Discussion in 'Hawkshaw's Grudge Report' started by Tricia, Nov 20, 2017.
i dont like to gossip lol
We should get together on the sly because I think that together we could only enhance what we know. BTW, did you ever hear the one where a cop that spent more time in strip joints when he was working than he spent in his patrol car saved an elderly man from a fire at Oasis by dragging him out of said fire. The inside joke was the cop spent so much time in the place he could have crawled in blindfolded and still found the victim. LOL.
Guess who is good friend in the PD was? A guy that looked out for him until it was no longer smart to do so. This same kid used to be a sort of 'pimp' who often rounded up the gals at the various sex parlors for one of their wild parties.
A MUST READ. One should read the story in Newsday if one needs to get a sense as to the corruption on Long Island.
I repeat my suggestion above if you want to understand the depth of corruption in LI
Very interesting read Hawk.. That summary video is worth the watch as well.
Gary Melius rise through Long Islands cozy political system
I am wondering if I need one of those bumper stickers "Get off LI before its too late" !! this is insane.
That was soooooome spread on GM in Newsday today---- the Wedding Issue doesn't get that much print from Newsday.
Thank you Hawkshaw and all here. I am not a naïve person and tend toward a critical view on all I read and hear. My mind has been blown--- not easy to do !! I have a cousin thru marriage that was on Suffolk PD and wonder what he knew....he has the beginnings of dementia. Real not "convenient".
The Castle is great for dinner
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How LI political connections helped Oheka's owner thrive
One man's rise shines light on LI's corrosive system
Deals, cop contracts: Melius learned from the masters
Video: Our team explores how Melius network operated
Break up the game among Long Island political insiders
Gary Melius castle is the most cinematic emblem of this corrosive environment.
Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y.
Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y. Photo Credit: Elliott Kaufman
By The Editorial Board
Updated March 3, 2018 8:57 PM
A recent Newsday special report chronicles the rise of Gary Melius, the owner of Oheka Castle who sold the illusion of grandeur to outsiders while hosting a smoke-filled room of dealmaking that benefited Long Islands political insiders.
Pathway to Power is a story of outsized personalities exploiting us to achieve their outsized ambitions. It portrays a culture of power brokers greatly benefiting from their connections to public officials, and of those officials putting personal gain ahead of their civic responsibilities.
The names found in the 30,000-word report are just the latest players exploiting a system hardwired into Long Island politics. Unless it changes, it will suffocate us.
What do you think about LI's political culture?
It robs taxpayers of their money. It forces good people out of politics. It erodes trust in government, the foundation of a healthy democracy.
Melius castle is the most cinematic emblem of this corrosive environment, and former U.S. Sen. Alfonse DAmato its most prominent gargoyle in protecting this brand of transactional politics.
Its not illegal to have friends, and Melius has many, or to make political donations, and he has given at least $1.3 million over the years. But its wrong to exploit policy loopholes, to play in the gray spaces of whats forbidden while defanging the institutional watchdogs that supposedly enforce the rules. FBI agents and top police officials were feted at Oheka, as were district attorneys and state judges. These people included disgraced and incarcerated former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, described by his sentencing judge as having corrupted a system.
Theres former Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice and her former top investigator, Chuck Ribando, who determined there was nothing illegal about Melius using his connections in the Nassau police department that resulted in the arrest of a witness in a case that could have hurt the re-election hopes of then-County Executive Edward Mangano.
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Then there are the judges, like Thomas Whelan, a fixture at the Huntington mansion, who made rulings benefiting Melius businesses. And political bosses such as Edward Walsh, the former head of Suffolks Conservative Party, also serving prison time, a castle mainstay who traded his minor partys endorsement for judgeships. Over and over, Newsday found that there were elected officials who made decisions that wound up benefiting Melius.
This cozy back-scratching was not limited to the reach of Melius and DAmato and the others who nibbled from his plates and drank from his bottles. The Oheka gang just normalized it to a new level.
Government officials using their power to benefit friends and family has become so routine, it seems like its just the way business is done. When federal prosecutors accused then-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos of shaking down vendors to get his son, Adam, a job, Skelos was defended with the claim that routine political behavior was being criminalized.
Oheka owner's rise sheds light on corrosive system
Now Mangano and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto will soon go on trial for conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Mangano claims that gifts including meals and vacations from star government witness Harendra Singh were not bribes but simply the thoughtful gestures of a friend. Former Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota awaits trial on charges that he abused his office.
In all, more than three dozen Long Island officials face federal indictments or are serving time after convictions. The numbers are stunning, but so is the failure of the district attorneys in both counties to have played a role in cleaning it up despite New York States strong anti-corruption laws. Not only would federal prosecutors not work with Spota, he was a target of their probe.
