Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Parents For Megan's Law sues a poor man from another state in retaliation for Internet comments. Your $900k a year at work

The Suffolk nonprofit hired by the county to monitor registered sex offenders has sued a Cincinnati registered sex offender, accusing him of defaming the group with his online posts.

Did the law offices of WeitzPascale gave these to PFML? Seems like it.
I want you to wrap your minds around the concept of a million dollar corporation suing some guy on the Internet (who happens to be on welfare at that) because they said said their organization sucks (PFML sucks) and that they're probably using their funds to curry favor (as many politicians do).

Why is PFML really suing Derek Logue? Because he had the courage to stand up to them. After all, PFMl is already being sued for harassment. This is a blatant abuse of law, and I'm pretty sure this lawsuit will backfire.


Parents for Megan’s Law files lawsuit against sex offender
Updated April 23, 2016 8:06 PM
By Laura Figueroa  laura.figueroa@newsday.com

Parents for Megan’s Law filed a lawsuit in Suffolk state Supreme Court in Central Islip on Tuesday, claiming Derek W. Logue, who runs a support website for sex offenders, made “false disparaging statements about the integrity” of the Ronkonkoma-based group on his Twitter account and an online news forum.

Logue, who was served with court papers as he protested outside of the nonprofit’s Comac Street office on Wednesday, contends his posts accusing the group of receiving “kickbacks” are protected by the constitutional right to free speech.

The legal dispute comes as the group, which tracks the addresses of more than 1,000 registered sex offenders and provides counseling services to sex-abuse victims, renegotiates its three-year $2.7 million contract with Suffolk. It is set to expire at the end of the month.

Vanessa B. Streeter, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said the county plans to renew the group’s contract, but is “still working out the terms.”

At the center of the lawsuit is a Feb. 23 post Logue wrote responding to an online article about an upstate Broome County lawmaker’s call to increase the 20-year period Level 1 sex offenders must remain on the state’s registry to 25 years.

“This is what is known as ‘moving the goal post,’” Logue wrote in the comments section of Binghamton’s FOX 40 WICZ TV news website. “ . . . The REAL reason the state is pushing this is because Parents for Megan’s Law gets millions of dollars in kickbacks.”

In that post, and on his Twitter account, Logue questioned whether the agency’s funding went to “padding” the pockets of the Broome County legislator pushing for the increase, a claim the nonprofit’s attorneys say is “false” and made “with reckless disregard for the truth.”

Laura Ahearn, founder and executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law, said she couldn’t comment on the lawsuit, and referred questions to the group’s pro-bono attorneys at the Mineola law firm of WeitzPascale.

“You can’t go around defaming innocent organizations that are here only to defend children, the elderly, the disabled,” said attorney Brian C. Pascale, a partner at the firm.

Logue... said he has traveled to other cities to protest sex-offender residency restriction laws.

He said he came to Suffolk to protest the county’s tracking program because he believes municipalities should focus on funding “rehabilitative” programs that help offenders reintegrate into society.

“They’re trying to silence me for speaking up,” Logue said in an interview. “It’s easy to go after and dehumanize a group that’s invisible in the eyes of society.”

Logue, who carried a sign that read “Parents for Megan’s Law: Stop Supporting Myths for Money,” said he tried to stage a larger demonstration. He said he sent letters to 300 Suffolk registered offenders encouraging them to come out and protest, but only one showed up.

Parents for Megan’s Law is also defending itself against a federal lawsuit filed last month by a Suffolk registered sex offender, who claims the nonprofit violated his civil rights by interrogating him at his house.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


From Newsweek. This cop was a big fan of the PFML contract and bragged about it being the toughest in the nation. And then... well, we all know the old adage about those crowing loudest having the most to hide.

The most ironic thing is ex-Chief Burke's words when pushing to shut down the trailers for homeless registrants:

“Let’s face it. If I took 20 bank robbers and put them under the same roof, at the end of the week, what would I come up with?” he said. “Twenty better bank robbers.”

What do you get when you take 18 Suffolk County legislators, a vigilante group, and Steve Bellone and put them under the same roof for a week?


