Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Hasn't This Man Been Fired?

Preston Felton

Acting Superintendent of the State Police Preston Felton was a willing and enthusiastic participant in the Dirty Tricks attempt by Governor
senior aides to destroy the career of Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Despite having conspired with Spitzer aide William Howard, Superintendent Felton has largely receded from public view.

Felton remains unscathed in both media coverage and public scrutiny since Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released his report five months ago. The media, New Yorkers and, most of all, Governor Spitzer's serial apologists should read (or re-read) Attorney General Cuomo's report, particularly page seven. It concludes:

"• The Superintendent directed the creation of records to show where State Police investigators had driven Senator Bruno while he was in New York City, even for a trip for which Senator Bruno had already provided a schedule. These records were not ordinarily created or maintained by the State Police. The Superintendent provided these records to Howard with the understanding that they would be produced under a FOIL request.

"• The Superintendent began reporting to Howard information about Senator Bruno’s upcoming schedule and changes to the schedule on an ongoing basis as the Superintendent received that information.

"• The creation of records outside the ordinary course of business and the events in question carries the risk of creating inaccurate or misleading records, which occurred here.

"• Howard requested and the Superintendent produced selective information regarding Senator Bruno.

"• The Superintendent and Howard produced sensitive scheduling information of the kind not typically produced and did so without conducting a security review.

"• The Superintendent personally handled and oversaw the document creation and production. This was contrary to more than twenty years of State Police practice and procedure and was something that the Superintendent himself had never done before." (Emphasis added.)

How can anyone who understands the difference between right and wrong reach the conclusion that Preston Felton possesses the personal rectitude to lead the New York State Police in the aftermath of Cuomo's report? He should have been dismissed the day it became public.

Our State Police proclaim a "Vision, Values and Mission." The Mission is: "To serve, protect and defend the people while preserving the rights and dignity of all." Where was Felton's concern for preserving the rights and dignity of Senator Bruno while he was grossly abjuring the responsibilities of his office?

One of the top "Values" cited by the State Police is "Integrity: To live and work in accordance with high ethical standards." How is Felton's behavior not appallingly unethical? The man has been a member of the New York State Police for 22 years and he reduced himself to being a political party functionary. He has to know better.

When Governor Spitzer appointed Felton the Acting Superintendent on March 15th he hailed a "vast array of skills and abilities as both a top administrator and a field commander." He certainly has a vast array of skills and abilities since he's still employed as New York State's top cop.