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News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer, August 19, 2022




NYSTPBA Newsletter News from NYSTPBA President Tom Mungeer NYSTPBA Reaction to Inspector General’s Farcical Report The Inspector General’s office released a report – “Investigation of the New York State Police’s Handling of a Protective Services Unit Incident” – with outrageous assertions and overreaching aspirations. The report can be read here: https://ig.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2022/08/nysp-2987.030.2021-nyc-report-8.19.22-final.pdf The NYSTPBA swiftly responded to this farcical report with a press release, which is below: The New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association (NYSTPBA) is shocked and appalled at the Inspector General’s report – “Investigation of the New York State Police’s Handling of a Protective Services Unit Incident” - demanding discipline of our Trooper for off-duty conduct that was personal in nature and had nothing to do with his duties or responsibilities. Furthermore, the NYSTPBA contends that our Trooper acted properly by advising a supervisor. It is unfortunate that instead of sticking to the facts, the Inspector General’s office used the method of “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” to search for sections of the New York State Police’s Rules and Regulations as well as the Public Officers’ Law - that we believe would be unconstitutional if applied based on this fact pattern - to buttress their predetermined results of their investigation. “I am speechless at the Inspector General’s report,” said NYSTPBA President Thomas H. Mungeer. “Our Trooper is being used as a political pawn for a power grab by the Inspector General to assert her undue influence on the New York State Police. I stand by the decisions made by Superintendent Kevin Bruen and have full faith in his leadership of the State Police.” The Inspector General’s overreaching assertions to have complete oversight of the New York State Police is inconsistent with other sections of the Executive Law and the historic interpretation of who should be in charge of, and conducting operations and investigations of, the New York State Police. Broome County Verdict On Monday, a Broome County jury convicted Jason Johnson on multiple felony counts for his shooting of Trooper Rebecca Seager and Z/Sgt. Bryan Meehan on June 9, 2021. Trooper Seager was struck with a round from a high-powered rifle in the hip while trying to get back into her patrol car and Z/Sgt. Meehan sustained a shrapnel injury during the exchange of gunfire. Trooper Seager has yet to return to duty because of her injury. The convictions are as follows: 2 counts - Attempted Murder 1st, 2 counts - Attempted Murder 2nd, 2 counts - Criminal use of a Firearm 1st, 1 count each - Aggravated Assault in the 1st and Assault 1st for the shooting of Trooper Seager and 1 count - Attempted Assault 1st for Z/Sgt. Meehan. The sentencing hearing is going to be on Nov. 28, 2022, at the Broome County Court in Binghamton before Judge Joseph Cawley. I would like to thank the District Attorney for Broome County, Michael A. Korchak, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Lucas Finley for their outstanding work in this case. I submitted the Letter to the Editor below to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin newspaper: Letter to the Editor On behalf of the more than 7,000 active and retired New York State Troopers represented by the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, I would like to commend Broome County District Attorney Mike Korchak and his dedicated Assistant District Attorneys and staff for their outstanding work in the case against Jason Johnson, who was convicted on multiple charges of attempted murder and assault against New York State Troopers. At a time when some prosecutors nationwide are looking for reasons not to do their job, it’s refreshing to see a local district attorney who takes his oath seriously. More than ever, New York State Troopers – like all law enforcement – need backup, whether it’s on patrol or in the prosecutor’s office. It’s reassuring to know that the law enforcement community and the public can depend on District Attorney Mike Korchak to pursue justice. We look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. Thomas H. Mungeer President NYS Troopers PBA Quote of the Week “I want to commend the state police. It was a state police officer who stood up and saved his life.” - Gov. Kathy Hochul on the heroic actions of the uniformed Trooper assigned to the venue in which author Salman Rushdie was brutally attacked. Thank you, Governor. However, if you haven’t noticed, New York State Troopers do heroic shit every day. Varsity Tryouts In the aftermath of the attack on Salman Rushdie, a bill is being touted to give the already armed Chautauqua Institution security guards “peace officer” status and with it, the ability to make arrests. Sen. George Borrello stated, “Our world has become more violent again. All we’re doing is giving them the opportunity to defend themselves and use their resources.” Sounds like they already have that ability. Just call in the varsity when you need the heavy lifting done. Geographic Pay We are fully aware that the Park Police, Forest Rangers, University Police and ENCON have been authorized to grant $15,000 in geographic pay to their members based in the mid-Hudson and downstate geographic areas. This was based on §130 (7) of the NYS Civil Service Law and it was submitted to the Director of Classification and Compensation with supporting documentation and it was subsequently approved by the Director of Budget. According to published reports, with the recent geographic pay increase the starting salaries for Park Police, Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers are now $74,298, $78,034 and $81,140, respectively. Meanwhile, the starting salary of a New York State Trooper lags considerably behind at $59,612. Currently, members of the Division who are based in Nassau and Suffolk counties receive $4,800 in geographic pay, while those based in New York City, Rockland and Westchester receive $3,650. The disparity between what members of the Division receive, compared to that of the Park Police, Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Forest Rangers is glaring, coupled with the fact that their apparent eligibility pool has now been expanded to include their members in Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Currently, Executive Law Article 11 section 215 (5) grants to the Superintendent of the State Police the authority to grant geographic pay with the approval of the Director of the Budget. In order to stave off an even larger recruitment problem and a looming retention problem in the post-2020 law enforcement world, I sent a letter to Superintendent Kevin Bruen recommending and respectfully requesting that Division: take the necessary steps to increase the existing geographic pay amount to comparable levels to the aforementioned state law enforcement agencies for all affected members assigned to Rockland, Westchester, NYC, Nassau and Suffolk counties; and grant geographic pay for those members in Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties who are currently not receiving any. The Empire Strikes Back Earlier this week it was announced that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo won his lawsuit that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) improperly ordered him to surrender the $5.1 million he received from his 2020 memoir on the pandemic, “American Crisis.” I won’t bore you with the gloating commentary issued by Cuomo’s legal team after Albany County Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman issued a decision that determined that JCOPE’s actions overstepped its authority. However, I find it hilarious that it was reported that “JCOPE could not comment since it no longer exists.” Wanted: Stoner with an MBA In case you missed it, applications from interested parties looking to operate dispensaries in New York’s cannabis market can be submitted beginning Aug. 25. The good news is that if you spent more time toking the ganja instead of studying for your midterms at Wharton, it was announced that New Yorkers with prior marijuana-related convictions and business experience can apply for the first round of Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licenses. In Office of Cannabis Management-speak this means “justice involved individuals.” Webinar from a Member of the State Trooper Surgeons Group A member of the PBA’s State Trooper Surgeons Group, Dr. Mathew Fakhoury, has provided a webinar that is less than 40 minutes and can be accessed at the leisure of any Trooper who wishes to watch it. Dr. Mathew Fakhoury is a urologist in Westchester County, N.Y. He is affiliated with Advanced Urology Centers of NY and is a proud member of the State Trooper Surgeons. Dr. Fakhoury specializes in urinary dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), kidney stones, and sexual dysfunction. In this webinar, Dr. Fakhoury is discussing some of the most common reasons patients are referred to a urologist. Some of these reasons are very sensitive for most men to discuss and he is shedding some light on topics such as difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction and low Testosterone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a7bdDWbwUk This email is an automated notification, which is unable to receive replies. To send a comment to the NYSTPBA, please contact us at nystpba@nystpba.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

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