NYSTPBA Newsletter News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer Flameout In case you missed it, Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned Wednesday afternoon. This was hours after he was arrested on federal bribery, conspiracy and related wire fraud charges following his indictment by a federal grand jury in connection with a campaign contribution scheme tied to his Senate campaign committee and campaign for New York City comptroller. He has found a new calling as an anchor tied around the neck of Gov. Kathy Hochul for the unforeseeable future. Shame! On Tuesday, federal court Judge Richard Arcara dismissed the charge of illegal possession of a firearm against Deyanna Davis, who recklessly drove through a police blockade on June 1, 2020 during the protest – correction, riot - severely injuring one of our members, Trooper Ron Ensminger. Then, on top of that, to hear her attorney state that it is their “contention that she was carjacked and that this weapon was the instrument used to take over control of the vehicle” and that “this was purely an accident” and “she didn’t intend to hurt him” makes one’s blood boil. (I can hear Bluto and the rest of the Deltas chanting a collective BULLSHIT at that one). As of right now, she still faces two counts of assault in the first degree as a result of her indictment a year ago and her case is scheduled for July. I sent the following letter to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn urging him not to drop the ball on this case. We are watching and we want justice! Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn 25 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14202 April 14, 2022 District Attorney Flynn, As the President of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, the labor union representing uniformed New York State Troopers, I was shocked to learn that a federal court judge had dropped charges against Deyanna Davis at the request of federal prosecutors. As assault charges are still pending against Ms. Davis in the state of New York, I urge you, as the top elected law enforcement official in Erie County, to continue to pursue criminal charges against Ms. Davis. New York State Trooper Ron Ensminger, also a public servant like yourself, risked his life during the riots in Buffalo in the name of public safety. Ms. Davis is charged with assaulting Trooper Ensminger by running him over with the van she was driving during the riots. Trooper Ensminger suffered extensive leg and pelvic injuries and was forced to retire from the New York State Police due to his injuries. On behalf of the NYSTPBA membership, the men and women who proudly put on their uniforms to serve and protect the public, I ask that you move forward with the criminal case against Ms. Davis. Prosecuting the charges will send a message that it’s unacceptable to cause harm or injury to a law enforcement officer. Thank you for your time. Thomas H. Mungeer President Quote of the Week - I Two good cops who initially got thrown under the bus are back to the profession they love and they're doing it with a clean slate. No criminal charges, nothing administratively. They're ready to hit the streets and go back to work for the citizens of Buffalo. - Thomas Burton, attorney for the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association on the decision of arbitrator Jeffrey M. Selchick to clear two Buffalo Police officers of wrongdoing in a June 4, 2020 protest riot in Niagara Square, where 75-year-old professional agitator Martin Gugino fell to the ground. Selchick stated Gugino "was definitely not an innocent bystander" and called the officers' use of force "absolutely legitimate" in his ruling. This administrative ruling follows the outright dismissal of assault charges against the police officers over a year ago. Up In Smoke This is hot off the press from my counterpart in the New Jersey State Police. The New Jersey Attorney General issued a directive the other day permitting off-duty use of legally purchased cannabis by law enforcement (including Troopers) with no adverse action from the employer. They cannot show up for duty impaired and they are only allowed to be in possession of legal cannabis purchased from a licensed dispensary. The A.G. will also be issuing new policy on drug testing. I’m not an attorney, but since marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 812) and the federal firearms provisions (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)) specifies that no person “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substances” may “possess…or…receive any firearm or ammunition,” it appears to me that we cannot legally use it and remain a police officer. I’m not sure how the New Jersey A.G. is able to (or believes he can) work around federal law. Cheech Marin - Hey man, am I driving okay? Tommy Chong - I think we’re parked man. Quote of the Week - II We will follow through on our already filed grievances and continue fighting for our wrongfully terminated members. Governor Baker should be ashamed for the damage he has done to his employees and their families. - Pat McNamara, President of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, on the firing of 12 Troopers last Friday for failing to comply with Gov. Charlie Baker’s Draconian COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 2022/2023 Budget Information from 2nd Vice President/Legislative Director John Clark The New York State budget for 2022-23 was finalized this past weekend when Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law the budget bills passed by the Senate and Assembly, after the Assembly had worked through the night. The budget consists of 10 separate bills and is due at midnight on March 31 every year. This year the budget was late enough that an extender bill had to be passed so the state could authorize state employee paychecks. The operating funding portion of the budget was passed fairly early in the process without much fanfare. A deeper examination of the numbers is underway, but it appears that the Governor’s initial request for funding and the final passage were not substantially different. Of note: Bail reform reform: There was some rollback on the misguided 2019 bail reform bills passed under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The changes were re-evaluated after the events of 2020 and after significant public outcry, they were amended in this budget. In essence, judges were given some initial discretion that was not included in prior versions of the law. The policy also addresses repeat offenders, gun and violent crime and to some extent, domestic violence crimes. These changes only apply to class A misdemeanors and felonies. Tier 6 tweaks: There was a lot of discussion about including Tier 6 retirement reform in the budget, but after the internal legislative squabbles over bail reform, legislative leaders punted and stated they will address Tier 6 later in the session. They did manage to include two minor policy changes. The first changes vesting from 10 years to 5 years, which while beneficial, only affects a very small number of people. The second was well intended, but at the last minute most of the benefit was cut out of the policy. The policy exempts COVID-related overtime from the computation of compensation which sets the employee contribution rate for pension payments. The problem is that it is only prospective and any overtime occurring during the pandemic prior to now was not exempted. As we continue to analyze the thousands of pages of this year’s budget bills, we will keep you informed on other changes. Tier 6 Quote of the Week It’s a good start. The unions were active pushing for changes and so was I. Everyone should pay 3%. To me, that would be fair. - Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Chair, Committee on Governmental Employees, on the fixes to Tier 6 in the budget and his continued desire to reduce the pension contributions for all government workers to 3% from a high of 6%, depending on salary. Headline of the Week The Headline - NJ Women’s Prison Inmates Pregnant After Sex With Transgender Prisoner The Skinny – Two inmates serving time in New Jersey’s only state prison for women - Edna Mahan Correctional Facility - became pregnant after they had sex with a transgender inmate. In 2021, New Jersey enacted a policy, which was the result of a settlement from a civil rights suit brought by a woman forced to live in men’s prisons for 18 months, to allow prisoners to be housed in accordance with their preferred gender identity. The Commentary - Many questions come to mind, all of which I DO NOT want an answer to. An old English proverb comes to mind – “If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.” This Week’s Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us According to a recent poll commissioned by Ancestry, just 47 percent of respondents could correctly name all four of their grandparents and only four percent could name all eight of their great-grandparents. Yup, I’m one of those 4% dorks. Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona In the midst of a nationwide shortage of truck drivers, Walmart has announced that the company will be offering their long-haul drivers a salary of up to $110,000 per year, putting them on an equal playing field with Sysco, which also advertises that its drivers can make up to $110,000 a year. Thanks, Mav, that was really great. Oh, shit! Maybe I should become a truck driver. Mav, do you remember the number of that truck driving school that was on TV the other night, Truck America or something like that? - Nick “Goose” Bradshaw of “Top Gun” fame *A shout-out to Tpr. Steve Ayers for that one. Final Thoughts Has anyone ever been called a “narcissistic sociopath who happens to have a badge and connections?” Just asking for a friend. This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers 120 State St. Albany, New York 12207 (518) 462-7448 http://www.nystpba.org