Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Greene Grime

Some interesting legal cases are alive currently in GreeneLand. They are additional to more mundane cases, such as that of the youth who stole from his employer (a MacDonald’s), the mother who neglected her children and violated a court order to stay sober, the confirmed drug addict and thief who is going once again into rehabilitation rather than directly to prison, the property-damaging drunk driver who already has lost her license, the street brawls, the domestic disputes…. Anyhow: POT BUSTS. Sheriff’s deputies struck three GreeneLand properties last Thursday, seized a quantity of cannabis plants, and made one arrest. Acting on confidential information and aided by helicopter sightings, they harvested marijuana from two Greenville sites, at 58 and 213 Scutt Road, and arrested Judith A. Moran, 49, on charges of unlawfully growing and possessing the prohibited weed. They also struck a weekend house property on Falls View Road, Cairo. According to Sheriff Richard Hussey, it is well equipped with electricity, hoses and pumps suitable for intense cultivation, and yielded a harvest of 70 plants. Further arrests would not be surprising. The deputies’ work followed by three days an arrest in Catskill. Acting on a tip and on direct observation, Village police arrested Ronald M. Patterson, 35, at his home at 33 Allen Street, which is a short walk from the police station. They reportedly found a four-pound supply of cannabis growing on Patterson’s back porch. The charges are unlawfully growing and possessing a prohibited substance.

BABY KILLER? Joshua Barreto, 23, has been arraigned in County Court on charges of manslaughter and murder in connection with death, in Hop-O-Nose Apt. 23, Catskill, of 3-year-old Jada Keyes. The accused was the live-in paramour, according to the police report, of the child’s mother. To that extent the case recalls the death in Coxsackie last year of 3-year-old Egypt Phillips, aged 3.

SOFTBALL SCANDAL. Dolores Gallagher, 29, of Catskill, has been charged with theft in connection with her management of funds collected from members of the Catskill Women’s Softball League, which she founded last March. Ms Gallagher must appear in Village court, but the case will then be shifted to County court, since the estimated mis-appropriation has crossed the $1000 threshold to achieve felony (grand larceny) status.

SPLINTERED BOARD. Tannersville Village Trustee Linda Kline claims in a lawsuit that her putative colleagues are not legal office-holders. Gina Legari isn’t legally the Mayor, Ms Kline claims, because her appointment last March to succeed Glenn Weyant, who had left town and had resigned, was only valid until the end of Mr Weyant’s term, namely, last April. After that, another appointment was required legally but was not obtained. Consequently, Ms Legari was not entitled to fill a village board vacancy by appointing Clifford Bertrand; and the two of them were not entitled to complete the office-filling business on August 9th by appointing, and approving the appointments of, Peter Firmalino and Dale Covey. The case has not come to court. Village attorney Tal Rappelyea, according to Daily Mail reporter Jim Planck, says that since the matter is under litigation, he must not comment.

FREEHOLD FRACAS. State Trooper Patrick Cullen of Freehold has been accused by Greenville Town Board members of two misdeeds, and by a local pub owner of harassment. A friend of the publican has in turn been accused of engaging in harassment. The compound case has received extensive publicity in The TimesUnion as well as in GreeneLand papers. From the Greenville Town Board comes a two-pronged complaint: that Sergeant Cullen illegally removed some 6 tons of bluestone paving from in front of his current home, trucking it to the site of his new house-to-be; and that he dumped construction material illegally, on an old site. In addition, publican Wayne Nelsen complains that, in retaliation for the aforementioned complaints, Sergeant Cullen has waged a campaign of harassment against Nelsen and his Freehold Country Pub customers. The Town Board’s complaints are currently under investigation by Capt. William Ranigan’s Internal Affairs Department of the State Police. They also have been pondered by GreeneLand’s district attorney, Terry Wilhelm. Mr Wilhelm told the Town Board that there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to warrant prosecution, and that if the Board is not satisfied with that judgment, he will, if they request it, give “serious consideration” to appointing a Special Prosecutor to pursue the matter. On behalf of that response, Mr Wilhelm cites these considerations. (a) Although blue stone of the cited kind is indeed present on Sergeant Cullen’s second property, the quantity of it exceeds the volume of ‘missing’ bluestone, and there is credible evidence that Sergeant Cullen procured a shipment of that material from a Saugerties quarry. (b) Although Sergeant Cullen did dump construction materials on the ‘wrong’ site, he evidently had permission to do so from a Town employee who has granted that permission, however improperly, to other townsfolk. The Town Board has not accepted or declined the Special Prosecutor offer. Conspicuous among the accusing Town Board members was the publican, Mr Nelsen. And Mr Nelsen complains additionally that, in retaliation for his role in the Board’s action, Sergeant Cullen has subjected him (Nelsen) and his customers, directly and indirectly (through other troopers) to a campaign of harassment. That complaint also is under investigation. There’s more. Robert Meringolo, a friend of Mr Nelsen’s, took an active part in gathering evidence bearing on the harassment claim. And he has been accused of subjecting Sergeant Cullen’s pregnant wife to a pattern of harassment. She reportedly has taken out an order of protection against Mr Meringolo. The case has spilled over into the Comments section of Seeing Greene. A “Sister Mary Catherine” voiced apprehension about police corruption in GreeneLand, and particularly in the Freehold/Greenville area. Another commentator says “Sister Mary” is in fact Mr Meringolo, who allegedly has been charged with stalking (4th degree) by way of tailing Sergeant Cullen’s pregnant wife, and who also, allegedly, has threatened harm to a man who complained to him about an unfinished paint job. Could the latter man be the anonymous unmasker of Sister Mary?). Did you think we were going to resolve it all?

