Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Roadside hummers and other related thoughts

If the beast roars out, you have to give it sacrifice that will satiate its voracious appetite. And the quicker you can toss it a tender morsel of flesh, the safer the village will be in the end.

This was the message that flashed down the narrow dendrites in Sheriff Jim Bowen’s brain last week, when a husky voice on the other end of the phone started unfolding for him the events that transpired in Edinburg. Deputy Donnie Harder got caught with his pants down, the voice says. The dumb fuck decided to get a piece of action and he did it with the wrong woman, the voice explains. They’re going to rip you to shreds over this; you might as well hang up now and clear your desk.

No way, Bowen’s Id cries out. That’s no way for a man of the law to go down, especially the longest-tenured sheriff in New York State. Find a sacrifice to the beast; give it something juicy from the get-go, so there are no other questions to answer.

Moments later, he’s on the phone with Jim Murphy, the unopposed Saratoga County district attorney and a card-carrying member of the same Republican cabal. He’s bastion of faith in the county, and a guy who hasn’t had a challenger in years. He’s safety.

Murphy understands the situation. Bowen is cashing in a political favor. He needs help on this, and the county’s top prosecutor is just the man to do it. He’s got a spotless record, and he’s often regarded as the man who modernized the prosecutor’s office.

Together, Murphy and Bowen lay the cards on the table: There’s a deputy who thinks it's alright to get a blowjob on the clock, and there’s a good chance his indiscretion isn’t the only one taking place within. There’s a challenger for the sheriff’s seat whose main claim to fame is a campaign to unveil the political favoritism in the village of Corinth. The mere notion of a corrupt sheriff’s department would be enough for him to steal the incompetence vote: The teaming volumes of people who pull the lever for a candidate simply because he or she purportedly represents change.

So they throw Harder to the wolves. Less than four hours after the alleged incident occurred, Murphy lodges a felony charge against the deputy that could land him a 25-year prison term. By noon the next day, Murphy and Bowen have the press conference scheduled. The call to the media is so quick that the normal channels of information dissemination –leaks through political enemies and social anarchists –don’t have time to start spreading the news.

By 2 p.m. on Aug. 12, Bowen drops the bombshell: My deputy coerced a woman into sucking him off, and he did it using his badge as prod. The story is sensational. The press and television reporters eat it up. When Bowen wakes up the next morning, Harder is corralled in Saratoga County Jail on $25,000 cash-bail and he’s not likely to get sprung. After all, Harder barely has time to break the news to his wife before his mug is plastered all over the internet and on the evening broadcast.

Every newscast and every newspaper contains the same story. The homogeneous coverage is to the extent that a reader could rip-off the by-line and not be able to distinguish between the articles. Curiously absent from each one is the notion that Harder’s indiscretion might be emblematic of a deeper, more sinister problem that has metastasized in the sheriff’s department under its geriatric leader.

These are problems that have slowly bubbled to the surface of Bowen’s ever-growing law enforcement complex. For instance, there’s the case of Deputy Bill Marshall, a longtime member of the sheriff’s department and Junior Baseball league manager, who escaped any sort of legal ramifications for falsely charging a teen that got punched by one of his players.

The quirky story was first covered by a Times Union sports writer and gained steam before Bowen and Murphy colluded to bury it. At the time, Bowen said Marshall’s behavior “didn’t look good” and swore he’d get to the bottom of it.

But the bottom turned out to be the charges getting dropped and the case being thrown out of court; the latter of which would have happened anyway. Yet nobody asked why Marshall wasn’t reprimanded at the very least; or even better, charged with making an unlawful arrest. The case virtually vanished until there were some murmurs about it after Harder’s arrest.

These are just the latest in a long string of very public misbehavior by Bowen’s boys or by Harder himself. Let’s not forget these are the same guys who happened to be speeding in driving rain four years ago when they slammed into Phil Eckstein, a popular Skidmore student who died from his injuries. And let’s not forget about the time they rammed a Saratoga Springs crew team in 2000.

Harder also has a penchant for slamming into things, no pun intended. In 2007, he rear-ended a car in Wilton with enough force to smash it into a third car. At the time, Harder was processing a shoplifter he picked up from the mall. The girl suffered a bruised forehead, cut nose and lost a tooth; injuries that suggest she was placed in the back of the cruiser, but not with a seat belt properly fashioned.

