!! ADD 1: EVIDENCE OF AN OT SCAM IN PPD? !! LATEST IN STEROIDsGATE: KIRCHNER CASES DROPPED, TAXPAYERS OUT A SMALL FORTUNE, PLUS, HISTORY KEEPS REPEATING ITSELF IN PITTSFIELD, UNFORTUNATELY, and CITY COUNCIL MATTERS (WE THINK)
BY DAN VALENTI
FIRST ADD, April 12, 2011
The Planet has what we judge to be good, reliable information from informants within the Pittsfield Police Department. We are trying to vet as best we can prior to presenting this material, but the information does raise a number of interesting and plausible questions.
A few days ago, we posted a list of the Top Nine city salaries. Eight were cops. Disgraced officer David Kirchner didn’t come close to the Top. He had to settle for a paltry $98,429 (plus 1/3 for benefits) in FY 2010, good for a miserable 27th place. You should have such misery.
Year after year, we see police officers raking in 100 Grand and more. Year after year, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, The Little Guy, Joe Sixpack, and John and Jane Q. Public wonder, as they scratch out meager livings in the service jobs that about in Pittsfield: How is that possible?
The pat answer is “overtime.” These officers put in heroic hours, are doing things according to the contract, and should be applauded for their “underpaid” heroic work.
Isn’t it odd, that these officers are able to work 80 hours a week, week after week, with no let up in performance? With all that OT, as one commentator on this site asked, why is drug trafficking in Pittsfield an epidemic on the verge of a pandemic?
If these drug investigators are indeed working these hours that they claim in their payroll records, we wonder if there are using supplements (vitamins and minerals and Wonder Bread, which “Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways”) to help them maintain such a pace? If so, are they legal or illegal products? It’s a fair question. It’s also not only fair and reasonable but also incumbent to ask an even harder question: Are they involved in a scam? Is there and has there been for years a blatant rip-off of taxpayers?
Is there a Scam Going on with PPD OT Claims?
Is there a system in place where the drug teams aren’t working these massive, energy sapping and soul sapping hours at all? Is the system a scam because of lack of oversight? Does the lack of management and accountability allow officers, for example, to claim four hours pay for a 10-second phone call from a “drug informant,” who has instructions to phone in at set times, for example, on the weekend?
The Planet cannot and does not claim — definitively, factually, beyond ALL doubt — that the answers to such questions are yes, yes, and yes. We have studied the steroids plague that infects police departments across the country. We have seen the evidence that one PPD officer and one state trooper juiced. Moreover, we can report honestly that we have seen evidence that would convince us the answer is yes, yes, and yes beyond a reasonable doubt.
So IF that’s the case, IF there’s a system in place that allows drug investigators to scam taxpayers, that would explain the $100 grand salaries. Could it be they are earning this money without actually putting in all the OT they claim on payroll records? Again, if they are: (a) How are they able to keep going, day after day, week after week, year after year and not break down? Are they juicing? (b) If they are putting in such hours, why is there a rampant drug problem in Pittsfield?
It doesn’t add up.
What if there are PPD sources, within the building right now, who are claiming that there is and has been a scam? There are such sources. What if there are drug informants, former and otherwise, whose names cannot be revealed, who are claiming making such allegations? There are.
What are We The People supposed to do? How can we believe factual claims being made by police command staff about SteroidsGate? How can we have confidence in the criminal justice system that presents little assurance that it is managing “the system” to prevent such possible abuses? How do we explain the deafening silence of the Boring Broadsheet on an issue that is a low-handing ripe cherry, there for the plucking. How do we else explain the lack of transparency on this issue in “official” Pittsfield? How do we explains the seeming disinterest of the district attorney’s office?
A Lot of What Ifs and Other Hot Questions: No proof the Evidence Accumulates
What if there’s been a gigantic scam going on?
What if it’s furthermore true, as The Planet’s sources claim, that PPD Chief Michael Wynn, has ordered an immediate stop in such likely OT payments, payouts, and payola? Could that be cited that maybe We The People are getting too close to learning about the scam? Could it be an attempt to try diffuse the heat and hope that it blows over?
Again, we are raising questions by information that is being claimed as true by both those within the PPD (personnel who say they are upset by the corruption) and outside the department but associated with the PPD who have knowledge of current practices?
We will wait for the official press release from Chief Wynn, from DA David Capeless, and from Police union head Marc Maddalena.
