Article

TOUCHDOWN, GOALPOST, AND RED DOG — THREE PPD OFFICERS — BRING BACK STEROIDsGATE IN A BIG WAY; IN MEETINGS, EACH SHARES HIS/HER PIECE OF THE STORY

BY DAN VALENTI

More Testimony from Three Cops, from the Inside

The ugly head of SteroidsGate has broken the surface again in Pittsfield choppy law enforcement and public safety waters. And just when you thought it was safe again to wade in up to your navel.

The Planet is just removed from our latest face-to-faces with three of our sources within the Pittsfield Police Department. They are Touchdown, Goalpost, and Red Dog. You’ve “met” Touchdown before. The other two are new. Here’s what they say:

A PPD Union Meeting with an Ulterior Motive

Touchdown reported that this past week, the police union, led by Officer Mark Maddlena, met “to discuss a contract offer” from the city. Touchdown said that after the meeting, officers felt the meeting had ulterior purposes.

“Word around the station was that the meeting was also used as a ‘feeler’ to try to find out who’s been talking about a ‘No Confidence’ vote against the Chief [Michael Wynn],” Touchdown said. “Officers felt that the union leadership was trying to sniff out who was unhappy with the chief and wanted the  ’No Confidence’ vote. The plan was then to report back to [Captain David] Granger and Wynn.”

Whose in Charge at PPD: Wynn or Granger?

Touchdown said than some officers feel that “Wynn is losing his grip day by day and that Granger is really running things. It didn’t ‘officially’ come up at the meeting, but you could tell they were sniffing.”

Touchdown also said that The Planet “must have really hit a nerve, because the city is pushing for mandatory drug testing in the new contract, and many officers are dead-set against it.”

Testimony like this is cause for concern on its own, but when it agrees with other PPD sources who speak of the division inside the department, one would have a hard time making a case AGAINST the veracity of what Touchdown reports. Enter Goalpost.

‘Crazy Misdoings’

Goalpost has spoken of “crazy misdoings” with the PPD of late. Asked to mention them, Goalpost wouldn’t provide mustard-seed-sized specifics, but he or she did share enough details to identify the types of incidents. Again, keep in mind that these are all claims by Goalpost, who is a member of the PPD force in some capacity. We invite Captain Granger, Chief Wynn, or any other PPD source who wishes to correct any of this information to do so. The Planet wishes only, only, to arrive at the truth in reporting and commentary.

* A sexual assault investigator was found guilty in an internal probe of having sex and an ongoing affair with a victim he was interviewing.

* A patrolman on third shift was subject of a lengthy internal investigation after a complain from a woman that the officer “forced her” to have sex with him while he was on duty.

* A sergeant let a juvenile who was under arrest and in custody walk out of the station. “Nothing was done,” Goalpost said. He said the girl was arrested again a few days later. The report, Goalpost claimed, read that in the first incident, the girl had “fled the scene.” It did not reflect the truth, according to Goalpost, that she simply walked out of the station.

* A second shift officer “regularly” tells officers not to arrest females or juveniles on warrants, since “he doesn’t want to be bothered calling in a matron or having to deal with [the office of] juvenile services.”

Again, The Planet cannot testify to the accuracy of what Goalpost claims. We can only say that having dealt with Goalpost on a number of occasions during the SteroidsGate story, we judge him or her to be a credible source. We have been fooled in the past by sources, but rarely to the point of almost never. We have a good nose for that sort of thing. The Planet invites PPD Command to correct any of the record that is not accurate.

Red Dog: A Leadership Struggle within the PPD

In a face-to-face meeting held at a secret location next to the pickle jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch, Red Dog agreed that there is a leadership struggle within the PPD. He or she minced no words.

“Captain Granger runs the place,” Red Dog said. “Chief Wynn is his mouthpiece. Wynn lets Granger run on any wild goose chase and head hunt he wants if he’s got it in for someone [one of the officers]. Wynn is scared to take any action in fear of alienating his buddies. As far as I’m concerned, Granger is vindictive, plays favorites, and plays everything close to the vest. The problem here is that the thin blue line is tough to get over,” Red Dog said, “but there are officers who are outraged by this.”

‘The Typical M.O.’

