Sunday, June 24, 2007

Judges in Connecticut fear the Connecticut State Police

Sponzo, Ex-Judge, Dies At 92
Instrumental In '70s Reilly Homicide Case
June 24, 2007
By CHARLES STANNARD, Courant Staff Writer

Retired Judge Maurice J. Sponzo, whose 1977 investigation as a one-man grand jury cleared Peter Reilly in the highly publicized Litchfield County homicide case, died Wednesday. The Simsbury resident was 92.

In December 1976, Judge John A. Speziale, who later served as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, appointed Sponzo to investigate possible police misconduct in the arrest and prosecution of Reilly for the September 1973 slaying of his mother, Barbara Gibbons, in the rural western Connecticut town of Falls Village.

Reilly, who was 18 at the time, confessed to the slaying after lengthy interrogation by state police and was later convicted of first-degree manslaughter. Reilly recanted the confession while serving a six- to 16-year prison sentence, and his claim of innocence drew support from celebrities such as author William Styron, playwright Arthur Miller and movie director Michael Nichols.

New evidence in the case surfaced in the summer of 1976 in statements from an auxiliary state trooper and his wife that they had seen Reilly driving his car in Canaan at the time of his mother's killing at her home in Falls Village.

The information led to the dismissal of charges against Reilly and the subsequent appointment of Sponzo as a one-man grand jury. Sponzo's report, issued in June 1977, cleared Reilly and criticized state police and Litchfield County prosecutors for focusing on Reilly without investigating other possible suspects.

Reilly, reached Saturday at his home in Tolland, said he was sorry to learn of Sponzo's passing.

"He was a very fair man who ran a very thorough investigation of the case," Reilly said. Now 50, Reilly said he is "back on the job market" while taking care of his elderly adoptive parents, Mickey and Marion Madow.

A Hartford native, Sponzo began practicing law in 1940 after graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was serving as Chief Court Administrator for the state Judicial Department when he retired in 1984.

Sponzo was a World War II veteran, serving in the Pacific Theater with the 81st Infantry "Wildcat" Division. He left the service with the rank of captain in 1946 and worked as a prosecutor with the West Hartford Town Court. He served as corporation counsel for West Hartford from 1956 to 1959.

Sponzo was appointed as a circuit court judge in July 1967, continuing as a judge for the Court of Common Pleas and state Superior Court until 1979. He was named as the chief court administrator in 1981.

Sponzo's daughter Marilyn said her father's dedication to justice in the Peter Reilly case was only the most widely known example of the integrity and values he practiced through a 40-year legal career.

"He was an incredibly thoughtful and generous man who really instilled strong values in us," she said, adding that Sponzo was very proud to be a World War II veteran.

Marilyn Sponzo, a Granby resident, said her father's dedication to the law led her to pursue her own legal career as a securities lawyer. Sponzo's other daughter, Anne Sponzo Cappelli, also lives in Granby and works for the consumer credit division of the state Department of Banking.

Sponzo is also survived by two sisters, Rose and Theresa Sponzo of Farmington; a brother, Michael Sponzo of Avon; and two granddaughters. The funeral service is scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Helena's Catholic Church, 30 Echo Lane, West Hartford.

Contact Charles Stannard at

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Judge John A. Speziale questioned the ethics of the Connecticut State Police back in the 1970's. He then had to fear arrest and worse, as a judge. Judge Speziale allegedly made a deal to retire and keep quiet out of fear of the Connecticut State Police.

It has only gotten worse since then.

The Connecticut State Police go after anyone that questions their ethics, budget, or lodges a police misconduct complaint.

[click here] for a post on police Vendettas

This blogger's email:

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The below from found here

Peter Reilly

In Tankleff case, some see shadows of a 1973 murder mystery

By John Springer, Court TV, Oct. 29, 2004

PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. - In 1988, teenager Martin Tankleff confessed to murder after a few hours of finger-pointing, suggestions and even trickery by detectives investigating the brutal beating and stabbing of Tankleff's wealthy parents in their Long Island home.

It wasn't a bright-lights, TV-cop-show interrogation, but the questioning got police what they needed to make an arrest. Ultimately, Tankleff's self-incriminating statements and mild denials at his trial led to two second-degree murder convictions and a sentence of 50 years to life in prison.

"A normal person doesn't crack for something that he didn't do," a juror remarked.

To this day, Tankleff insists he was wrongly accused, coerced into confessing, and punished by a corrupt, self-preserving justice system that refused to go after people his lawyers call "the real killers."

Peter Reilly knows what that is like. The Connecticut man says the same thing happened to him.

"When I read about [the Tankleff case], I couldn't believe it," Reilly said recently. "It seemed almost identical to my case. It was almost like they just substituted the names. It was scary."

The similarities in the Tankleff and Reilly cases are striking.

