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The Insider

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  1. Mayor David touts his record of transparency where his administration is concerned but on the other hand he is very eager to supress the survey conducted by Council 82 regarding Binghamton Police Administration and the overall conditions in the department. Administration loyalist in the department are threatening young officers with potential layoffs and pay cuts if the survey is made public or released to City Council. The reasoning used is that release of the survey would bolster the campaign of Tarik Abdelazim and if he was elected he is anti police and would layoff recent hires. This has been encouraged by the David Administration even though Abdelazim has no chance of winning.. The survey although anonymous was conducted by Council 82 and included the rank and file of the current BPD as well as recent retirees. The results of the survey are far worse for the administration then possibly could have been imagined. Some of the things mentioned might even interest DA Cornwell and make the recently dismissed charges against Rose Sotak seem trivial. Many in the department think that because DA Cornwell has a stepson on the BPD he is reluctant to take a serious look at what is taking place there. It appears transparency where Mayor David is concerned is if it benefits me I will call a news conference and if not let's try and bury it. It wasn't long ago Mayor David approved the attempt to fire PO Kristi Sager and when it was apparent that her claims of sexual harassment were valid an agreement was made and she was returned to work and the terms of the agreement were subject of a gag order, real transparency there.
  2. The Insider

    Leroy Street

    Word is that the perpetrator is the deceased male lying in the road on Leroy Street.
  3. The Insider

    Where are the local scandals ??????

    Is Mayor Rich charging extra for the rat droppings at Terra Cotta or is it part of the charm and ambiance provided for having a function there. I found it interesting only a couple local media outlets reported that Terra Cotta was cited by the Broome County Health Department. Word is Mayor Rich is going to hire an independent law firm to investigate the matter. The law firm will disregard all evidence of rat activity at the Terra Cotta and announce everything is just fine. Also the results are in from the survey conducted by the Union representing the rank and file at the BPD. To say the results are very bad for the current police administration is an understatement. The results point out multiple serious problems Mayor Rich is well aware of but choses to do nothing about. That's about all the local gossip I'm comfortable talking about at this time.
  4. Forgot to post this at the time but a sergeant was demoted and a patrolman was forced to resign based on their conduct at the homicide on Orton Ave. The real shocker in this is that the sergeant who was demoted is none other then Kevin Brown. Brown is long time Zikuski loyalist and took care of young Zikuski after one of his accidents. Word is as the ranking officer on scene Brown did very little to control the scene or deploy his manpower properly. Securing the scene after a major crime is police work 101 folks. Of course Zikuski won't admit it but he gave Brown one special detail after another resulting in Brown having very little street experience. Then Brown does poorly at a major scene and the Monday morning quarterbacks from the comfort of a conference room give him the axe. The rookie patrolman who was forced to resign was assigned to monitor the crowd at the Orton Ave establishment and when he heard the gunshots word is he exited his vehicle and hid behind a neighboring building. Many who have scene the body cam footage of the incident compare it to comedy capers. So many young officers on the BPD this could easily happen again. Take comfort Binghamton residents Rich David says things are fine.
  5. There comes a time when you can no longer lay the blame for what Zikuski gets away with solely on him. Rich David has stood by and watched Zikuski destroy the BPD from the once great department it was. Look how much the sexual harassment complaint from Officer Sager cost the taxpayers of Binghamton. First David gives Zikuski several weeks paid leave so it actually appears that as the Mayor he was taking the complaint seriously. Then the hearing, when it was obvious that Zikuski was going to be exposed by some very credible witnesses the Mayor steps in and Officer Sager has her job back and a settlement is reached with a non disclosure agreement prohibiting Officer Sager from discussing the terms of it. Then to add insult to injury David hires a local law firm to conduct an investigation to make it appear things are fine. The negative statements about Zikuski given to the attorney by several officers were simply ignored. Many people in the David inner circle as well as area business people and those involved in law enforcement have told David to remove Zikuski but David refuses. The Sager matter is just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps David has some misguided loyalty to Zikuski because they are friends and drinking buddies or David has done something that Zikuksi knows about that prohibits him from taking action against Zikuski. Whatever the case David should have removed himself from the decision making process regarding Zikuski long ago and quit making the taxpayers foot the bill for this nonsense. The results of the survey will not matter to David because this mess should have been handled by David long ago. Just to add to some spice to this rant recently a sergeant was demoted to patrolmen and a rookie officer forced to resign as a result of their actions or lack there off at the murder on Orton Ave.
  6. In very short order the BPD has lost three good officers to the Vestal Police Department. It is apparent that Mayor David has no interest in how much money the high turnover rate costs the taxpayers of the City. These officers go to extensive training in the academy for months and are paid with Binghamton tax dollars. This along with the cost of the Sager debacle and the recent award of 3 million dollars to the guy shot by the SWAT Team should at the very least be looked at by City Council. I mention the Vestal Police Department only because this is one of many departments that have benefited by the trend of young officers leaving the BPD. This time the officer who left is Daniel Barta the son of Lee Barta who lost his life in the line of duty. Not that Daniel Barta ever felt entitled because of what happened to his father, he simply wanted to do his job but he became a target of Zikuksi for reasons no one knows. Dan Barta left the department for the same reason so many other officers have left, Zikuski. Yet despite the urgings of Corp Council and many local professionals both in and out of law enforcement Mayor David does nothing. It appears the City of Binghamton has unlimited tax dollars to fund the police department or Mayor David has got himself in a position that makes him unable to taker action against Zikuski. Smart money is on the later of those two choices.
  7. The Insider