SERIAL SWINDLER? GreeneLand’s Martha Ivery bilked aspiring authors of books. GreeneLand’s Christine Owad has been accused of bilking foreigners who hope to remain and work legally in the United States. The accusation comes from the office of New York State’s attorney general, Eliot Spitzer. It imputes to Ms Owad, 59, of Windham and Prattsville, multiple perpetrations of a “Green Card” scam: extracting fat fees from scores or hundreds of people, mostly Irish and Ukrainian, mostly New York City or Hudson Valley residents, who had out-stayed their authorizations to live and work in this country and who believed her false promises that she could enable them to stay and work indefinitely, without needing to marry an American or to go back home and then apply. The case has been covered extensively in the Irish-American Press (most recently in the August 16-22 Irish Echo; see http://Irishecho.com) as well as in The Daily Mail. According to their accounts, Ms Owad turned to immigration counseling a few years ago after working as a grant writer for Greene County and other agencies. She is of French or of Ukrainian descent. She denies that she has misrepresented herself as a lawyer rather than as a paralegal, or that she made any promises that she could not keep. She acknowledges that she has not actually completed a procedure whereby an undocumented, out-of-status worker applied successfully, while in residence here, for a permit to stay and work here indefinitely. She contends, however, that procedural success can be obtained: “It’s not a miracle…. [T]here is a law….” It is about "dual intent." The suit filed by the Attorney General is civil. The plaintiff seeks financial restitution for the alleged victims. To that end, a court order was sought and granted whereby Ms Owad is prohibited from disposing of assets that could be a source of restitution money. But what is really going on, says Ms Owad, is persecution. As reported by Andrea Macko in The Daily Mail, Ms Owad contends that the political authorities are conducting a witch hunt, “demonizing” her and her kinfolk. The Assistant Attorney General who is handling the prosecution, Nicholas Garin, is linked with Russian gangsters. “Masquerading under the guise of an investigation” is "an attempt to seize…our family farm…and sell it to the Soviet Mafia.”

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dick,

Check out Harold bloggingburgs part 2 of 3! it's out standing!!!

Anonymous said...

www.seeinggreenefire.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"They are additional to more mundane cases, such as that of the youth who stole from his employer (a MacDonald’s), the mother who neglected her children and violated a court order to stay sober, the confirmed drug addict and thief who is going once again into rehabilitation rather than directly to prison, the property-damaging drunk driver who already has lost her license,..."

The names of those people too should be given out if they're public record. I'm curiuos to know who I may be living next to.

Anonymous said...

"3-year-old Egypt Phillips, aged 3."

Turns out most three-year-olds are, indeed, 3. A line worthy of the Daily Maul?

Anonymous said...

Oh why pick on the Daily Fail? After all, they're reporting today that we'll have a new governor next year. DUHH!

Anonymous said...

This Meringolo person you refer to has a reputation. Check this out if you want an idea of how much he'd lie and cheat--and drag his family in--for a rip off. www.counsel.nysed.gov/Decisions/volume45/d15281.htm

Jessie said...

Anyone know anything about the woman's skeleton found off of Platte Clove Road on or around August 15? No chance that it's Audrey Herron, is there?

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, the 551 blog is related to the Sgt.

And all the troopers normaly hang out around that specific location!

jenster said...

There was a skeleton found in Platte Clove? Why is this not news?

Anonymous said...

this site sucks I'm going back to Harold Bloggingburgs

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Meringolo has to throw something against the wall to make it stick with his post of 8/29. Just because someone posts something doesn't mean it's the cop you despise or one of his family or friends. He doesn't like people to know the truth about him.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to go to seeinggreenefire and cats your vote!!

Anonymous said...

correction cast!

Newmed said...

This whole Cullen vs Meringolo/Nelsen ordeal fascinates me. Initially, it was only a matter of neighbors fighting and now it's grown into this huge mess. Whether there was an abuse of power on the officer's side or stalking on Mr. Meringolo's side remains to be seen, but how did it get to this point? My personal opinion is that yes, it seems likely that there was misjudgement on the officer's side. Knowing what I know from all sides, it looks like it went too far. Knowing Mr. Meringolo for many years I can also say that he does know how to harp on issues and that it doesn't help anything. However, shouldn't a police officer be above that? Impartial to personal issues and trustworthy? That being said, I would like to get to my main concern: Should our small town have problems like police corruption? Standing on the quiet street this morning, I can't see why...

Anonymous said...

You say this stuff like it is some type of joke. Jada Keyes was a BABY, and you throw it in there like nothing happened, and its just another one of the stupid little scandals that youre writing about. You make me sick to my stomach. This little girl deserves to be honored, not just thrown into the mix of your little drama stories. You dont even deserve to know her name.