DID MEREDITH NILAN HEARING TAKE PLACE THURSDAY? DID ‘NO SHOW’ FIND NO CAUSE FOR MOVING AHEAD? CLOUD OF SECRECY HANGS OVER THE COURTS … plus … MELISSA MAZZEO ON DER WUNDERBARRETT AND KEPT PROMISES RE: PEDA … and … LETTER: BB’s DOUBLE STANDARD ON BARBALUNGA AND NUCIFORO
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JAN. 16, 2012) — In observance of the federal holiday, THE PLANET enjoys another day on the road, on business (mostly) with a little R&R thrown in for good measure. The beauty of cyberspace is that “here” takes on a relative, almost philosophic meaning, since it does not have to be physical.
Briefly, we shall share a few items:
* NILANGATE: CAN JUSTICE BE DONE AMID SECRECY IN A TOWN WITH THE CESSPOOL POLITICS OF PITTSFIELD?
Rumors have it that the magistrate’s hearing for Meredith Nilan on whether criminal misdemeanor charges should proceed to trial took place on Thursday. Getting straight information has been harder that determining the pedigree of a horse trader’s mule. No one’s saying nuttin’.
One source claims Chris “No Show” Speranzo heard the evidence and found no basis for the matter to go any further. We stress that is an unconfirmed report.
Would Mary Jane Kapanski receive this treatment? A pedestrian is hit by a swerving vehicle that crosses lane. The car nearly kills him on Dec. 8. No official word of this comes until almost a month later, when police file misdemeanor charges. The charges require a hearing before a clerk magistrate. Does Mary Jane receive the same treatment as the daughter of a GOB’s GOB?
Look at this cast of characters. The accused is the daughter of the heavily wired Probation Chief Cliff Nilan, a man who distinguished himself in the sordid mess involving the pedophilic behavior of his buddy, once the head of the largest financial institution in Berkshire County. The clerk magistrate is a GOB puppet, first put up to “run” for state rep in an all-but rigged election after his predecessor quits the Third Berkshire District seat he had pledeged to fill in the state legislature. The perception: This same magistrate gets his job because he “plays ball.” The perception: In exchange for a $110,000 (+ bennies) LIFETIME appointment, the GOBs get a goon on the inside to act as they instruct him.
GOB’s Chess-like Strategy: Get a Bobo on the Inside?
One has to admire the apparent chess-like strategy of the cynical masterminds who engineered getting No Show where he is.
If you look at the function of the Clerk Magistrate, you can see how the office can be such a key ally to the GOBs, who make of the political process the means by which they perform their legal crookery. Did the local GOBs know or fear that certain cases were brewing? For example, did they want someone on the inside in case one of these hot cases couldn’t magically be buried and covered up, as so many have in the past?
There are 80 clerk mags in the Commonwealth, serving in various courts (District, Housing, Juvenile, etc.). They are political appointments and enjoy LIFETIME protection. Technically, clerk mags manage and administer the business of the court. They also serve as judicial hearing officers!!!! Bingo!!! on criminal matters such as !!!BINGO!!! show-cause hearings.
It’s not like the clerk mag has to do much work or show up in the office, as sources say of No Show. The job, of course, can be one for someone with a work ethic. It just doesn’t have to be. The magistrate’s office typically has an Office Manager, an Operations Supervisor, a Session Clerk, a Case Coordinator, a Case Specialist, and Accounts Clerk, and a Head Administrative Assistant. In political cesspools such as Pittsfield, the clerk mag’s chief job description might be described this way:
“This position is responsible for doing political favors. Work involves little supervision of staff within the office and no set hours. Main responsibilities include fulfilling whatever the GOBs ask, never asking any questions of a Political Master, and being a ‘good boy’ for ‘the Old Guys in Kansas City.'”
Darkness Means an Infestation of Mold; Only Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant
The Nilan hearing, if it took place Thursday, did so under cloak of darkness. If Meredith Nilan’s case came before No Show on Thursday, it means the GOBs not only wanted (and received) secrecy but also quick action. They wanted this to be disposed of ASAP, like a cantaloupe showing the first signs of mold.
As of yet, Cliff Nilan has not been charged with removing evidence from a crime scene, obstruction justice, jaywalking, or pulling on the belt of the Jolly Green Giant.
MAZZEO: MORE DETAILS ON PROMISES KEPT
Our Right Honorable Good Friend, councilor at large Melissa Mazzeo, has further informed We The People via this website of how she is going about fulfilling perhaps the most important campaign promise any candidate made during the most recent Pittsfield municipal election: How to address the unresolved question of GE‘s poisoning of Pittsfield.
First, however, Mazzeo weighs in on that force of nature, John Barrett, and the mess Der Wunderbarrett cleaned up at BerkshireWorks. Then she gets into GE matters.
We share her own words:
As for Barrett… I was on WBRK with Bill [Sturgeon] yesterday and we talked about the DPW and getting things done, Bill said he is a big fan of Barrett and that he liked what he did. I said that there where things that he did that I, too, liked, such as, having all City Depts (water,highway parks) work together when needed (for example, all come out to help plow in a snow storm, or all work together on a major water issue). We are already paying them to work. Lets use “contractors” less. That I agree with. Being proactive on snow removal instead of waiting, good idea … being “seen” on the job as a supervisor … all good. What I didn’t like is that he didn’t give us written directives as most “consultants” would, no rules to live by or goals to attain. He obviously is not a Consultant, just a good friend of the Mayor with some good ideas to help us out. Could he have done this for a short time for minimal pay. I think so. Did he need to stay on for over a year for the tune of $80,000 or more. NO. I received numerous phone calls from people who had “run-ins” with Barrett and that part I did not like. You cant treat people like that, and that is what he gets away with. So while I liked some of what he tried to do. Will it stay in place? Was it wasted money? I hope not.
