Choolokian Lone Voice of Reason In Fetid Snake Pit of Warshaw Contract
By Mike Hudson
The Niagara Falls City Council voted 3-1 last week to continue for two more years the lucrative contract with police department monitor Robert S. Warshaw, whose business it is to force cops here to jump through hoops based on unsubstantiated accusations made primarily on the gripes of criminals who have been arrested.
Only Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian voted against extending the lavish contract. Councilman Bob Anderson was absent from the meeting, and two-term Councilman Sam Fruscione - apparently still stunned by his crushing defeat in the recent elections - voted with the minority backing the ill-advised consent agreement between Mayor Paul Dyster and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that attempts to handcuffs city cops in their crime fighting efforts here.
It’s as simple as this: City police can arrest a member of a minority for anything from robbery to rape to arson to murder and, if the scumbag lodges a complaint about the way he was treated, and calls the arrest racially motivated, an investigation is launched against the arresting officer.
Choolokian is ready, willing and able to call BS.
“Anybody who lives in Niagara Falls knows crime is getting worse, not just in the bad neighborhoods but throughout the city,” Choolokian told the Niagara Falls Reporter in an exclusive interview. “So your answer to that is to try and make life more difficult for the police? It’s crazy.”
Based on a small number of complaints that were never investigated by anyone, Dyster signed a consent agreement with then Attorney General Cuomo to hire a monitor to oversee alleged racism and racial bias on the part of the Niagara Falls Police Dept.
In short order, Cuomo was elected governor and Warshaw, the former chief of police of Rochester, was "selected" to be that monitor.
It could be coincidence but Cuomo's Lieutenant Governor, Robert Duffy was Warshaw's deputy chief, before Warshaw selected him to be his replacement when Warshaw took a position in the Clinton administration.
Charging as much as $19,000 for a single visit when he flew in with three of his associates, stayed overnight, and left the next day, Warshaw has cost the city more than $235,000 so far and Dyster proposed another $130,000 for 2014.
Billing at $200 per hour, Warshaw, president of Warshaw and Associates, purportedly is monitoring and documenting internal affairs investigations and approving a written policy on police procedures.
A quick survey of Warshaw’s activities shows that, once he worms his way into a municipality’s budget, he’s impossible to get rid of.
Warshaw has monitored the Pittsburgh Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Detroit Police Department and the Oakland Police.
In Detroit, Warshaw has been toiling for five years at a cost of more than $1 million, and has revised and rewritten its policies much the same way as he is doing in Niagara Falls.
In Detroit, like in Niagara Falls he keeps telling reporters that the police department is making great strides but still isn’t up to 100 percent compliance with his standards.
Therefore, he says, he needs to keep getting paid.
The reams of billings piling up in the Niagara Falls city controller’s office show that Warshaw and his men are primarily involved in reviewing reports, occasionally writing reports, reviewing documents - which are presumably different than reports - engaging in “on-site services” and offering “technical assistance.”
The Warshaw associates include: "Commander" John M. Girvin, "Colonel" John R. Brown and "Dr." John Klofas, who, as billings show, review each other's work and vice versa, at $200 per hour. Then Warshaw reviews their work and sends it back to them for final review at $200 per hour.
Multiple liaisons between the Niagara Falls city police department and the monitor hand picked by Cuomo and Dyster have told the Reporter repeatedly that Warshaw issues directives and policies are written based on them, only to be returned with demands for rewrites that take the policies back to where they were in the first place.
Aside from his close personal relationship with Duffy, Warshaw is probably best known for being accused of sexual harassment by the city administrator of Oakland, California, and an ugly legal dispute with his own brother, Donald, a former Miami chief of police and convicted embezzler, over some property in North Carolina, where the dysfunctional family makes its home.
“The more I look into this, the more it looks like a money grab,” Choolokian told the Reporter. “I’ve talked to a number of police officials here, and they all say the same thing.”
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.
Dec 03, 2013