Both were high-school seniors who summoned authorities to investigate murders in their home, quickly became suspects, gave confessions, recanted them and were convicted.

In Reilly's case, the victim was his mother, 51-year-old Barbara Gibbons. On Sept. 28, 1973, Reilly found her severely battered body on the floor of their cottage in Canaan, Conn., after returning home from a church youth meeting. Gibbons had been sexually mutilated and nearly decapitated.

Connecticut state troopers immediately found Reilly's demeanor odd, and he was whisked away by detectives for questioning. A failed polygraph examination solidified investigators' belief that Reilly attacked his mother, and they used the lie detector's findings as a hammer during an eight-hour interrogation.

Reilly eventually adopted their suggestion that he may have blacked out and attacked Gibbons. Later, the defense argued that the confession was the product of police manipulation and brainwashing.

A jury convicted Reilly of first-degree manslaughter in April 1974, despite a strong showing of community support and charges that overzealous detectives overlooked key evidence - including Gibbon's missing wallet and $100 from a check she had cashed that day - that pointed to someone other than Peter Reilly.

Reilly was finally exonerated after it was disclosed that prosecutors improperly withheld an auxiliary trooper's statement that placed Reilly far from the crime scene at about the time police said he was attacking his mother. A judge concluded that "a grave injustice" had been committed and vacated the conviction with prejudice, meaning Reilly could never be retried for the still-unsolved crimes.

Two cases coincide

Reilly, now 49 and living with a Connecticut family who took him in after he was accused, recently signed an online petition started by Martin Tankleff's long and growing list of supporters. The petition drive coincides with a hearing in which Tankleff's lawyers are presenting evidence of other culprits in his parents' murder.

"[Martin Tankleff] has obviously been in much longer than I was," said Reilly, who was released on appeal bond after his conviction and never went to back prison. "He's sitting there and we're hearing evidence about these characters. I felt I had to say something. It's starting to walk and quack like a duck."

State police in Connecticut are clinging to their belief that Reilly killed his mother, regardless of the judicial finding. Similarly, prosecutors in Suffolk County, N.Y., are working to protect their convictions against Tankleff, who stood to inherit his adopted parent's estate of an estimated $3 million had he been acquitted.

"I am amazed by the relationship to the Reilly case," said independent journalist and author Donald Connery, who is waging a court battle in Connecticut to get decades-old police records released.

"As in the Reilly case, the circumstances in the original investigation, the crime scene activity, the confession and how that was obtained - common sense tells you that it is ludicrous that Marty would have done the murders," Connery said. "I think it is a clear false confession case."

Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Leonard Lato said he was not familiar with the Reilly case, which is the most often cited case in books and articles about interrogation tactics that can yield false confessions. He declined further comment, noting only that he believes the Tankleff case isn't a false-confession case.

Retired homicide detective James McCready, who got Tankleff to incriminate himself by falsely telling him that Seymour Tankleff had come out of his coma and implicated the son, said he was only "vaguely" familiar with the Reilly case and couldn't comment. McCready still maintains that Tankleff killed his parents and offered a "Could I have blacked out?" confession only because he believed his father survived the attack and that he wouldn't be getting away with murder.

Although the judge, detectives and elected district attorneys involved in the Tankleff case in its early days have all either retired or moved on to other things, supporters of Tankleff, like Reilly, believe that the current prosecutors know an innocent man is in prison, but either don't care or fear that admitting a mistake would somehow undermine their efforts in other prosecutions.

"They would rather leave someone innocent in jail than, God forbid, have the public image that they might have made a mistake," Reilly said.

Marianne McClure, the sister of murder victim Arlene Tankleff, expressed a similar opinion in an online petition that will be sent to New York governor George Pataki requesting his personal intervention in the case.

"We are all becoming dreadfully fearful that this judge is part of the 'old boys' network' and will rule against Marty in what is a blatantly obvious miscarriage of justice," McClure wrote, referring to the judge overseeing the evidentiary hearing which began July 19.

"Please do not underestimate the passion with which we all feel about this case and Marty," McClure wrote further. "It will never go away, and I feel the strength of my sister, Arlene, to keep me going until my last breath is drawn as well."

The hearing on new evidence in the Tankleff case resumes Dec. 6 in Riverhead, N.Y.

Reilly is expected to be back in a New Britain, Conn., courtroom next month to support an effort to bring all of the police records pertaining to his mother's unsolved murder to light.

Tankleff kin seek Spota removal

BY ZACHARY R. DOWDY, STAFF WRITER, NY Newsday, October 20, 2004

Martin Tankleff's family Tuesday urged the state's highest elected officials -- and the public -- to help remove Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota from the hearing they hope will free him.

"A young man was wrongfully convicted of a crime and it appears the district attorney is doing everything in his power to uphold a wrongful conviction," said Ron Falbee of Westbury, Tankleff's cousin. "We believe ... we have murderers walking around Suffolk County."

