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Thread: Albany Riveted By Bruno Surveillance Allegations

  1. #1
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    Albany Riveted By Bruno Surveillance Allegations

    Albany Riveted by Bruno Surveillance Allegations

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...rgate-spygate/

    (Gold9472: Eliot Spitzer was the Attorney General of New York that refused to acknowledge the call for a new investigation into 9/11, and also refused to allow Dietrich Snell to testify before the Able Danger hearings held by Rep. Weldon.)

    By Danny Hakim
    7/5/2007

    Joseph L. Bruno, the State Senate majority leader, is now in full attack mode with Gov. Eliot Spitzer over suggestions that the senator improperly used state helicopters and state police escorts.

    This morning, Mr. Bruno called on the state inspector general to investigate “the governor’s abuse of the powers of the State Police” by having them keep logs of his activities when they drove him around, as The New York Post reported this morning. Mr. Bruno also called for the attorney general and the Albany County district attorney to “convene grand juries to assess criminal liability of the governor for his abuse of power.”

    For good measure, he called the governor’s aides “hoodlums” and “thugs.” He said he would only meet with the governor publicly to avoid having his comments mischaracterized. And he said the governor’s “dangerous abuse of power is despicable, possibly illegal and undermines our democratic form of government.”

    The Spitzer administration fired back, saying that there had been nothing like surveillance of Mr. Bruno, saying the State Police was just following standard procedure. It also blasted the Post article — which said that similar logs were not kept for the governor — and called it “grossly inaccurate.”

    But the governor’s administration did agree to have the inspector general, a Spitzer appointee, investigate.

    Darren Dopp, Mr. Spitzer’s communications director, said the State Police kept “no special records” beyond “a simple accounting of a state police vehicle’s use.”

    But it is not clear that this “simple accounting” was done for the governor or other state officials. And it consists of details of each stop that a trooper made while driving the senator. At 7 p.m. on May 3, for example, state police records turned over by the Spitzer administration show that Senator Bruno stopped for dinner “at Italian restaurant on East Side (unknown name, located between First Avenue and Second Avenue in the upper 40s.)” At 11 p.m., he was “transported back to Sheraton Hotel.”

    The Spitzer administration has been asked for similar State Police documentation of the governor’s itinerary, but has not provided them.

    Here is the text of Mr. Bruno’s statement:
    I was stunned to learn that Governor Spitzer is using the fine men and women of the New York State Police to conduct surveillance on me. This type of dangerous abuse of power is despicable, possibly illegal and undermines our democratic form of government.

    I am calling on the state inspector general to investigate the Governor’s abuse of the powers of the State Police. I am also requesting the attorney general and Albany County district attorney to convene grand juries to assess the criminal liability of the governor for his abuse of the power of his office and the misuse of the State Police for political espionage.

    I am also calling on the acting superintendent of the State Police to immediately commence an internal investigation regarding these reports.

    The heart of why people have elected government is to ensure that citizens are protected from this type of abuse. When the governor abuses his power, it not only works against his political enemies, it undermines the entire fabric of democracy.

    The governor’s pattern of behavior over the years, his repeated physical threats to state officials and others, his complete and total disregard for the State Legislature, his desire to run state government as a dictatorship, his continued disregard for the truth and now his willingness to use the State Police for surveillance in hopes of gaining some type of political advantage should send shivers up the spine of every New Yorker and raise serious questions about his fitness to serve in the state’s highest office.

    According to news reports, the governor ordered the State Police to keep records of my travels in New York City, records that are not kept for other state officials, including the governor and the lieutenant governor. The governor then conspired with The Albany Times Union to concoct inaccurate stories and baseless charges about my trips to New York that media reports have proven were for legislative business.

    My counsel has contacted both the state attorney general’s office and the Albany County district attorney’s office and I am voluntarily supplying information to substantiate that the trips in question were for legislative business.

    Who’s next, what’s next?

    It is time Governor Spitzer understood that the people of this state elected him to lead and to govern, not to spy, threaten and conduct political attacks.
    Here is the text of Mr. Dopp’s statement on behalf of the Spitzer administration:
    A story suggesting that the State Police were asked to do anything other than follow standard operating procedure is grossly inaccurate and false.
    There has never been any surveillance of Majority Leader Bruno by the State Police.

    When they have been asked to drive the majority leader, the State Police work from schedules supplied by the majority leader’s office. No special records are kept beyond a simple accounting of a state police vehicle’s use.

    A similar procedure is followed when the State Police are driving the governor and others.

    We are confident that proper procedures were followed at all times. However, since a concern has been raised, we are asking the state inspector general to review the matter.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    GOV'S TROOPER SNOOP JOB ON BRUNO
    ORDERED POLICE TO TRACK GOP FOE'S MOVEMENTS

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/07052007..._u__dicker.htm

    By FREDRIC U. DICKER

    July 5, 2007 -- ALBANY - Gov. Spitzer targeted state Senate Ma jority Leader Joseph Bruno for an unprecedented State Police surveillance program that led to allegations Bruno improperly used a state helicopter for political purposes, an investigation by The Post has found.