Red Dog said that when Capt. Granger learned that city solicitor Rich Dohoney released his heavily redacted report to the press of the internal investigation he headed into the alleged involvement with steroids by plainclothes drug investigator David Kirchner, “He went ballistic. He hates knowing that people will find out he was saying unkind things [about Kirchner] in his report. It’s the typical M.O. I was telling you about. They all want to come across as ‘good guys,’ but behind closed doors in the department, the gloves come off.” Red Dog says that how cliques have formed within the PPD, leading to interdepartmental politics that are “vicious.”

Red Dog said that “the majority of good cops here hope this thing [investigation into SteroidsGate] will continue. They hope that it will come to a head, and that the corruption that has so long existed here will be somehow found out and rooted out. Many of us, however, have seen this happen all too often. We have experienced it far too often, where it all gets swept under the carpet and things go on as usual. I pray that does not happen this time.”

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It is a lot to digest. The Planet is e-mailing a copy of this post to Chief Wynn, inviting his comment. Surely, if there is departmental civil war to even a part of the extent our three source indicate, public safety will be compromised, because officers will not be able to devote their full energies to helping keep Pittsfield safe.

The Planet has contacted Chief Wynn inviting his comment on this post.

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THAT’S ALL UNTIL MONDAY. THE PLANET DOESN’T OPEN ON SUNDAY. UNTIL THEN, “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” LOVE TO ALL.

36 Responses to “TOUCHDOWN, GOALPOST, AND RED DOG — THREE PPD OFFICERS — BRING BACK STEROIDsGATE IN A BIG WAY; IN MEETINGS, EACH SHARES HIS/HER PIECE OF THE STORY”

  1. Scott
    April 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    It’s too bad theres a lot of good men and woman on the force. It makes it more difficult to weed out the corruption when you’re dealing with people who in reality work for the tax payer but the mentality is they know whats best and they tell the public how it’s going to be a lot of the gov’t works with this same mentality.

  2. fan Dan Go
    April 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Thank you to the planet, to the three ‘Footballers” within the PPD ,men and women, who are speaking out. we only want the truth of what’s going on. IT’s not all what it seems and they want to make you believe that everythings’ great. It’s not. Have a neighboy who’s a cop, a damn good cop, who has teold similar stories.

    • Scott
      April 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

      “IT’s not all what it seems and they want to make you believe that everything’s great. It’s not.”

      Are you saying they’re suffering from “Delusions of Granger”? Ha, ha, ha

  3. Concern
    April 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Heard from a good source two out of the three you mentioned are Scott Connor and Jack Tobin. Both dispatchers. Source says they are very bitter and hate Granger. Also some things are just half truths what they are letting out. Also Been told it’s nonsense most in department want this steroids to continued. I don’t know myself but this is what I been told by a good source. Just thought I would pass it along.

    • Jim Gleasen
      April 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

      If those two guys are dispatchers, how would they have information on union matters? Unless you have proof it’s them “concern,” I think you are dogsh** for even putting thier names on here. Clear up these half truths that have been let out. So far, all I have read from you PPD insiders are smoke screens and deversion tactics. You all come on here and Topix and yell about “half truths and lies,” and when asked to clarify whats not and half truth or a lie, you resort to name calling and just disappear all together. So the ball has been knocked back into your court, let us know what are lies and what aren’t.

      • CONCERNED
        April 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

        I care less what Jim GleaSEN think about me. I have stated what has been told to me. Have proof “what a joke” on a blog who has proof, everyone just states. what they want, no proof needed. And just for your information dispatcher know quite a lot. I knew a dispatcher a few years ago and the stuff this person knew about was very interesting. If I knew what are lies and what aren’t I would have it all figured out, but I don’t.

    • Scott
      May 1, 2011 at 5:47 am #

      Thats why the idiot on here kept saying I worked in dispatch.

    • Kris Knutson
      May 1, 2011 at 6:20 am #

      Hey concerned, you are a complete coward. You are truly a conflicted individual. On the one hand you find it necessary to conceal your name, likely because you have not the courage to stand behind what you say. And on the other hand, you have no problem dropping names of individuals who you believe to be attempting to blow the whistle for the sake of the common good. Even if what you say were true, it still makes you the coward and them the heroes of the day. The truly sad part is that you have no idea what I’m talking about. That makes you an ignorant coward. Who in their right mind would listen to an ignorant coward and then take anything they say seriously.