Falbee and several other relatives of the man convicted in 1990 of killing his parents held a news conference at The Inn at Great Neck Tuesday to urge the top elected leaders in the state and Suffolk County to urge Spota to step down from his role in the hearing, and to remove him if he doesn't.

They also launched a drive to get support for their campaign by asking the public to sign online and paper petitions.

Tankleff's attorneys have filed two unsuccessful motions to have Spota removed.

Specifically, the family is calling on Gov. George Pataki to appoint a special prosecutor, saying that Spota's connections to key players in the case constitute conflicts of interest.

They also said they hope state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer intervenes by urging Pataki to act, and that U.S. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Charles Schumer, and Rep. Tim Bishop weigh in.

Spota has said he has no conflict of interest and it is his responsibility to continue handling the case.

Pataki's spokeswoman, Lynn Rasic, said the family's request is "under review." None of the other officials responded to calls for comment Tuesday.

In March 1996, Pataki removed Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson from a high-profile murder case because the prosecutor would not pursue the death penalty.

Tankleff was convicted in 1990 of the Sept. 7, 1988, killings of his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff of Belle Terre. Suffolk County Court Judge Stephen L. Braslow is presiding over an evidentiary hearing that could get him a new trial. Tankleff's attorneys, Bruce Barket of Garden City and Barry Pollack of Washington, have said the hearing is uncovering new evidence that could persuade a new jury to return a different verdict.

Several witnesses who have testified in the hearing, which started in July, have linked three other men to the murders.

One of those men, former bagel shop mogul Jerry Steuerman, was represented by Spota's former law firm partner, Gerard Sullivan, in a criminal case. Steuerman, a business partner of Seymour Tankleff, owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars at the time of the murders, and Martin Tankleff's lawyers have cited evidence in the hearings that they say shows Steuerman was involved. Steuerman has denied those allegations.

Steuerman's son, Todd Steuerman, was also represented twice by Sullivan, including in a 1983 drug case when Spota and Sullivan were partners. The case stemmed from charges Todd Steuerman sold cocaine at a store operated by his father.

In a 1993 assault case, Spota represented Det. James McCready, the Suffolk homicide detective who extracted on the day of the murders a confession Tankleff did not sign and later said was coerced.

"Marty Tankleff is an innocent young man who is paying the price for others' misdeeds," said Howard Asness, husband of Autumn Tankleff, who is Seymour and Arlene Tankleff's niece.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

In the Peter Reilly Case, Odd New Developments

By: Kathryn Boughton, January 30, 2004

In a move that state Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer Victor Perpetua likened to a scene from "Alice in Wonderland," State Police argued last week that they could not release files associated with the infamous Peter Reilly murder case from the 1970s because those files have been "erased."

At the same time, police reserved the right to argue in the future that the files cannot be released because the case remains open for investigation. No one has ever been convicted for the homicide in Falls Village of Mr. Reilly's mother, Barbara Gibbons.

"At one point you said, [the investigation] was pending; as I understood your testimony, it still is pending, which raises a logical inconsistency-how can it be pending if there are no records on which to investigate it? Sounds like 'Alice in Wonderland,'" Mr. Perpetua said to Dawn Hellier, a legal advisor for the state Department of Public Safety who testified at the hearing.

The hearing was held Jan. 22 in Hartford to determine the accessibility of case files sought by Kent journalist and author Donald Connery and the Lakeville Journal. Mr. Connery and the newspaper filed separate requests to peruse the files of the 31-year-old murder mystery and were denied access.

Mr. Connery, who wrote a book about the case, "Guilty Until Proved Innocent," said that his renewed focus on the case resulted from the efforts by retired State Police Capt. Thomas McDonnell to write a new "blockbuster" book that would "prove" beyond doubt the guilt of Peter Reilly.

Ms. Gibbons, 51, was found brutally murdered Sept. 28, 1973, when her son returned from Canaan, where he had attended a meeting of a church youth group. Mr. Reilly, then 18, made frantic calls for emergency assistance, but soon found himself the focus of the police investigation. After more than 24 hours of interrogation, conducted without legal counsel, he confessed to the murder-a confession that was quickly recanted.

There was a flood of public support for the orphaned youth, but Mr. Reilly was nevertheless tried and convicted of the murder. He was later exonerated when the public prosecutor in the case died of a heart attack and exculpatory evidence that had never been revealed was found in his files. The evidence, based on reliable eyewitness account, placed Mr. Reilly more than five miles from the scene at the time the police said the murder had been committed.

Two years later, calling the conviction a "grave injustice," Judge John A. Speziale-the same judge who had sentenced the young man to between six and 16 years in prison-overturned the conviction. A year after that, Judge Maurice Sponzo dismissed all charges against Mr. Reilly "with prejudice."