We shall be waiting for a long, long time.
Up Denial Without a Paddle
(The 1 STAR, FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, April 12. 2011) — Another small (though significant) aspect of SteroidsGate, the drug scandal that has embroiled the Pittsfield Police Department, comes this bit of intelligence from a sources within the criminal justice system.
It has been shared that criminal cases with officer David Kircher’s work “are being dropped like flies.” Sources wonder how much taxpayer dollars spent on prior work involving police department resources, courts, depositions, due process and due diligence, attorneys fees, jail costs, probations costs, follow-up and monitoring, and the like from a long list of services has been lost. These are now all “wasted tax dollars.”
We wonder if Chief Wynn might care to provide an estimate on how much the bedraggled Pittsfield taxpayers are out in just this one officer? We can’t think of a more qualified source, unless it is District Attorney David Capeless. It would also be a tad of a stretch to believe the Boring Broadsheet would try to come up with such a figure, given that it has now gone into complete denial (no, not a river in Egypt) on SteroidsGate.
Police Chief Series Concludes with Part 3
Here is the third and final part of our series on Steroids and Cops as published in a definitive article from Police Chief magazine, June 2008 issue. Note the caliber of the coauthors.
Anabolic Steroid Use and Abuse by Police Officers: Policy & Prevention
By Commander Kim R. Humphrey, Professional Standards Bureau, Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department; Kathleen P. Decker, M.D., U.S. Air Force; Linn Goldberg, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon; Harrison G. Pope Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School; Joseph Gutman, M.D., Practicing Endocrinologist, Tempe, Arizona; and Gary Green, M.D., University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Reasonable Cause: Several symptoms can indicate that someone is abusing AASs. Symptoms may include the following:
- Visible increase in body mass over a short period of time (usually months)
- Fluid retention (bloating)
- Noticeable acne and/or oily skin
- Mood swings, particularly if aggressive
- Unreasonable emotional responses to situations
- Voice changes (such as deepening voices in women)
- Facial hair growth in women
- Multiple incidents of “use of force” or complaints of improper outbursts and attitude
Testing Process: Anabolic steroid testing is expensive compared to other illicit drug testing. There are literally hundreds of variations of AASs. Local laboratories used for an initial urine screen can test for a small number of typical steroids and can also screen the T/E ratio.12 An elevated T/E ratio signifies possible abuse, as it is affected by the intake of AASs.
Proper collection and chain-of-custody procedures are critical. Agencies hiring a specimen collection service, using their healthcare providers, or collecting samples using their department personnel should ensure that sample collection procedures are standardized. Immediate testing after notification and observed collection provide the strongest assurance against tampering. Examples of collection procedures can be obtained from the National Center for Drug Free Sport as well as other agencies.
If working with a local laboratory, an agency should consider a dual notification procedure in its laboratory contract. With dual notification, the laboratory will notify the agency as well as a medical review officer (MRO) of the results. If an individual who tests positive has a seemingly valid prescription, the MRO may consider the test negative; however, the agency might want to follow through with an independent medical review or fitness testing as noted earlier and would need to know that the initial test was positive.
Additionally, using an MRO who has expertise in performance-enhancing drug testing should be considered. If follow-up on a positive initial screen test is needed, the sample can be sent to a laboratory certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency for further analysis. Currently, the University of Utah and the University of California at Los Angeles are the only certified laboratories in the United States. Their analysis consists of a full panel for AASs and, if possible, can determine specifically what types and levels are present. In addition, certified laboratories have further testing capabilities that can determine if substances in the sample are naturally occurring or synthetic drug substitutes. The expense is significant, and these tests should be used for increased scrutiny, particularly when results are disputed or can be disputed by an individual.
The PPD is currently working with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training organization to consider a state rule disallowing the use of AASs by police officers unless a medical exception is granted.
Preventing anabolic steroid abuse requires a multifaceted approach. After understanding the challenges associated with testing and deciding on appropriate discipline, it is critical for agencies to educate their officers and provide alternatives for health and fitness. The challenges are many, but failure to act now could cause significant suffering for law enforcement agencies in the future and mandates for action. For the safety of the community and the health of an agency’s employees, it is essential to act to prevent the abuse of these drugs.