BY JOSH SAUL ON 1/4/16 AT 3:59 PM

Could this be the dirtiest cop in America?

When the chief of the police department in New York’s Suffolk County heard in 2012 that the addict who had broken into his SUV and stolen a canvas bag stuffed with his pornography and sex toys had been arrested, the chief walked into the interrogation room where the addict was manacled to the floor and beat, kicked and threatened to kill him, federal prosecutors have charged.

A few days later, James Burke, 51, bragged to other Suffolk cops about his attack on the addict, saying it reminded him of his “old days” as a young police officer, and even called the detectives who watched the assault his “palace guards,” prosecutors wrote in court papers.

Burke’s arrest last month on assault and conspiracy charges could be more than just the story of a rogue police chief finally corralled. It may also open a window onto the widespread corruption that some say has long festered in this large suburban county on the eastern half of New York’s Long Island.

Federal prosecutors are probing whether the local police department and the district attorney’s office are corrupt—including whether judgeships are for sale—and they are also investigating an incident in which the DA’s office listened to federal agents on a wiretap, The New York Times has reported.

Suffolk County workers, politicians, and cops who have met with federal prosecutors have said DA probes and prosecutions are often influenced by political considerations, the Times reported.

“Suffolk County is riddled with corruption. The large majority of the cops are great, hardworking people, but the upper hierarchy of county government is corrupt, and I’m thankful that the feds are here,” County Legislator Rob Trotta, a former detective with the Suffolk County Police Department who was assigned to the FBI for 10 years, tells Newsweek.

No charges have been filed against Thomas Spota, the current Suffolk County DA, and Burke pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned last month.

Burke’s rise to chief began with the high-profile 1979 murder of a 13-year-old boy and the then-teenage Burke’s testimony on what he heard other teens say about the killing in the ensuing murder trials, which were prosecuted by Spota.

Burke became a Suffolk cop and was promoted to sergeant; a 1995 department probe found that he had a sexual relationship with a prostitute who sold drugs, according to Newsday.

Despite that, Spota appointed Burke to run the DA’s squad of detectives in his office in 2002. Burke was then tapped by the county executive to be police chief in 2012, after the former executive stepped down in a deal to avoid prosecution after Spota launched an investigation into his political fundraising, according to Newsday.

“You know what manure smells like when you first put it on a field out here? It stinks. It’s revolting,” retired Suffolk Detective Sergeant Robert Doyle tells Newsweek. “But after a while, people get used to [the corruption]. People don’t pay attention to it. After a while, you just get used to the stink of shit out here.”

Burke, who was held without bail, is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday for a status conference on his criminal charges.


James Burke, Ex-Suffolk County Police Chief, Pleads Guilty

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — The former police chief of Suffolk County pleaded guilty on Friday to federal charges stemming from accusations that he beat a suspect in custody, threatened to kill him and then coerced his fellow officers into covering up the misconduct.

The former chief, James Burke, 51, who was known for his swaggering confidence as the leader of one of the region’s largest police departments, was subdued in Federal District Court here as the charges against him were read aloud.

“I plead guilty, Your Honor,” said Mr. Burke, wearing a drab khaki prison uniform.

Since the federal inquiry into Mr. Burke’s actions began some three years ago, investigators have expanded their inquiries and are now examining the workings of the Police Department and the district attorney’s office.

Since the federal inquiry into Mr. Burke’s actions began some three years ago, investigators have expanded their inquiries and are now examining the workings of the Police Department and the district attorney’s office.

Robert L. Capers, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said the investigation was continuing and would seek out those who might have been involved in wrongdoing.

“The defendant violated his oath and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer by exacting personal vengeance, assaulting a handcuffed suspect and abusing his authority as the highest ranking uniformed member of the Suffolk County Police Department,” Mr. Capers said in a statement. “Despite the efforts of the defendant and his co-conspirators to obstruct the federal investigation, he has been brought to justice.”