The State Police have continued to assert, however, that they arrested the right suspect and a number of officers have gone on record in remaining convinced of Mr. Reilly's guilt.

"This is a case that is still unsolved and it is important to understand how it went so long, Mr. Connery said this week in a telephone interview. "When we requested the file, we got back a response that the files could not be accessed because the case is still pending-that's so ridiculous because nothing has been done in 25 years. We filed an appeal to the Freedom of Information Commission in September, but they couldn't schedule a hearing until January.

"The second reason we were given [for denial] is that files don't exist," Mr. Connery continued. "When I saw that, it didn't make any legal sense. At the hearing, that was the basis of the state's response. It was like a mantra; they said it a dozen times. They wouldn't even admit whether the files had been erased or destroyed. It was sort of left in the air that the records had physically not been destroyed, but erased."

Under Connecticut state statute, the part of a case file that refers to a suspect who is later exonerated can be "erased." The erasure is not supposed to apply to an entire case file, however, according to Mr. Connery.

"They couldn't even talk about erasure," said Mr. Connery, who taped and made his own transcript of the hearing. "Someone who has been wrongly convicted will have the records of a supposed crime removed, taking out of public sight anything that has to do with the accusation. Our response is that we are not going after records relating to Peter Reilly-we're after the Barbara Gibbons murder case. Are they saying there are no records of the whole case?"

Mr. Connery and Alan Neigher, a Westport attorney representing the writer and the Lakeville Journal pro bono, feel that allowing the police to hide behind the erasure statute establishes a dangerous precedent.

"If they are allowed to get away with this, any police agency that has made a big mistake and named a person and he is exonerated ... then the police can wipe out the whole case record with result that perpetrators get a free pass," said Mr. Connery.

"It is breathtaking in its sweep because it would say, in effect, that unsolved murders when someone is exonerated-found not guilty or had their conviction reversed-then all the records are swept from public view," said Mr. Neigher during the hearing last week. "And that is a dangerous precedent because mistakes in law enforcement, misconduct by law enforcement, are thereby hidden from public view."

Ms. Hellier and Assistant Attorney General Stephen R. Sarnoski, who represented the Department of Public Safety, declined to admit whether there are any public documents to be made available. However, Mr. Sarnoski argued that because no public records exist, the FOI commission lacks jurisdiction.

Mr. Perpetua, the hearing officer, was not impressed. You're asking me to conclude [whether I have jurisdiction] based on your fairly bald assertion that no records exist. I think that counsel is entitled to inquire, and is not required to accept, that assertion. It may be true or may not be true. .... I can't just say, well, you said the records don't exist, everyone go home, case dismissed."

Mr. Connery said that the hearing ended in "kind of a standoff." The hearing officer said the attorneys have until Feb. 22 to file briefs expanding upon their arguments. Mr. Sarnoski insisted that the only way to "unerase" a file is to seek redress through the superior court.

"It seems to me inevitable that this will go to a higher court," said Mr. Connery.

He also questioned when the files were erased. "We will look for a decision about when they were erased," he said. "Was it only after our request for access? We had not a word that anything was happening."

He said Mr. Reilly is currently living with the Madow family, formerly of East Canaan and now residing in Tolland. The Madow family unofficially adopted him after his mother's murder. He works in a music store and plays guitar in a band.

"The delicious part is that the band is named Voodoo Justice," Mr. Connery reported. "He's fine, just a wonderfully decent person who is taking care of [the widowed Mrs. Madow] and driving his 'brother,' Art [Madow], to therapy [following a truck accident]. He's never even had a traffic ticket in all these years."

He said that Mr. Reilly is eager to see the case pursued, noting that in a 2001 "American Justice" segment on the A&E television channel, two state prosecutors echoed the continuing claim of the State Police that Reilly is guilty.

"They were only expressing what the State Police have said for 25 years-that they were satisfied with results of their investigation. That is so bothersome to Peter and to me that anyone should be subjected to this cloud of suspicion. He just wants them to find out who killed his mother."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

April Wine - Sign of a Gypsy Queen

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April Wine - Just Between You and Me - [cam] LIVE

Ebony Eyes from Cal Jam 2 - Bob Welch with Stevie Nicks

[click here] for video

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Bob Welch - Ebony Eyes

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There is more to the story

NAUGATUCK: San Angelo working for state's IT office
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Republican-American

NAUGATUCK [Connecticut] Former Mayor Ronald S. San Angelo is working as an executive assistant at the state Department of Information Technology, a spokeswoman from that office confirmed Tuesday.

San Angelo, 44, will earn $70,000 a year in the job, where he will provide research and policy support to the chief information officer of the department, said Nuala Whelton, the department's spokeswoman.

San Angelo, who began work on Friday, confirmed Tuesday that he is working for that department, but referred all questions to Whelton.