    • Scott Connors
      May 1, 2011 at 6:26 am #

      My name is Scott Connors and I am president of the dispatchers union for the Pittsfield Police and Fire Departments. Not sure who your ‘source’ is but I can say your ‘source’ is wrong. I am not bitter nor do I hate Capt Granger. He is a ranking officer in the Pittsfield Police Department where I work and we have a working relationship as I do with ranking members of the Fire Department. As president of the dispatcher’s union my goal has always been and will always be dispatchers NOT police officers. That is Chief Wynn’s and Chief Czerwinski’s job(s) respectively and that’s why the Mayor appointed them to their positions. I would appreciate you not posting any more slanderous posts using my name.
      Scott Connors
      President
      IUE-CWA 81256

      • danvalenti
        May 1, 2011 at 8:52 am #

        SCOTT
        Thank you. I can attest to the same. Note that I did not post the comment, but one of The Planet’s readers. If you wish, I shall redact you name. Let The Planet know and we will instruct the web master. Many names have been mentioned in a fishing expedition to find out who’s talking. We have taken every precaution to protect our sources. We can’t control the rampant speculation, however. I will do my best to redact any public speculation naming names. NO ONE KNOWS WHO MY SOURCES ARE EXCEPT THE SOURCES AND ME. They have contacted me, by the way, with information. I haven’t been looking for whistle blowers. This suggests urgency of some nature, where they feel the need to talk, in confidence, to a member of the media. As one of my commentators pointed out, the internet is a virtually uncontrollable beast as far as information and claims. The Planet has tried and will continue to try to bring the verities and verifications of traditional journalism to all the work we do. We also warn commentators not to abuse the free speech which I have instructed my web master to allow. With everyone’s cooperation, we can keep the feedback portion going and have it continue as an important medium of exchange for the marketplace of ideas.

    • Guy N
      May 1, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      My spy says that they are 2 out of 3 informants.

      • danvalenti
        May 1, 2011 at 8:43 am #

        Your informants are wrong.

        • danvalenti
          May 1, 2011 at 8:43 am #

          It’s not them.

          • CONCERNED
            May 1, 2011 at 11:42 am #

            Dan: You are 100% correct I never should have used names. To all I want to apologize. I should have stuck to the issues.

          • danvalenti
            May 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

            CONCERNED
            Thank you. It takes a big character and sense of values to admit to a mistake.
            We would ask all future posters to avoid the kind of speculation to which CONCERNED refers.
            Let Topix have all that junk. Let’s try to keep our dialogue at a higher level.
            On behalf of the site, we accept your apology.

  4. Concern
    April 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    By the way has everyone seen the poll question in Eagle today. Q: Should Pittsfield’s Columbus Avenure be changed to Martin Luther King Jr Drive? results. 91% (524votes) said NO. 9% (49 votes) said YES Mayor/Councilors hope you respect the wishes of the people.

  5. CONCERNED
    April 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Dan: more on the PPD Been told Investigator did have affair with a victim of crime he was investigating. An investigation was or still is being conducted on Officer having sex while on duty. However was told it was with a girlfriend and and not forced sex.

  6. GMHeller
    May 1, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Three observations:
    If there are multiple officers within the Pittsfield Police Department who wish for the so-called ‘Steroidsgate’ investigation to continue, it implies there must be a helluva lot more steroids users inside PPD than the public has thus far been led to believe by both Chief of Police Michael Wynn and by his right-hand man, Internal Affairs unit head Capt. David Granger.
    Yet, where is the all-important internal investigation by Mssrs. Wynn and Granger that would root out the drug users?
    Is it really that hard to figure out who amongst the city’s employees are the body-builder types who work-out regularly, who look ‘pumped-up’, and who therefore just might be users of anabolic steroids? (Oops, would that be considered ‘profiling’?)