Interestingly enough, none of the news agencies made this connection while they lapped up Bowen’s story like warm milk on a cold day. Now more than a week later, they haven’t bothered to ask what Harder’s penance was for injuring a suspect. Why? Because Bowen generally doesn’t talk to the media. When he does, he spits out very carefully orchestrated sound bites that ensure there won’t be any follow up questions.

Not to credit the media for its unbelievable lack of effort. They have become complacent with the way Bowen and Murphy run the show. Today, they don’t bother calling Bowen for information, because they realize there’s only one way they’ll get it: At an abruptly called news conference with Murphy by his side.

Well boys and girls, it’s time to start asking some goddamn questions. Letting Bowen squirm out of the Harder story, the Marshall affair or any of these disasters of injustice is simply appalling. He needs to be taken to task for his mismanagement and inability to keep his cops out of trouble. After all, shit flows down stream. And if a lowlife deputy like Harder is getting blown in his cruiser at the bottom of that stream, there must be some serious issues at the top.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Sweet Melissa said...

It's about time Horatio. Time to put these guys through the ringer that is. The Sheriff's department is worse than the sspd. Their officiers love to use their power to get what they want.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the Sheriff's Dept. is almost as corrupt as the city's police dept.!

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other than Murph and Bowen having two bad haircuts, I'll have to ponder a response.

HO, you got wound up on this one and I'm anxious to read more.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Cjay Pidgeons said...

Eddie hot dogs is going for dpw. Let's see if Rico Taco c an run for sheriff. Racism seems to be a theme these days. Time to retire this ole coot before the shit really hits the fan.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous I met Val on Match.com said...

Careful Ho its one thing to piss off that stuffed shirt and wind bag Kim and another to piss off Bowen. The man has his tentacles everywhere and doesn’t always play nice.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have gotten Chris Morrell in when we had the Chance.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Tiggeresq said...

Phil was drunk and crossing a 4 lane highway at about 3 in the morning in a storm - and the street lights were out. The investigation showed the deputy was not speeding. I'm no supporter of Bowen or Murphy, but you're just making shit up. That's not gonzo journalism bud . . .

9:00 AM  
Anonymous World Famous Gus' Hot Dogs said...

Hey Pidgeon shit! You should leave Eddie alone. He is a legit candidate. A license to sell hot dogs is as qualified as a license to catch dogs.
Val's match.com is living in a fantasy world. Sheriff Bowen has no authority here. Horatio is perfectly in the right. Way to go Ho! Bowen has as much chance as you have on match.com.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I aggree with much of the post. I must take exception to your description of Jim Murphy as a pawn for Bowen. If Murphy was at the press conference it's because he believes a crime was committed, not to lend credibility to Bowen. Murphy has a long track record as Saratoga County's top law enforcement official of keeping Saratoga County safe. One just has to look what's happening our neighboring counties to see that. As for the Marshall affair, Murphy said publicly that the charges against the kid should be dropped and they were. Any kind of disciplinary action is in Bowen's hands, Marshall doesn't work for the DA. Horatio,most of your posts are well thought out and entertaining with just the right amount of indignation. Taking a shot at Murphy seemed a little out of place in the overall theme.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Iron Maiden said...

Rumor has it that there will be a third person running for Mayor. This is indeed interesting as long as it is not Boyd or Kuczyski. Could it be Klotz or McTygue perhaps?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO HO HO

Finally whacking the Repubs! Good idea! Keep it up!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

Ladies and gentleman of the media, I also would like to call a press conference on short notice. Mark it in the public record that I had a successful bowel movement this morning.

4:41 AM  
Anonymous The women of SSPD said...

Well done Faulkner.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Doing it Doggie Style said...

Gus and his hot dog's in Watervliet put eddie's dogs to shame. None the less good news for Eddie. For every dog will have his day. Scirrocco has wasted enough of our days as it is. Same for Kim and Johnson.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Mamie said...

It's that time of year again. What's up with this hot dog salesman running against Skip? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know "The Tulip" is behind this sham. What's next? Johnny Wine for flower crew foreman?

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah Mamie... how we've missed the big, hot, steaming cup of crazy that is you...

Hittin' the bottle in the afternoon again huh? 1:51 on a Friday. Must be hard work at city hall!!!! Don't you find it hypocritical that you get on everyone else for not working, but you always seem to post during work hours?

Or are you on one of your many Union breaks? Personal Days? Vacation Days? Bereavement Days? etc.etc.etc......

10:22 PM  
Anonymous mamie said...

I'm in a good position here that allows me to do as I want. The commissioner knows my value. THe question for you is what commish? What are my hours? Who will I back in this election? If I get involved it will mean certain victory for whomever.