The former mayor served two terms in Naugatuck, from 2003 to 2007. He also served for 10 years as a state representative serving Oxford, Southbury and part of Naugatuck.

He announced in January that he would not seek a third term because he wanted a job that would provide him more stability and give him more time with his family. He said in January he had a job in Gov. M. Jodi Rell's administration, but neither he nor Rell would say what that job was until Tuesday.

San Angelo's most lasting legacy in Naugatuck will be the downtown revitalization project called Renaissance Place that he helped nurture during most of his tenure as mayor. Construction on that project, which is projected to bring in more than $4 million in annual tax revenue, is expected to begin within 18 to 24 months.

As mayor, San Angelo, a Republican, earned $69,065 in his last year. He said in January that he was told his new job would pay around $85,000 a year. It could not be confirmed Tuesday why the salary is lower than San Angelo expected.

San Angelo's background in information technology could also not be confirmed on Tuesday.
State Rep. Kevin DelGobbo, R-Naugatuck, said he believes the department is a good fit for San Angelo.

"I'm excited for Ron," he said. "I think he has a great deal of talent and certainly the experience in public service. I think he would do a great job in whatever role he was placed in. So I'm pleased for him and for the state."

The Department of Information Technology was created in 1997 to make Connecticut a leader in the effective use of technology to improve government operations and provide better services to taxpayers, according to the department's Web site. The department is working to put technology to its highest and best use throughout state government to improve the administration of state programs and services, according to the Web site.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Was the cop drunk?

Hamden cop charged in road rage dispute
Ann DeMatteo, Assistant Metro Editor, The New Haven Register

An off-duty Hamden police officer whose father is the Milford police chief was arrested in New Haven over the weekend, allegedly for getting into a road-rage beef with a woman.

New Haven police charged the officer, Michael Mello, 28, with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace after he allegedly slapped the driver in the face after she told him to move his car, which was in front of hers, a New Haven police spokeswoman said.

"I'm not happy to hear that one of our people has been arrested on those charges," Hamden Police Chief Thomas J. Wydra said Monday. "His conduct will be comprehensively investigated and we'll determine if he violated any department regulations."

Wydra said Michael Mello would not comment. Mello's father, Milford Police Chief Keith Mello, declined comment.

"It's a private matter, involving my son. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on it," the Milford chief said.

Michael Mello has been a Hamden officer 2½ years and was an officer in Meriden previously. He is still on the job, as the department had just learned about the charges, Wydra said. An internal probe would have to be concluded before any departmental charges would be lodged if it's determined that Mello violated department rules. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New Haven Friday.

According to New Haven police spokeswoman Bonnie Posick, the incident occurred at 2:15 a.m. Sunday at College Street and North Frontage Road. The woman told police she was stopped at a red light, which then turned green while the three male occupants of the car ahead of her exited that vehicle and switched positions.

She beeped her horn and yelled at them to go, then Mello approached her vehicle, yelled at her and struck the left side of her face with an open hand, the woman reported to police. She refused medical attention, Posick said.

But Mello told New Haven police that he had exited his vehicle and when he did so, the operator of the car behind him yelled at him and he approached the vehicle. He told police that the woman hit him and began pushing him away and that he didn't hit her, but pushed her hand back into the vehicle.

Posick said the report reflects that the woman sitting in the passenger seat of the woman's car related the same story as the woman, and that one of the passengers in Mello's car described the incident the same way Mello did. Another passenger in Mello's car said he didn't see anything.

A New Haven police supervisor, Lt. Chris Kelly, observed the incident, Posick said.

The woman in the car, Jessica Hill, 25, of Bridgeport, said Monday that she had gone out for dinner and dancing with her friend to The Playwright and Hula Hanks. She said she had only two drinks from their arrival in New Haven at 5 p.m. to the time she left the city.

She said she was in the left turn lane, waiting at a stop light, when she saw the man in front of her get out of the car. She said she beeped her horn and yelled at him to go.

"I said, ‘Can you get out of my way?' I beeped. I don't know what he yelled back. He walked to my car and said, ‘What did you say to me?'" Hill said. She said she responded that she told him to go. "He smacked me on the left side of my face. I was so shocked. Within 10 seconds of him hitting me and walking back to his car, a cop pulled him over," Hill said.

Ken Hill, her father, said they went to Yale-New Haven Hospital Sunday morning because her neck hurt. She was prescribed painkillers and a muscle relaxant. Jessica Hill said she pulled a muscle.

"When he smacked me, my head went so far to the right," she said.

Ken Hill said he thought Mello should be suspended for his actions.

Ann DeMatteo can be reached at or 789-5716. Register reporter Phil Helsel contributed to this story.