    No other state official, including Spitzer and Lt. Gov. David Paterson, was singled out for the type of detailed record-keeping the State Police maintained on Bruno, the state's most powerful Republican, official records show.

    Part of the Spitzer administration's justification for homing in on Bruno - the governor's leading political adversary - is a claim that state Conservative Party leader Michael Long raised objections to Bruno's use of the State Police.

    Spitzer spokesman Darren Dopp told The Post that the records on Bruno began to be assembled because "there was an incident late last year in which Mike Long called to complain about Joe bringing armed troopers to [Long's] fund-raising event.

    "Long thought it was highly inappropriate, and it probably was. Recalling that incident, the [State Police] made some changes . . . and, yes, [started] keeping basic records, i.e. logs," Dopp said.

    But Long insisted yesterday that he never complained about Bruno and the State Police, and that no such incident had occurred.

    "That is a baldfaced lie," said Long, who has been at odds with Bruno in recent years.

    "I never made a complaint to the State Police or the governor's office, and if Bruno had shown up with armed troopers I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it."

    A senior state official familiar with the surveillance program told The Post that he believed the governor and his aides had sought to "set up" Bruno by having the State Police keep track of his travels.

    "Why else would they do it if not to set up Bruno - by getting on him something they thought was incriminating - when they weren't doing it to anyone else?" said the official.

    Bruno himself said "it appears" Spitzer and his staff used the State Police to try to obtain negative information on him in an effort to "set up an officeholder" with whom the governor disagrees.

    "I would like not to believe that the governor and the people who work for him would purposely set up an officeholder of the opposing party, but it certainly appears that way," said Bruno.

    "This is like something you'd expect in a Third World country, where some dictator has his enemies followed to see how they could either do something to them or disgrace them.

    "This is dangerous in a free country."

    A Bruno aide contended Spitzer's actions "are reminiscent of Richard Nixon with his 'enemies list.' "

    The State Police, which are under the control of the governor, routinely chauffeur Spitzer and Paterson, who they also protect, during their travels throughout the state. Bruno has regularly requested and received State Police drivers during his visits to New York City because, he has said, he's been the subject of numerous death threats.

    Earlier this week, Spitzer said he would forward State Police records of Bruno's travels in New York City to at least two investigative agencies after published reports suggested Bruno, who lives in upstate Rensselaer County, improperly flew on a state-owned helicopter from Albany to the city for political events.

    The records - of State Police escort runs around the city - were kept because of Long's complaint and a desire to avoid the misuse of state personnel, said Dopp.

    But Dopp also said the record-keeping only started in early April, around the time that Spitzer, a freshman governor, began having major disputes with Bruno.

    The Post filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking all State Police driving records for Bruno, Spitzer, Paterson and other senior officials.

    Dopp responded with State Police "transportation assignment" records detailing Bruno's travels during several recent trips to the city.

    The records contain such entries as, "May 3, 7 p.m., dinner at Italian restaurant on Eastside (unknown name, located between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave. in upper 40s.)"

    And on May 4, "7 a.m. transported all subjects from Sheraton to Aqueduct Racetrack. 11a.m. Depart from Aqueduct to La Guardia Airport."

    Dopp said no such detailed, start-and-stop records were kept for Spitzer and Paterson because, he insisted, both officials make available their official schedules in advance of their travels.

    But those schedules do not contain such detailed information as hour-by-hour stops and the restaurants and hotels that are visited.

    Bruno has repeatedly insisted that all his trips on the state helicopter involve official business.

    An Associated Press report yesterday quoted business leaders as saying they had met with Bruno to discuss state issues on the dates of the flights.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #3
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Under the new anti- terrorism laws, there's a new breed of State Police in New York. These guys are no joke. You will not be getting any breaks, and they will flat out get you to incriminate yourself as they take your deposition, taken right through your drivers side window. Of course, you don't know that's what they are doing. Something as simple as "do you know how fast you were going?" Answered with a simple "I was going a bit above the posted," will almost assuredly get you convicted in court. I have family in the NYSP, and have always been let go for simple equipment infractions and speeding within reason. Those days are over. A friend of mine who is a police officer in the Bronx told me he was running late and was stopped on the thruway, got a BIG ticket, and it stuck. Just an FYI for any of you non New Yorkers going through the rotten apple.

  4. #4
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    bump
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #5
    AuGmENTor Guest
    Perhaps in light of recent developements they will look a bit closer at Spitzers involvement in this... Didn't he roll it off onto his staff claiming he knew nothing about it? Why doesn't my damn firefox spell checker work in here?

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