    Second observation:
    Your sources claim “the city is pushing for mandatory drug testing in the new contract, and many officers are dead-set against it.”
    Yet, on PlanetValenti, in a comment written a few weeks back on April 1st, Pittsfield Police Patrolman’s Union president Mark Maddalena wrote this:
    “The Pittsfield Police Union, since I have been at the head, is not against drug testing by any means.”
    SEE:
    http://planetvalenti.com/2011/03/thank-god-for-the-planet-or-if-we-dont-do-the-job-the-bb-never-gets-its-latest-cop-caper-plus-more-on-steroidsgate-and-the-leadership-of-chief-wynn/comment-page-1/#comment-19136

    If, as your sources claim, the City of Pittsfield “is pushing for mandatory drug testing in the new contract”, and if, as PPU president Marc Maddalena writes, PPU “is not against drug testing by any means”, then why isn’t this a done deal regardless whether or not, as your sources claim, “many officers are dead-set against it”?

    Third observation:
    Where the hell is Mayor James Ruberto in all this?
    Has Hizzoner issued a single public statement so far regarding anything related to the ongoing steroids matter?
    And if PPD is rife with internal conflict over illegal steroids use within that department, why isn’t the Mayor providing any leadership?
    Why isn’t the Mayor taking a firm public stand condemning all illegal drug use by all city employees and vowing to root out any and all city employees found to be using any illegal drugs?
    The city certainly has the upper hand in bargaining with city employee unions when city employees are found to be in violation of city employment rules (isn’t using illegal drugs violative of city employment rules?), so why isn’t Hizzoner making use of this leverage both to institute mandatory random drug testing and to demand concessions from city employee unions similar to those being demanded by other state and municipal officials during this time of belt-tightening?

    • Dusty
      May 1, 2011 at 3:08 am #

      He may be too busy lining up pork projects to deal with this issue but more likely he probably thinks the peasants should just shut up and pay their taxes. Isn’t that what citizens are for? A source of money to be used to fund special interest projects? Maybe taxpayers should just shut the hell up….nobody from city hall asked for their opinions.

    • Scott
      May 1, 2011 at 5:52 am #

      The mayor doesn’t care you saw what happened to the last guy who brought up drug investigation evidence against some one connected.

    • Kris Knutson
      May 1, 2011 at 6:50 am #

      Mr. Heller,
      As far as the mayor goes, his job is to provide the smoke and the mirrors. It’s the same old song and dance. When faced with the prospect of being found out, the convoluted mind turns to tricks. He figures, hey, with all the focus being given to our criminal activity, we need to shift gears and fast. Hence, Columbus ave. controversy. It’s all about diverting attention.

      I had a teacher at Reid Middle School back in the early eighties. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. His name was Mr. Kennedy. He always said, “if you dance the jig, you gotta pay the fiddler”. It rang true then and it rings true today. And the dance is over.

  7. John
    May 1, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Kris, are you going for that press confeence with Valenti?

    • Kris Knutson
      May 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      John,
      I am still in the process of thinking it all over. I need to do what is in the best interest of the people of Berkshire County. Whatever I choose to do, I need to know for sure that it will not be counter productive to the cause. I believe fools rush in, so I’d like to leave the rushing to them.

  8. Bonnie
    May 1, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Thank you Dan. Many people have been waiting a long time to see PPD corruption addressed. I hope sine the FBI is here investigation gangs and what not. PPD, DA’s Office and City Hall should keep the them pretty busy

  9. Obie
    May 1, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Interesting doing fer sure. I know a lot of PPD cops, and all of then, all of them, are decent, good, hard working people. They have voiced concerns about favorisitsm in the ranks and that theres a set of the “ins” and the “outs” The ins get protection and cushy jobs the outs get to bottom of the barrell.

    • Kim
      May 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

      NO! NOT ALL OF THEM ARE DECENT! Closed minds won’t fix the very gross antics happening ALL the time.

  10. John
    May 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Why did Riello leave?

  11. Annoyed
    May 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Corruption? Really!?!?!? If everyone had there stories straight you would see mistakes and bad choices are far from corruption. When I think of a corrupt police department I think of police not protecting people… That is is not what ppd is… They protect us! People are disappointed with the things that have occurred, which they have a right to be. I am dissapointed that you can trust no one. You say that your sources are not the ones named but also say you will protect whoever is your sources… I just find it funny that you drop names left and right but yet no one else can? There is obviously a reason why these names were dropped. I am sad to read your posts day after day and watch you contradict yourself. You say you support ppd but I have seen you do nothing but turn around everything to make negative comments. Who cares if they are seeking out the informants… I believe they have every right to do so…as do you to write these blogs. Honestly… Give it a rest! It is people like you that make me worried for our future. Your like a gossiping teenager. There is a way to write blogs with great information. Sometimes you do but the majority of them are degrading to many people of Pittsfield…Police officers, Firefighters, teachers, reporters, the
    mayor! Everyone is entitled to an opinion as you do everyday and this is mine…