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I was attacked on my own property in Connecticut during an attempted strong arm robbery, a mugging. I refused to give up my wallet and felt I was forced to use pepper spray to end the attack and the injuries I was sustaining. I was arrested and charged with breach of peace and assault 3rd. I wasn't given any deals and had to go to trial to avoid a year and a half in prison. The judge didn't care that I had been attacked, he said I "overreacted" to having been attacked, and sentenced me to a year in prison, 3 years probation. The cop in the above story was trying to avoid trouble as I was, he caused it. So, based on what happened to me, the cop should be sentenced to a year in prison, 3 years probation.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Will Danaher Response Do?

June 15, 2007 Hartford Courant Editorial, Connecticut

Judging by state Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III's recent response to a damning report on his agency's internal affairs unit, improvements might be a long time coming.

The six-month study conducted by investigators from New York's state police found the unit so saturated with misconduct and favoritism that it renders the department incapable of properly policing its own troopers.

Last week, Mr. Danaher, who was appointed in February, outlined policy changes intended to correct the abuses. Are they tough enough?

In the real world, for example, employees who lie are fired. But Mr. Danaher has determined that troopers whose credibility is in serious doubt are to be transferred to jobs where they are unlikely to testify in court.

That's not all. Troopers who collect overtime for work they haven't performed - thieves, in other words - will now be required to pay the money back. They didn't before - at least not in all cases. But does this punishment match the offense? A more effective solution would be to charge them with a crime.

To his credit, Mr. Danaher, a former federal prosecutor who supervised corruption cases, said that if an investigation of a trooper shows that a criminal investigation might be necessary, the matter will be referred to the Chief State's Attorney's Office. But the commissioner declined to discuss specific examples of misconduct and favoritism cited in the report, except to say that they were being investigated.

Was he referring to Sgt. Jae Fontanella, a supervisor who was identified in the report as receiving a five-day suspension after submitting false documentation for $5,227 in overtime - money that he was allowed to keep?

He didn't say.

The only way Mr. Danaher can repair the image of the state police is if he unequivocally rids the department of bad apples. His plans, so far, don't offer such assurances.

My Comment to the Editorial in the Topix Forum

The Chief States Attorney is supposed to weigh in on the Connecticut State Police and bring in ethics? Can Mr. Kevin Kane, the Chief State's Attorney, either not appear, or not be, drunk at televised hearings.

If someone steals a candy bar, an item worth less than a dollar. This can end up in an arrest and pending court case. Officers that commit fraud in turning in paperwork of bogus overtime, that commit felony theft, file false reports, obstruct justice, are racketeers, aren't even arrested.
That is disgusting.

I plan on writing Danaher and posting my letter to him here: I contacted the Governor's Office regarding police being threatening and abusive to citizens wanting police protection and service in downtown areas at the time Henry Lee was Connecticut State Police Commissioner.

I have since found out if you are critical of the policies and politics of the Connecticut State Police you are then put on the Connecticut State Police "Secret Enemies List" as was journalist Ken Krayeske who was arrested and faced prison for snapping pictures of Rell at a parade.

A married woman, Barbara Sattal was allegedly offered $10,000 to date me, and set me up for an arrest and false imprisonment to shut me up, as I was allegedly upsetting the top brass of Connecticut State Police with laws and policies I proposed to elected officials regarding the Connecticut State Police.
Barbara ended up leaving her husband for me, and confessed. I dumped her.

She gave me a choice of either getting Connecticut State Police protection, or if I refused to take her back, Connecticut State Police retaliation where I would lose everything and end up in prison.

Sattal told me that I wasn't allowed to date and that Connecticut State Police would enforce a policy where I was not allowed to date.
I rented cars, went out of state to relax, and stayed in my home as much as possible in fear.

I was being followed around by police and officers were threatening me.
I violated the Connecticut State Police "No Dating Policy" and a woman that I was dating, that left my home in Stafford Springs, told me that she was pulled over just outside my home, and officers told her what a piece of [expletive] that I am, and she should no longer date me.

She objected, was searched, found not to be wearing underwear, and claimed a Connecticut State Police Officer sexually assaulted her with his finger.

She claimed she was followed all the way home to Avon/Canton and the officer pulled her over again, sexually assaulted her again, and terrorized her into not seeing me again or in reporting the incident.
Barbara Sattal, pic and post:

I violated the Connecticut State Police "No Dating Policy" and was arrested for resisting a mugger, a police informant, on my property, two Connecticut State Police Officer committed perjury at trial saying I never tried to lodge a complaint against my attacker, and I was sentenced to a year in prison, 3 years probation for pepper spraying a felon, alcoholic, drug abusing, home invading thief encouraged by police to terrorize me out of my home.

[response part 2]:
I believe Connecticut State Police Commissioner Arthur L. Spada was in contact with Judge Jonathan Kaplan to coordinate railroading me to prison. Collusion of police and a judge in a court case is illegal.

Kaplan told me I was guilty and going to prison before trial.

