by hostility Democrats and other impeachments, but before same he has entrusted to me forty million (US$40,000,000) to bestow in safe place ... I look forwards to working with you and pray that the year 2004 will bring my family bountiful harvest .."
"Never Be ASHAMED of Your G()\/ern()r AGAIN!!!!!!"
"Good morning, good morning, go-o-od morning, and welcome to the Brad Davis Radio Program. Friends, I can't wait to tell you about our next Listener's Luncheon. It's going to be at Carmen Anthony Fishhouse in Wethersfield, and we have a very special guest speaker lined up. I've been at this for a long time, folks, and I've never, ever heard a speaker offer so much useful information: Learn the secrets of affordable traveling from the master himself. Yes, you guessed it - it's none other than my friend, our governor, John G. Rowland. He'll teach you how to vacation in Vermont, Florida, even Hawaii for next to nothing! You'll have your choice of baked stuffed shrimp or ribeye steak, plus a taste from the governor's own wine locker, all for $100! A signed picture of the guv is also available for an extra $20. Seats are going fast, so call soon! And now for today's Birthday Club..."
"Hello there, I'm Sally Struthers. Right now, somewhere in Connecticut, a governor is hurting. Suffering at the hands of a meddlesome press corps, moralistic peers, fickle constituents and a lack of cash needed to defend himself properly. Day after day, he spends numbing hours gathering documents for the feds, meeting with lawyers, issuing disingenuous apologies. But it doesn't have to be this way. All that is needed is someone to say, `Yes, I will help.' Someone like you. So, won't you please send your tax-deductible donation to the Save-A-Guv Foundation? Your contribution will allow him to maintain the necessities of life: a rent-free mansion, a car and driver, the company of wealthy friends. And every month you'll get a note and picture showing your contribution at work -the governor frolicking at his lakeside cottage or singing along at a concert. His happiness depends on you. So, please give."
Helen Ubi�as' column runs Thursdays and Sundays. She can be reached at Ubinas@courant.com.
Added March 17, 2004, 7:00 AM EST
I called Governor Rowland�s Office Feb. 21, 2003, to report police misconduct and Connecticut State Police Internal Affairs refusing to take my complaints, nor deny them.
I felt the Internal Affairs Officer, Lt. Wack, tried to intimidate me into not making complaints by telling me officers would be informed where I was living which I perceived as a threat.
After being ridiculed by Rowland�s secretary and was asked why I didn�t leave Connecticut when Connecticut State Police Officers told me to, I was thinking, �You dishonest Mother Fuckers, you�re all going to get exposed.�
I tipped off local newspaper reporters there might be some sort of scandals being hidden from the public regarding Governor Rowland�s Office and the Connecticut State Police in early 2003. The Republican State Senators and Representative that I emailed were among the first to denounce Governor John G. Rowland.
Maybe the O�Reilly piece on Fox News called, �The Death of Shame in American,� asking Gov. Rowland to resign Dec. 2003, had at least something to do with me as I emailed Fox repeatedly, called them, and one of my postings on the internet stayed as #2 for quite a while when the words, �Governor Rowland,� were put in a Yahoo search engine, just beyond the Governor�s official website.
I think it is at least remotely possible that Governor Rowland and top officials in the ranks of the Connecticut State Police would not be in hot water and possibly facing Federal Prison, had I not been so active in exposing their misdeeds.
No, police officers should not have the ability to covertly snoop and harass us using the �Matrix System.� The Connecticut State Police should be dismantled piece by piece as I believe they are not serving the public and honoring the U.S. Constitution.
Each town should have their own police force and if there is to be a border to border police force I think its main duty should be the highways, not for our protection and safety, as I think they have done a piss poor job for too many years.
I say abolish the State Police system in Connecticut. Most could be replaced by cameras on poles, and they don�t lie, cheat, steal, rape, and pretend to do their jobs as some officers do.Posted by Vikingas at March 6, 2004 06:43 PM | TrackBack