    • Jeff
      May 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      You know  annoyed. You do have a right to your opinion but from where I am standing… The police should be held to a higher standard. This is not ok with me :* A patrolman on third shift was subject of a lengthy internal investigation after a complain from a woman that the officer “forced her” to have sex with him while he was on duty. And this: IA sexual assault investigator was found guilty in an internal probe of having sex and an ongoing affair with a victim he was interviewing
      I know both of these to be true and could put names to them but I wont. PPD has been corrupt for a long time and it is just getting worse. Time to clean up the mess and let the good PPD do their job.

      • Kim
        May 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

        I also could put names in there, but won’t. I am shocked at the acceptance of the old fashioned “brotherhood” crap! Come on! If a cop does something to victimize an individual, they should be held MORE accountable! I feel neglected, and not taken seriouly by the PPD. I have learned that many policies and procedures are critically outdated. It’s shameful the way things have been swept under the rug. Remember members of the “brotherhood”, the internet is full of all the laws you’re supposed abide by. Also, it’s very easy to look up the responsibilities of the DA’s office and every other office out there. Given time and motivation, you can find out ANYTHING! Don’t underestimate the intelligence and determination of Pittsfield’s citizens.

    • Kris Knutson
      May 2, 2011 at 5:33 am #

      Come on annoyed. Everyone knows that there are many good officers in the PPD who do their job. These good officers know what their jobs are. To serve and protect.
      This mess revolves around the flow of information or the lack there-of. When select individuals in law enforcement are involved with manipulating and controling the flow of information to the general public, it’s an uphill battle trying to defend this position as being for the good of the people when there is a mass of evidence to suggest that they are trying to cover their own arse. This amonts to digging in your heals in opposition to the people wishes, for there is no justice in this. And justice is cornerstone in any would be free or good society. Is this not true?

      • danvalenti
        May 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

        KRIS
        What you say about justice is SO true. If there is no justice, the very premise of a so-called “free” society crumbles.

  12. Annoyed
    May 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Jeff
    I appreciate the way you responded and respect you. You made your opinion without ripping me apart. I do agree to some of what you said and understand where are coming from.

  13. GMHeller
    May 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Mr. Valenti:
    You write:
    “A sexual assault investigator was found guilty in an internal probe of having sex and an ongoing affair with a victim he was interviewing.”

    Mr. Valenti,
    One of my sources has confirmed for me the name of that sexual assault investigator.
    There is no need for me to post it here at this time.
    The question, though, that this matter raises is why is this person still employed by the city?
    Were this to have occurred in the Pittsfield public school system by a counselor there, what do you suppose would have been the outcome?
    Likewise, had this occurred in the private sector by a registered physician or therapist assigned to deal with sexual assault victims, how would the system have handled the matter?
    Seems to me that not only would the perpetrator in all the examples posed above be fired from his position of responsibility, but that the perp would lose his license to practice, and very likely be required to pay civil damages and fines, if not also be subject to criminal prosecution.
    (Not to mention that our good buddies at The Berkshire Eagle would drag the fellow’s name through the mud and readers would learn everything there was to know about every aspect of the guy’s background — Thank you, Andrew Mick, Tim Farkas, and Clarence Fanto!)
    Yet, in this case, that individual is still employed by PPD, collects his weekly paycheck, pays his union dues, and is otherwise on track to get his pension and medical benefits when finally he retires, all courtesy of the city’s taxpayers.
    Would that be the outcome for the school counselor, physician, or therapist mentioned above?
    So why is this public employee receiving special treatment that would certainly not be accorded to anyone else who had done the same thing?

    • Kim
      May 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      You ROCK! Well said. I strongly agree….I’ve been thinking of starting a petition…

  14. Jeff
    May 2, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Yeah Dan,

    He has a point. I would not mind having an answer to that myself.