The story of Gary Melius and his friends reveals a system in which discounts on events at Oheka, a seat at a poker game, a few cigars and premium Scotch, even some parties for the kids of the adjoining homeowners, were designed to seduce. In the land of NIMBY, he got targeted zoning from Huntington Town that might allow him to build 191 condos worth hundreds of millions of dollars and the solution for Melius chronic financial problems.
Melius couldnt have done what he did without the elected officials and politicians who enabled him. Nassau County paid Melius $6.2 million from its open-space fund for a brownfield in Freeport, almost three times the parcels estimated market value.
What Pathway to Power teaches is the importance of maintaining the integrity of a system of checks and balances. Police, prosecutors and judges are the most important line of defense against the culture of corruption. Prosecutorial discretion covers a lot of sins. When its compromised, we all lose.
Developer Wilbur Breslin was in a smackdown court fight with Melius. When he arrived for a hearing at court in Mineola, he saw Melius car in the spot reserved for the chief judge.
Were screwed, said Breslin.
He speaks for all of us when an independent judiciary goes in the tank.
Pathway to Power illuminates the road for real reforms:
Suffolks police and district attorney should bring to justice the person who shot Melius in the head in 2014. No one believes this case cant be solved.
The heads of the states court system must appoint administrative judges in each county who have the highest reputations for integrity, not the ones recommended by political leaders.
The governor and state lawmakers must enact a New York version of the federal Hatch Act that makes it a crime for public employees to participate in any way in partisan politics.
Cross endorsements must be prohibited. Each candidate should run on one ballot line. Period. This would loosen the stranglehold of minor parties that use their endorsements as jobs programs.
Public financing of campaigns is probably the best solution to rid money from politics. But there are other ways to minimize the influence of money in elections. Set campaign contributions for town, county and state races at the federal level of $2,700 for individuals. If thats all a member of Congress can raise, it should be good enough for county legislators.
Good, honest government shouldnt be an illusion for Long Islanders.
By The Editorial Board
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What do you think about LI's political culture?
A Newsday investigation details the rise of Gary Melius, an outsider who became a power broker and owner of Long Island's premiere political clubhouse. We want to hear from you: What do you think about Long Island's transactional political culture?
Oheka owner's rise sheds light on corrosive system
How a cozy network of powerful people helped Oheka Castle owner Gary Melius thrive -- at times at taxpayers' expense.
FYI - The lawyer for SG is going to court today to argue for the release of the 911 Tapes. My guess is today we will find out if the new DA Sini is for real.
Tomorrow there will be a hearing on the case of LH who was charged with domestic violence. Another case I suspect will be jettisoned into oblivion.
I just posted the link to the SG threads. Judge orders SCPD to release tapes.
A Long Island judge has ordered authorities on Long Island to hand over tapes from the 911 call the night a New Jersey escort disappeared in a case that led to the discovery of nearly a dozen sets of human remains near Gilgo Beach.
Im terrible with initials sometimes, sorry... who's LH? Thanks
GILGO CASE SOLVED: Charlie did it. He is the same guy that killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. He came East and resumed his murder spree. " Charlie" came East to meet his friend Jason.
Babylon Town attorney assault charge dropped by prosecutors
The assault charge against Babylon Town attorney Lindsay Henry, who was accused of injuring his girlfriend in a dispute, was dismissed in First District Court in Central Islip Thursday because the woman did not appear in court for the third time.
Ian Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the case, told Newsday previously that pursuing the case further would violate Henrys right to a speedy trial. He noted that charges being dropped because a witness did not cooperate does not indicate whether the court finds the defendant innocent.
Special prosecutors are usually assigned to avoid conflicts of interest. Henry, 55, of Oak Beach, is the son of a former Suffolk district attorney and the brother of a Suffolk district court judge.
She should have been subpoenaed to court.
Let her tell a different story and then charge her with filing a false report.
Do you think Shaffer would have even considered hiring Henry if he didn't already know the case was in the tank?
The above is the same Harry Feingold that went to jail as a prolific drug dealer in the Town of Babylon. He is arrested and convicted by the then chief of the SCDA narcotics bureau Ray Perini, and for some reason he does his time in a federal prison. He gets out in 1995 and finds his way back to Oak Beach where he buys a house for $825K by one of Bellone's childhood friend Robert Stricoff.
When the sale was made ( May, 2004) said home was listed on various real estate sites as being worth on $425K. But Stricoff paid 825K and got a $700K mortgage on it. At the time Stricoff was the town of Babylon IDA chairman under the then Supervisor Bellone.
That home was now the address you could send checks to a a Friend of Steve Bellone.
IMHO, DA Sini owes his new job as DA, and before that the SCPD police commissioner to his old pal Steve Bellone. Without Bellone engineering Sini's rise to DA it would have never happened.
Do you really think SINI is going to investigate his benefactor Bellone in any political scandal? I don't think so.
Therein and somehow lies the mystery of Gilgo Beach murders.........Don't know where it is but I am sure it has a role in all this.