    Ex-Broome County executive Preston arrested

    This post is not intended to defend Debbie Preston. There is no question what she did was wrong and as a result she was voted out and held criminally liable. What I find interesting is that a Sheriff is allowed to purchase holiday gifts with taxpayer money and pass them out to supporters and other area law enforcement officers and that conduct is excused. Often time the gifts had his name on them. The Sheriff was made to pay out of pocket for one years cost of the gifts by then DA Mollen. This practice went on for many years all coming from taxpayer money. The theory was that the money used was drug proceed money that was seized, if you ask me that is not a private slush fund and belongs to the taxpayers. There is also a local Chief of Police who had a well known practice of transporting a family member to and from college several counties away using an issued department vehicle and gas. Again not a one time occurrence but a regular practice. I'm sure many taxpayers would agree that the conduct of the law enforcement officials is every bit as egregious as the conduct of Mrs. Preston. On their face what I mentioned may not seem like important matters but I don't think anyone can question that it is a misuse of taxpayer money. I guess my point here is are law enforcement officials exempt from accountability? One could also wonder if female officials are not being held to a higher standard then their male counterparts. I'm sure if you ask Mrs. Preston or Ms. Sotak they would think so.
  8. Some points of interest regarding this matter 1. Rumor had it Syracuse PD would not hire young Zikuski for their department as a result of either a failed lie detector test or psychological evaluation. They even refused after the Chief made a personal plea to the Syracuse Chief. 2. When young Zikuski was hired in Binghamton he was appointed a week earlier then the rest in his group so that he would have seniority on them. Many in his group scored better on the exam and were higher on the list. 3. With barely a year on the job young Zikuski was given a position on the SWAT team over many senior officers and over at least one with extensive military combat experience. 4. And now changing the criteria to take to Sergeants exam to allow officers with only 2 years on the department to take the test. It just so happens this will allow young Zikuski to take the exam when under the existing criteria he could not. I cannot imagine what Rose Sotak must have done to be indicted for Abuse of Power. What is most disturbing about this all is it is done with the blessing of Rich David. If anyone wonders why there is massive turnover in the BPD and many young officers are leaving this is a prime reason.
  9. The Insider