I knew the only way to "mark" my case to later proof the railroading was to email Spada that I wanted him to take the US Dept. of Justice webpage of the Connecticut State Police "Community Policing, COPS" policies weren't being followed. I indicated to Spada that I mailed a copy of the email to the USDOJ.

Spada tried to fire an officer for not saluting him, and demoted the highest ranking woman out of his office because she is a woman, so I knew Spada would blow his stack and show his hand for my emailing him.

Spada and Kaplan were both judges at Rockville Court at one time. I figured if Kaplan screamed at me like I was guilty of roasting babies over fires started on public sidewalks for having "overreacted" to being mugged in my own dark driveway, I figured I could later prove that the Connecticut State Police Commissioner personally saw to it that I was held as a political prisoner in a Connecticut jail, conspiring with Judge Jonathan Kaplan to rig my trial.

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This blogger's email:

[click here] for the text of the letter I handed to Connecticut Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers

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My Beef with Col. Davoren [click here]

Connecticut State Police Officer Colonel Thomas Davoren

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The Connecticut State Police "Goon Sqaud", enforcers of the "Secret Enemies List"

Barbara D. Sattal, did she refer to LT Davoren, formerly the head honcho over at Connecticut State Police, Troop C, as "Dad"? Sattal was allegedly offered $10,000 to set me up for an arrest. The original plan was for her to get me to drink alcohol, drive her Chevrolet Blazer to my house where I would be pulled over, beaten, and then charged with DUI, assaulting officers, drug possession (as drugs would be planted), resisting arrest, etc. [click here] for post.

Davoren is now a Colonel in the Connecticut State Police. [Click Here] for more.

It seems that Connecticut Judges and the Connecticut State Police Officers that are involved in retaliation and Unconstitutional activities are on the fast track for promotions and advancement. Those that want quality and ethics within the system seem to face an intense barbecue.

What is up with that?

Could it be that there are an overabundance of practicing lawyers that are elected officials in Connecticut? The Connecticut attorneys have a real ethics scandal of their own stealing from clients, not doing their jobs for clients etc.

-Steven G. Erickson aka blogger Vikingas

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[click here] for Steven G. Erickson YouTube videos

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If you are out protesting or complaining about Connecticut Police Misconduct, is this the goon squad that is out to get your photo and name for the Connecticut State Police "Enemies List" where you are a click away from having your life ruined?

The above is enhanced from the figure in the window below.






Photos courtesy of The Falcon

The above originally found here

Monday, June 11, 2007

Floyd Abrams

He is one of the most active lawyers in support of Free Speech. From the Pentagon Papers, to Clinton and Monica, to talking about Scooter Libby and Valerie Plame, Abrams has been involved. I listened to his speech on the 6th floor of the Middletown, Connecticut, Courthouse. He answered my questions and his observations of where we are going as a nation seem to be right on. He knows where we have been. He knows where we are going.
[Wikipedia on Abrams]

My email:

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Added 8:15 AM EST:


1st Amendment Lawyer Abrams Sees Loss Of Press Freedoms

June 12, 2007
By THOMAS KAPLAN, Courant Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN -- Floyd Abrams may have been able to prevent the government from censoring The New York Times, but he couldn't keep it from throwing Judith Miller in jail.

Decades ago, the legendary First Amendment lawyer found himself winning most of his cases, like the famous Pentagon Papers case. But in recent years, as the times and the law have changed, he has been more often on the losing side, he said - and journalists have paid the price.

Abrams, 70, addressed more than two dozen judges, lawyers and journalists at Middlesex Superior Court on Monday afternoon, calling for a "special vigilance" in protecting the freedom of the press.

It was exercising a traditional press freedom - keeping sources confidential - that landed New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail for 12 weeks in 2005, with Abrams pleading publicly for a federal shield law to prevent journalists from having to give up such sources.

Abrams represented both Miller and former Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in their bids to avoid having to tell a grand jury the names of the confidential sources who told them the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.

"From a First Amendment perspective, the case is a disaster," Abrams said Monday. "The image of one journalist after another traipsing onto the witness stand and testifying against their sources, whether or not they had permission, is a very disturbing one."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had ruled that journalists could be compelled to reveal their confidential sources in a federal grand jury investigation. Miller, refusing to betray the promise of confidentiality to her source, defied a court order to testify and was held in contempt and sent to prison.

But the journalistic principle at stake, and the sacrifice Miller made to protect it, made the case at least partly a victory, if not a legal one, Abrams said. "It was worth having fought that fight," he said.

The investigation eventually resulted in the conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, for perjury and obstruction of justice.

The Miller case capped a long list of cases of national prominence in which Abrams was a key player. He served as co-counsel for The New York Times in the landmark 1971 Pentagon Papers case, in which the newspaper successfully resisted a government injunction against printing leaked classified material on the Vietnam War. He has represented ABC, NBC, CBS and scores of other media outlets over the decades.