The authors thank Kris Arnold, M.D., of the Occupational Health Division of the Boston Police Department and member of the IACP Police Physicians Section for his assistance in moving this issue forward; S. Mitchell Harman, M.D., Ph.D., director and president of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, for information on identifying legitimate research and treatments with anabolic steroids; Chris Nordby, director of the National Center for Drug Free Sport, for his expertise and direction in the testing field; and Robert Jones, M.D., regional medical director, Phoenix Concentra, for his work on policy development. ?
Charles Swanson, Larry Gaines, and Barbara Gore, “Abuse of Anabolic Steroids,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 60, no. 8 (August 1991): 19.
David Johnson, Falling Off the Thin Blue Line: A Badge, a Syringe, and a Struggle with Steroid Addiction (iUniverse, 2007).
See Kirk J. Brower, “Anabolic Steroid Abuse and Dependence,” Current Psychiatry Reports 4, no. 5 (October 2002): 377–87; and Harrison G. Pope Jr. and Kirk J. Brower, “Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Abuse,” in Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th ed., eds. Benjamin J. Sadock and Virginia A. Sadock (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 2004), 1318–28.
Andrew B. Parkinson and Nick A. Evans, “Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Survey of 500 Users,” Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise 38, no. 4 (2006): 644–51.
M. Parssinen et al., “Increased Premature Mortality of Competitive Powerlifters Suspected to Have Used Anabolic Agents,”International Journal of Sports Medicine 21, no. 3 (April 2000): 225–27.
See Ryan C. W. Hall et al., “Psychiatric Complications of Anabolic Steroid Abuse,” Psychosomatics 46, no. 4 (July–August 2005): 285–90; and Harrison G. Pope Jr. and David L. Katz, “Psychiatric Effects of Exogenous Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids,” inPsychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice, eds. Owen M. Wolkowitz and Anthony J. Rothschild (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003), 331–58.
Women can suffer from the same effects. However, because AASs are known to have noticable masculinizing effects in women (such as increased body hair and a deepening of the voice), they are considerably less likely to take excessive doses and therefore also less likely to demonstrate overly aggressive behaviors.
More information on drug schedules and related issues is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/csa/812.htm (accessed May 8, 2008).
National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656 (1989).
Guiney v. Police Comm’r of Boston, 411 Mass. 328 (1991).
Hall et al., “Psychiatric Complications of Steroid Abuse,” 285–86.
Christophe Saudan et al., “Testosterone and Doping Control,” British Journal of Sports Medicine 40, Supplement 1 (2006): i21–i24.
History Repeating Itself: The Endless Loop that Ate Pittsfield
In the late 1960s, Pittsfield tore down most of its downtown West Side: entire blocks, the magnificent train station, hotels, restaurants, a neighborhood of nooks and crannies. It did this not because it had a plan and not because it made sense. It did it because the federal government was handing out “free” money (yeah, right) in the form of Urban Renewal bucks.
In the 1990s, it built a poorly thought-out and executed “Intermodal Transportation Center,” again, not because there was a need but because of the “free” money that John Olver “brought back” from Washington. The Planet remembers the fawning headlines in the Boring Broadsheet, about how Olver delivered. We love it when our hacks in Washington bring back our money and act as if they were digging into their own pockets. The offices and shops that were supposed to go into the building never did.
In 2010, Pittsfield didn’t sign on, then did, to a mosquito control program that committed the city to $650,000 over five years. Once more, the city acted not based on need or logic but because there was a government “program” (ugh) and “free” money was to be had. Now the city realizes it made a huge mistake and may not be able to get out of it.
Here’s the point: To a ship with no destination, anywhere is the same as nowhere. Pittsfield keeps falling for the “free” money scam, most likely because it buys the politicians good press in the sycophantic local mainstream press and because it masquerades as “progress.”
Often, such follies are disguised as “public-private joint ventures,” a “neither here nor there” animal that gives to the private the rewards (usually, one or two favored “developers”) and saddles the public with the risks. If the project goes “kerplunk,” guess who pays? Gotta mirror?
This is election season. We want readers of this site to put the candidates feet to the fire. Make them sing for their supper. When one of them touts federal or state funding for projects of the sort we’ve been discussing here (we won’t even go into PEDA, will we Corydon?). cut them off at the pass. Remind them, since they will forget when it is inconvenient for them to do so, that we are in a so-called “fiscal crisis.”
The phoney bastards.