    Binghamtons Finest at it Again

    A rather large brawl took place outside Abel's Pub the other night with a couple of off duty BPD members involved. One of the off duty officers retreated to his vehicle and returned with a gun in hand. Both officers are part of the elite Street Crimes Unit and considered untouchable. Several on duty BPD officers responded to quell the problem and obviously no charges were brought. Multiple people have cell phone video of the altercation but are reluctant to come forward for fear of reprisal. I guess Binghamton taxpayers can consider themselves lucky that no one was shot. You have to wonder why other area agencies don't have these problems. This incident brings back memories of the Sportsmen Club many years ago that the current Chief was right in the middle of. Maybe the reason the BPD has so many problems is lack of any leadership with credibility or integrity, just a thought.
  10. The way this matter was handled by David shows a total lack of professionalism and leadership on his part. It is evident if the letter written by Mr.Kellogg is fifty percent true the equipment and manpower were not available to handle that amount of snow in such a short period. It appears Mr.Kellogg requested the needed equipment and David refused him. I did not see the news conference where David announced he had fired the Commissioner and Deputy but I doubt that David accepted any of the blame himself, a true leader would have. David is very good at patting himself on the back and taking credit when things go well and when they don't he calls a news conference to finger point and blame others. Many in City Hall have come to believe that David is nothing but an very overstuffed suit. City Council will do nothing about this and for the most part they are a rubber stamp for David and do as they are told by him. David should be ashamed for many things just add the handling of this matter to the list.
  11. The Insider


    Snow removal has to take a back seat, let's not forget the taxpayers are on the hook for 3 million dollars as an result of the actions of the BPD. That money has to come from somewhere. I would love to see the legal fees to private attorneys for that and the Sager matter, I'm guessing some snow removal could have been financed with those monies. Binghamton residents accept the snow job you are getting, ask no questions and pay your taxes. Your council is more interested in making Binghamton a welcoming city then addressing issues of importance.
  12. The testimony of Chief Zikuski in this case did not play well with the Corp Council or the private attorney retained by the city in this matter. Clearly from what was awarded by the jury they were unimpressed as well. Zikuski came off as self important and gave the impression that he was above anyone questioning him. It seems that anytime an independent third party objectively looks at the facts things do not go well for Zikuski. That is clearly the case in the Sager matter when faced with a public hearing in front of the Division of Human Rights the matter was settled in no time with a large cost to the city taxpayers. This after Rich David gave the okay to fire Sager, what caused David to change his mind on the opening day of the hearing? Then to add insult to injury Rich David hires and outside legal firm to investigate the matter and announce that things in the BPD are just fine. All this coupled with the constant personnel turnover in the BPD point to some serious problems and are costing the Binghamton taxpayers big money. It is crystal clear Rich David for some reason cannot do what is needed here. Perhaps City Council should take a look at this matter. I for one am grateful that I only work in the City of Binghamton and don't reside there.
  13. The Insider


    One for certain is whatever Zikuski and David are doing today someone else is picking up the tab. Tickets comp, drinks comp, neither used their cars so no gas expense. Oh wait, I'm sorry, we are talking about the Mayor and Chief of Police they should never have to reach in their pockets to pay for anything. Probably after the decision the jury reached in the civil trial they need a few drinks to recover. Two things that people can take away from this whole affair is Rich David can not be objective where Zikuksi is concerned and if you are going to take on City Hall get yourself an Lawyer from out of the area who will do the job properly and not be influenced.
  14. The Insider


    This case is going to the jury today. Thus far the only news outlet that has even mentioned it is Channel 34, I think it's WIVT possibly. The outcome should be interesting. Does anyone know for sure being that the city is self insured if whatever is awarded comes out the taxpayers pockets? Hopefully not but the award could be devastating to a city the size of Binghamton. I'm sure the legal bills are substantial as it is because outside council is representing the city.
  15. The Insider


    Don't expect to hear anything from WBNG on this story, the are overwhelmed telling the people to get their chicken wing orders in early at the Union Hotel. Not that I have anything against the Union Hotel, great business owned by great people who do a lot for the community. One of my favorite places. You think " The News Leader" could spare someone to cover an important news story like the trial. They are also way behind in the coverage of body parts found just over the border. People in bars have more true information on it then Action News has.