Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cash cops

Christmas came a bit early at the Ed Moore residence this year. Not only did the Spa City’s top cop receive a $65,000 stipend to bandage his bruised ego, he also got his first quasi-assurances the multi-million dollar public safety he’s craved is on its way.

Santa Council first gifted Moore and former number-two James Cornick their settlements in their lawsuits stemming from the departmental buggering of Erin Dreyer, the city’s one-time deputy public safety whore. As most can recall, the crime-fighting dynamic duo claimed Dreyer and boss Tom Curley destroyed their reputations in their attempts to drive them into retirement before both were banished from office in 2005.

Even Dreyer’s dismissal wasn’t enough to stop Cornick’s march-of-tears into retirement. The 54-year-old former assistant chief despairingly left the department this year with nothing to show for his three decades of service apart from a mammoth pension and a paltry yearly salary that remained nearly $5,000 away from reaching six figures. Rumor has it he’s only one $95,000-per-year paycheck away from collecting public assistance. At least until he and Moore were arbitrarily given $65,000 worth of public assistance.

Cornick’s share of the settlement more than doubles the amount he’s already set to earn in retirement through the city next year. Not too shabby for a guy who’s education never extended beyond criminal justice classes at Schenectady Community College. Moore, on the other hand, will have drag his kiester into the station each week to keep collecting the $98,000-per-year he already bilks from city taxpayers. At least with the settlement, he’ll be able to drag it in style; perhaps in a new Jaguar.

Keep in mind, Saratoga Springs has already dished out more than $34,700 in legal fees to defend Dreyer, who was deemed uninsurable by the city’s insurance carrier, largely because she could have and should have been removed from the position the minute she starting nailing cops in the department. Regardless of the cost, Public Safety Genius Ron Kim said the settlement was necessary to “sweep up after the circus” he encountered when first elected to office.

“It closes the books on a very bad chapter in the city and moves us forward,” he said before voting in favor of the big payout.

Yes Ron, settlements in the six-figure range can clean up an awful lot. But when the mess created by Dreyer was purged more than two years ago, it almost makes sense to drag these two cops through the court system in order to give them the long and very public beating they’re deserved. In fact, the cash doled out to these guys would have been better spent exposing them as the bullying tax-dollar spendthrifts they really are.

Acquiescing to these mercenaries didn’t tighten the council’s purse strings when it came time to pick a design firm for the second item on Moore’s wish list. When discussion on the proposed public safety facility arose, Kim jumped in to assure everyone that choosing a firm proposing to build a $14 million building didn’t necessarily mean they would design a $14 million public safety building. Just because they’ve been asked to build a facility within the the capital comittee’s estimated $17 million budget doesn’t mean they’ll actually use all that money right? After all, why would a firm design what was outlined in the RFP they were sent?

“These are professionals, and they can work within a budget,” said Kim.

Or at least a budget totaling more than $14 million before all the normal added costs are factored in. Selecting the design firm also locks the city into building a new facility, as suggested by the Rochester-based Labella Associates. In other words, it appears as though options such as rehabbing the existing building or adding on a new addition –concepts that might fit within the $8 million allocated by the city –has gone out the window with the Dreyer’s defense.

While the lame duck mayor and outgoing finance commissioner downplayed the significance of a vote, it certainly advances the project to build a new structure into the planning stages. Sure, the incoming council could reject the project outlined by Labella. Then they could attempt to pin the $860,000 design cost poor decisions made by their predecessors.

But in reality, it’s a lot easier to work with something that is already on the table. And in this case, it’s a castle between 39,000 square feet and 45,000 square feet. Merry Christmas, chief; maybe Labella will make this year a trifecta for you and design in a drive-thru donut shop for the boys in blue.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This financially questionable decision that was based on the work of a Committee whose members were not representative of each elected Commissioner, may very well become responsible for plans with little real money to build. The proponents shouldn't walk with their heads high on this one without watching their step because the circus has not left town.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess sex in or out of uniform becomes a public crime in the Police Department when there is money to be had. How is it that the Deputy's bad choice results in the outrageous and sanctimonious scarlet letter charge while her coworker lives out an anonymous life? At the very least, why didn't the Chief publicly humiliate his own officer? Oh yes, I forgot, it’s a guy thing.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saratoga Springs is a city that has long embraced the illusion of beating the house odds with a signature illusion called the "my bookie never misses". What are the realities associated with that delusion when the dreamers are our own Public Safety employees and the house in those dreams is our wallet? What role does a sense of entitlement play, in the performance of their work, when after payment for services, they feel entitled to sue for bruised egos? I thought these guys were cops, they’re supposed to be tough. These tough guys have their jobs, their overtime and their pensions and they sue for embarrassment?

Ms. Dryer’s side gets better with age.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief Moore should be ashamed of himself! How is it that he can in one hand accept a salary and the other bite the hand who feeds him??? And why in the world is everyone OK with it? Oh yeah, could it be that he is the Chief of Police and no one wants to piss off the police???? Not fair, not fair not fair. He should ocnsider donating this money to the new Police Station he wants so much.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear Christmas Eve officially ended Ed Moore's hold up of city hall, he dismissed Dreyer from the case due to the fact that she refused to settle and begged for a trial to expose the truth and with this dismissal he received a whopping settlement. Are you confused - Dreyer was not indicted by the longest standing grand jury in the history of the county, beat the city in a lawsuit for representation and then in their appeal, lost her job, paid significant legal fees out of her pocket and never asked for a dime - only a trial to expose the truth and nobody but me is curious about the truth?!!!!

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not the only one who wants to know the truth about Erin Dreyer. It was clear she was railroaded from the beginning. The SSPD has a well known history of being above the law. How does one find out the REAL story on Erin Dreyer? Do tell.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She caused her own railroading. She used her position and sex with a police officer to get info on Moore. She has admitted that to a close friend. She beat the grand jury by many lies. She wanted to get Moore and the ast chief fired so she could get her way. Ask any police officer or fireman how controlling and dictorial she is. Her ethics are surely to be questioned as she has not. All for good old Erin, who is known as a runner in Saratoga. her

3:15 PM  

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