A graduate of Yale Law School, he still works in private practice and teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Abrams, dressed in a black suit, light-blue shirt and red-checked tie, addressed the state Judicial-Media Committee, a group of judges, attorneys and journalists formed in December in an effort to improve the relationship between the judicial branch and the state's print and electronic media.

Asked whether he thought the defeat in the Plame case might cause journalists to be hauled into court to reveal their sources more frequently, Abrams said time will tell.

"I just don't know. We really don't know yet," he said. "The one good thing [resulting from the case] ... is that I think there's a pretty good chance of federal legislation being adopted ... the chances are really looking up."

In recent years, Congress has considered a shield law, introduced by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., but the bill has stalled in past years. Connecticut, meanwhile, adopted its own shield law last year and is now among more than 30 states with such measures.

Abrams said a federal shield law probably won't come until another journalist, faced with a subpoena, decides to "fight it to the end," presumably in a jail cell. He predicted that's likely to happen soon.

Contact Thomas Kaplan at

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[click here] for comment on Topix, a Hartford Courant forum for the above piece

My comment in that forum:
Abrams spoke on the 6th floor of the Middletown Superior court.

I had to go through security to attend the media relations event and to hear abrams speak. I could not bring in my cell phone, video camera, and other equipment.

Abrams is a true advocate for Free Speech.

The "media event" bothered me in a certain sense as they were probably absolutely closed to the public.

When editors from the court, from AP, and other major papers hobnob and socialize can they hit with the hard stories? Are only sacrificial lambs served up?

I heard Abrams describe in his own words that if the precedent where the government can gag a story from coming out, contacting news outlets telling them what they can't release, Free Speech and Freedom could have ended in 1972.

Abrams said the judicial system has made great strides and mentioned that the current climate is of concern.

I enjoyed shaking his hand and having him answer my questions.

Monday, June 04, 2007

"Lord of War"

[click here] for official website
starring Nicholas Cage

The below found [here]
User Comments (Comment on this title)
122 out of 204 people found the following comment useful:-
Great Movie -- Similar to "The Godfather", 16 September 2005
Author: opencad2 from United States

This was a great movie. Cage delivered on the "anti-hero" - a 21st century "Corleone".

The locations were cool and "spectacular". From a visual standpoint this movie really does take you around the world. New York, Russia, Libya, Libera, etc. This movie is shot very, very well.

The pacing of the movie is brisk, the scenes aren't morose. Like Platoon, this movie doesn't glamorize or demonize situations. A guy who sells weapons for a living meets some violent people in some violent places. The visual style is breathtaking . . .

What I like best is, no characters in the movie are "romanticized". There are no "good guys". One could make the case that there are no "bad guys" as well I suppose. There are people who do bad things for reasons you don't understand. There are people who do nothing when they should do something for reasons you don't understand. Its a pretty accurate depiction of real life :)

I think I might have rated the movie 8.5, if there were any other movies at all about this topic that were anywhere in its league. If you make a great "Legally Blond", that's nice. If you make a great movie about arms trading with a sold antihero and supporting characters, I figure you get "extra credit".

I think you're a fool if you miss this movie. Its not about Iraq. Its not particularly political. This movie could have been made under any president in the last 100 years and been just as accurate. Its not particularly anti-gun. Its just about this guy who sells guns.

On the other hand, don't take people to this movie if they can't handle violence or movies that aren't designed to make them "feel good" when they walk out. This is a good movie, its interesting, its intelligent, its important -- but its not Ferris Buellers Day Off or Spinal Tap.

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My opinion is that this movie best depicts what is wrong with the US warring machine.

My email:

The text of my email to Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and Connecticut legislators sent out this morning

A Positive, Solution Movie

Freedom Writers

Hilary Swank ... Erin Gruwell

Patrick Dempsey ... Scott Casey

Scott Glenn ... Steve

Imelda Staunton ... Margaret Campbell

April L. Hernandez ... Eva (as April Lee Hernandez)
Mario ... Andre

Kristin Herrera ... Gloria

User Comments (Comment on this title)
22 out of 37 people found the following comment useful:-
Good Movie!!!, 28 November 2006
Author: loala143 from United States

I saw this screening and I must say, it was actually a really good movie. Once again Hilary Swank did a terrific job as always! I know it's based on a true story but I'm pretty sure it must have been exaggerated a little. I've been to Long Beach and I know it's not that bad. But then again, this was back in the 90's so it could possibly be true. I also agree that Mario puts on a good performance. For a while, I forgot he was Mario. He really played his character Andre really well. The actors that played gangsters, dealers really looked like gangsters and dealers so that was good too see. Also, Hilary Swank looks a lot like the real Erin Gruwell so that was actually pretty cool. Overall, the movie is good. Definitely better than Dangerous Minds. My grade is an "A".

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