This type of candor has made Mazzeo an ascending star on the Pittsfield political scene. On PEDA, Mazzeo says this:
PEDA. I have attached two links. One is like a “Cliff notes” of the Consent Decree and the other is the law that set up PEDA. … As I said yesterday, I met with [city solicitor] Kathy Degnan yesterday and told her what I would like to do ASAP about the Consent Decree (CD). We need to bring together a group for a roundtable discussion about reopening the CD. At the same time we can start talking about what changes we would like, and as you know this will be difficult because many people want different things. My main issue is the capping of Silver Lake. BAD Idea as far as what I have been told. I have received a few phone calls from a 90-year-old GE engineer who has an Idea of how to clean the lake. He also has extensive knowelgde of the PCB disposal into this lake and he said he can prove there is a better way. I think Silver Lake is more important right now than the rest of the river, because ground water leaks out and into the river that was cleaned already. So we need to stop it at the source then work our way out. As for what I am learning, .a lot of it is me just Googling and reading documents or old stories and articles and talking to people who call me. I only know 1% of what I need to know right now, but am willing to work my butt off to get the people who do know more together to help us. My biggest argument is that we should not have to be STUCK with a document that was ok’d by [former Gerry] Doyle]. Why should my kids have to settle for the bare minimum of clean up because [Doyle] sold out for $10 million? Solicitor Degnan says there is case law to back up the need to change a signed document, because the law just like technology is ever evolving and we shouldn’t be held to something that is outdated. She is going to speak to Mayor [Dan] Bianchi and give him my idea. It will mean more coming from him to get this group together. I just want to be part of it as we move on.Keep up the great Blog. I am sorry that I don’t blog. I just feel that if I can say that I have NEVER blogged then no one can say that I go on with a different name and such, but I will respond by email anytime you ask.
That, my good friends, is a prima fascia case of how a politician should deal with the press — in an honest, forthright, and invitational (as opposed to confrontational) manner.
We thank the councilwoman for her comments.
The Consent Agreement — or should we call is the Consent Disagreement — was negotiated in secret. To this day, minutes of the negotiations have not been made public. Ask yourself: Why? Whby would they want to keep these talks secret? What are they hiding?
The Disagreement is a document that seems to be written in a deliberately obscure fashion meant to allow GE to escape Pittsfield relatively unscathed. There are a multitude of issues, and therefore, THE PLANET agrees with Mazzeo that we need to start somewhere. That somewhere should be:
(1) Push to have the minutes of the Consent Agreement made public. We call upon the city council and Mayor Bianchi to get this done.
(2) Push to reopen the CA.
(3) Begin by addressing Silver Lake. A cap over five feet of the most noxious industrial poisons makes no sense. The toxins will continue to leak into the cleaned river, polluting it again. All poisons must be removed from Silver Lake, and the lake must be restored so that We The People can enjoy it once again.
Letter: Eagle’s Double Standard Re: Barbalunga and Nuciforo
Finally, we present this Letter to the Editor, from Jonathan Melle. THE PLANET’s letters page is open to everyone with a point of view. As always, letters aren’t necessarily the views of this website, but we believe in the importance of free speech and an unfettered exchange of ideas, within accepted standards. If you wish to contribute, we shall be more than glad to receive your views. Address Letters to email@example.com.
Now, the Letter:
The Berkshire Eagle‘s Editorial against [Alf] Barbalunga‘s appointments on the Pittsfield School Committee is yet another example of the Eagle’s double standards when it comes to covering Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.!Nuciforo strong-armed two women candidates out of a 2006 state government election to anoint himself to a sinecure while he plots his run for U.S. Congress. The names of the two women are Sara Hathaway and Sharon Henault. The Berkshire Eagle NEVER covered Nuciforo’s sexist political power play! Nor did the Eagle comment about Nuciforo’s discriminatory actions in an Editorial.Moreover, Nuciforo was double-dipping when he was a state Senator. [While] Nuciforo chaired financial committees, he was also representing as a private corporate Attorney for a Boston law firm named Berman & Dowell. Nuciforo raised over six figures in campaign contributions from Boston area big banks and insurance companies, which was way outside of his legislative district in Berkshire County.Of course, the Berkshire Eagle NEVER covered nor commented on Nuciforo’s corruption in state governement and Boston area financial institutions. Just who was Nuciforo representing? The answer is NOT the people of Berkshire County.The Berkshire Eagle will go after a local person such as Barbalunga, who is sincerely trying to make a difference in his community, but will look the other way when it comes to Andrea Nuciforo.I dare the Berkshire Eagle to publish my letter! The Berkshire Eagle won’t publish my letter because it is the truth, and the truth hurts!————————————————————————–
AND AS FOR THE HOLIDAY, WELL, ON THE PLANET, EVERYDAY IS A HOLIDAY, FOR WE HONOR LIFE ITSELF AND THE AMAZING THRILL TO BE A PARTICIPANT IN IT. WITH THAT, WE BID ONE AND ALL ….
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.