Here is Ahearn with fellow disgrace James "The Porn King" Burke
Joseph Conway, Mr. Burke’s lawyer, later told reporters that he planned to argue for a sentence of less than five years in prison for violating the suspect’s civil rights and conspiring to obstruct justice. The maximum possible sentence for the civil rights charge is 10 years in prison; for the obstruction charge, it is 20 years.

“He realized what he did here, and he wants to own up to it,” Mr. Conway said. “He’s very remorseful.”

The charges against Mr. Burke stemmed from an episode in December 2012 when Christopher Loeb, a heroin addict who financed his $100-a-day habit by breaking into cars, was arrested on suspicion of stealing a duffel bag stuffed with cigars, pornographic DVDs and sex toys from Mr. Burke’s police car.

He was brought to a precinct house and shackled to the floor.

In a 2013 court hearing, Mr. Loeb testified that when he asked for a lawyer, one detective told him, “This isn’t ‘Law & Order’; you’re not going to get an attorney.”

When Mr. Burke entered the interrogation room, Mr. Loeb “was handcuffed and chained to an eyebolt fastened to the floor,” according to prosecutors.


Christopher Loeb Credit Suffolk County Sheriff Department
“Chief Burke grabbed me by my cheeks and hit me on the top of my head,” Mr. Loeb testified during his 2013 trial, during which he was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Mr. Loeb responded to the thrashing by calling Mr. Burke “a pervert” and mocking him for the pornography he found in his car, according to federal prosecutors.

At that point, prosecutors said, Mr. Burke “went out of control, screaming and cursing at Loeb and assaulting him until a detective finally said, ‘Boss, that’s enough, that’s enough.’”

After the interrogation, Mr. Burke pressured the detectives who witnessed the assault to conceal it.

“Those efforts continued even after the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office opened an investigation of the assault in May 2013,” according to a statement released by prosecutors announcing Mr. Burke’s indictment in December.

After Mr. Burke was arrested, Judge Leonard Wexler took the unusual step of denying him bail, saying he posed a danger to the community.


Thomas J. Spota Credit Barton Silverman/The New York Times
“I find the corruption of an entire department by this defendant is shocking,” Judge Wexler said in December.

The federal inquiry has since expanded beyond Mr. Burke to look into a broader pattern of possible corruption in both the police department and the office of the Suffolk County district attorney, Thomas J. Spota.

Investigators are looking into the conduct of two of Mr. Spota’s protégés — Mr. Burke and the district attorney’s top anticorruption prosecutor — and any role they may have had in what federal prosecutors have described as a conspiracy to obstruct justice, three officials familiar with the investigation told The New York Times earlier this year.

The new Suffolk police commissioner, Tim Sini, is a former assistant United States attorney from the Southern District of New York, and he has hired a former federal corruption investigator, John Barry, to review the department’s internal affairs files.

At a court hearing after Mr. Burke’s arrest, a federal prosecutor, James Miskiewicz, described a pattern of abuse, including the use of a contractor for the district attorney’s office to install a GPS device on a deputy police commissioner’s car.

Mr. Burke was hoping to “to dig up blackmail dirt on her,” Mr. Miskiewicz testified, calling the episode “something out of the K.G.B.”

Mr. Spota and Mr. Burke have been close for decades, and the district attorney helped Mr. Burke secure his job as the top officer for much of Long Island, despite a sometimes checkered history.

Two decades ago, as a sergeant, Mr. Burke had a sexual relationship with a prostitute, according to an internal affairs investigation that accused Mr. Burke of accidentally leaving his handgun with the woman, Newsday reported.

Mr. Burke not only survived that incident but also thrived. He was named chief in 2012, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the department, which, like New York City’s, is led by a civilian commissioner.

With some 2,700 sworn officers and over 600 civilian members, the department is one of the largest in the region.

Compared with those in other departments, officers in the Suffolk agency are well paid, making $125,000 in base pay. That is about $50,000 more than their counterparts in New York City, and it does not include overtime pay, which can be substantial, or the extra money officers receive for each year on the job.

Detectives and sergeants have been known to earn more than $200,000 a year. The police unions on Long Island are so wealthy they have formed a “super PAC” to flood local elections with campaign donations.