POLL TIME IS NEARING, COUNCILORS. WE SEE 9-2, PLANET IN A ROUT
Speaking of my Right Honorable Good Friends, notice to all members of the city council. We shall be sending another poll in pertinent issues (Silver Lake, random drug testing for PPD, and maybe one other).
We expect ALL of you to reply, knowing that Uncle Gerry will forget to take his Geritol and Jonathan Lothrup will forget to remember to forget to remember. Next time you drive up South Mountain Road and look at the desecration of the woodland, thank J-Lo for his colossal sell-out. J-Lo, you’ve got no chance at re-election. We have hope for Cappy. This will be a 9-2 response in The Planet’s favor.
Tonight is the semi-weekly city council meeting. Here is the agenda:
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR
A communication from Mayor Ruberto requesting that the City Council endorse the winning design for the City of Pittsfield’s flag.
A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the City of Pittsfield to accept a gift of funds in the amount of $6,400.00 from the Pittsfield Colonials Baseball Club to be used to upgrade the existing scoreboard at Wahconah Park.
A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor to submit the Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Annual Action Plan for the 2011-2012 program year.
A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor and the City Council President to enter into and execute subordinations of certain easements on land of the General Electric Company – Woodlawn Avenue.
A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor and the City Council President to enter into and execute subordinations of certain easements on land of the General Electric Company – East Street Area 2.
Appointment of Lisa Green as a member of the Pittsfield Cultural Council.
Appointment of the following individuals as Certified Weighers: Debora McDonald, Richard J. Cella, Angelo Carlotto, Patricia Gillespie, Clifford Twiss.
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICERS AND BOARDS
A petition from Councilor Nichols requesting that Director of Finance and City Treasurer Susan Carmel present an update to the City Council at its next meeting regarding the status of the city’s unfunded liabilities.
A petition from Councilor Nichols requesting that Rule 29 of the City Council rules be amended by adding that regularly scheduled meetings of standing committee shall not be cancelled unless both the chair and the vice-chair are unavailable or there are no items on the agenda.
An Ordinance from Councilor Mazzeo amending the Code of the City of Pittsfield by adding that any position appointed by the Mayor in an acting capacity must be filled as a permanent position, subject to the confirmation of the city council, no more than 30 days from appointment with only one renewal. If said acting appointment is not filled it shall be vacated and reposted.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from former Councilor Maffuccio and Councilor Marchetti to extend the water line from Hancock Road to the fire hydrant at 22 Waubeek Road, recommending referral to Commissioner Collingwood for an update.
A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from former Councilor Costi requesting a presentation and information by the Parks Commission regarding the proposed dog park at Springside Park, recommending that the petition be filed without prejudice.
A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Board of Health provide an update regarding the status of the PCB remediation and monitoring projects, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.
A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Mosquito Task Force present an update to the Committee on mosquito policy for 2011, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.
A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission give a presentation to the Committee on the Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.
A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from Councilor Lothrop requesting that the parking configuration at the Colonial Theater parking lot be realigned to include all short term parking to be three-hour parking, recommending that the petition be amended to change one hour parking to three hour parking.
A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from Donald J. Bercury requesting installation of solar powered flashing yield signs at the corner of East Street and North Street and at the corner of South Street and East Street, recommending that the petition be filed without prejudice until the financial situation changes.
A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from various citizens requesting Hungerford Street be made a dead end to address safety concerns on the street, recommending that the petition be filed.
An Ordinance amending the Code of the City of Pittsfield, Chapter 16, Personnel, creating the position of Personnel Manager.
Appointment of Killian Flynn as the Commissioner of Public Services.
Appointment of Gregory Yon as Director of Maintenance.
Appointment of Tricia Farley-Bouvier as Director of Administration.
A petition from Jeffrey Ferrin for the establishment of a formal public board beyond the personnel review board that reviews applications and resumes for any job that is a department head position or has an annual salary of $50,000 or above.
A petition from Jeffrey Ferrin requesting that the complete city council packet be scanned and placed on the city’s web page for viewing by the public in advance of the meetings.
A petition from John David Sotille requesting three integrated motions regarding the official identity of Pittsfield and the official flag that is to represent it throughout the world.
MATTERS REFERRED BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER RULE 27
Referred to the Traffic Commission
A petition from Councilor Krol requesting that No Parking signs be installed on north side of West Union Street immediately west of Onota Street
MORE TO FOLLOW LATER TODAY, IN OUR FIRST ADD. STORIES BREWING!! “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” LOVE TO ALL.