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:22 Anon

I heard Mamie was on her "mammogram day off".

Just one of the many frills, secured by the union through yet another victorious lawsuit by a city employee.

Is anyone keeping track of the lawsuits? The Chief, the Asst. Chief, the BATHROOM 8, etc.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no doubt murphy was pressured - he is a great DA but made a poor choice to stand behind Bowen on this one.

Also, kudos to Horatio for his braveness, chances are that this blog will be shut down now because the sheriff actually has the ability to find out who is behind isaratoga. Horatio you have courage when you want to use it. Too bad you couldn't come clean and be impartial with the writers of disutopia

6:29 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

10:49,

I've never accused either agency of corruption. But there is a degree of lawlessness that is being exhibited by one here, and that's the Sheriff's Department. In my opinion, they've always been loose cannons, and they're getting looser as the agency grows.

Tiggeresq,

I'm not sure if Phil's friends and family would believe that account. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. I also don't believe for one second that the deputy who hit him was doing 30 mph, as was reported. The lights excuse was flimsy at best, and a good way for everyone to put a nasty tragedy behind them. Even without lights and with rain, that road is one of the best lit in the city proper.

11:50,

I don't think in any way Murphy is a pawn. I do think Bowen has and continues to cash in political favors for him. The old regulator has a lot of pull in these parts, and that can go far when one is looking to run unopposed as a DA. My qualms with Murphy have more to do with him backing Bowen. But politically, it's what he has to do.

Faulkner,

Glad to hear the musslix and prune juice porridge worked.

6:29,

Mind you, I've been speaking out about Bowen for a long time. My beef with him began when his group of jerk-off investigators couldn't crack the Christina White murder. I'm still pissed off that no media outlet has taken up this cause and called for some answers. Something happened to that girl, and the Sheriff's Department was in no mood to get to the bottom of it. This was an ugly murder that left a good deal of mud on Bowen. Just like usual, nobody took him to task.

Regarding disutopia, it's just not my fight. Again, I don't have any equivocal proof, and I doubt if I did that the ripples caused by the blog would take on any different appearance than they do today. Food for thought, I guess.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Mamie:

Doesn’t matter which commissioner you work for. What really matters is if you are working for the taxpayers of Saratoga Springs. Don’t know about you but I see many government employees who don’t, and that really pisses me off.

You see I come from the old school that an employee is a reflection of their boss. If an employee isn’t working at capacity neither is their boss.

Also from a taxpayers perspective, you can easily see that the increasing rate of change of taxes can be used as a measurement of you, your bosses and all other politician’s performance. In fact, it’s the only measurement I need for incumbents.

Enough said, but maybe we will need your “Tommy the Tulip” type back.

Michael

9:17 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

Can the sheriff really do that? Find out who we are? Oh my god! He is going to catch me on my computer at city hall. What's a girl to do!
Micheal seems to be a little up tight! Sorry but the council members are part time. Most of them elected usually are flops. Your "Tulip" was one of the biggest. THis is because anon 6:19 wants to keep track of the lawsuits. That makes McTygue top on the list. Add up all the lawsuits and McTygue has cost the city millions in tax dollars. So cry if you will about us lowly city hall people making between 30-50 per year but it's the one's that made the back door deals that were tied to The Tulip that have killed the city. Not the Unions!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:55 Mamie said

Hel-l-l-o-o-o-o??

The BaTHROOM 8 and the Chief and Asst. Chief are Dept. of Public Safety....!!

What does that have to do with DPW??

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mamie

Try to get a job in the private sector around here and see how much they will give you if they will even hire you. I bet you couldn't get an interview anywhere except maybe a cleaning service...

Spare your lowly city hall people whining. The public salary and benefits around here are so out of whack with the rest of the economy it's ridiculous. Thank your lucky stars that you "got in to the system" however you were able to do it.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petey,Phil and John, better known as parley sage rosemary and Tyge are dipping into the hash oil again. Way to rattle their cage mamie gram. All you have to do is mention dpw or mctygue and they go bonkers.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous mamie said...

Petey,Phil and John? Is that like Peter,Paul and Mary? Is dpw a word that drives them crazy? DPW,DPW,DPW,DPW,DPW,DPW,DPW,DPW!
I forgot that McTygue lawsuits don't count. We should be honored to have someone so great like McTygue. He is above the law of course. The benefits and pay are out of whack because of the tulip. Who knows maybe this weiner by the name of Eddie will make a difference. Pass the relish! Pass the Mustard!

6:17 PM  

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