Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PBA President Bob Fitzgerald retires


FITZGERALD
I know I’m a bit late on Officer Bob Fitzgerald retiring from the Police Department and as president of the Police Benevolent Association.
I knew about it, and also got a copy of the letter he sent calling for Councilman Bob Doherty, D-District 4, resignation the day he sent it but I chose not to do anything with it right away for two reasons:
-One, because that is exactly the type of media manipulation Fitzgerald used throughout his tenure as PBA president. He released that the day before he retired just to deflect the media from writing about his destructive record as president.
-And two, because it the letter wasn’t news. (And no, I'm not including it in this post.) It might have been news months ago, around the time Doherty held the questionable public hearings about the Kokopellis melee, but to release it when Fitzgerald was all but out the door, the call for a councilman’s head doesn’t mean anything at all. If nothing else it was a weak attempt at salvaging an unsalvageable legacy as president. 
First, let me say, I like Fitzgerald. When he wasn’t talking union shop or pitching a story that you could tell he was into being a cop. He was an evidence technician before becoming PBA president and was, as far as I could tell, good at meticulous handling proof that could make or break a prosecutor’s case. But, the presidency was a 40-hour-a-week gig, and every time you saw Fitzgerald in uniform over the past 11-plus years he was on OT.
Fitzgerald did fight hard for his members during contract negotiations, when they found themselves in trouble and when the administration or the command staff tried to alter the terms of the contract as it related to bidding assignments, staffing issues and even the different divisions within the department.
All that is expected of a strong union leader, but Fitzgerald often crossed the lines from professional to personal, from advocate to activist, from union president to political operative.
Overtime, pension costs, bidding jobs based on seniority rather than merit and other contractual obligations are favorite targets of columnists and politicians with enough guts to go against the politically powerful PBA union. But, they are obligations and the people elected to run the city signed off on them at some time so it’s not the PBA’s fault for getting what they could and then not wanting to give any of it up.
That said, Fitzgerald, just took it too far. I’m really not sure where to start.
I think the first time I was truly offended by Fitzgerald’s actions was the day then Mayor Harry Tutunjian was set to introduce John Tedesco as the new police chief. Fitzgerald didn’t want Tedesco to get the job because he knew as chief he would shake up the department, eliminate some inefficient programs to cut back on overtime and was a staunch disciplinarian.  So, Fitzgerald concocted this bizarre story about Tedesco getting the job because he agreed to squash an investigation into drug use and/or sale by members of Tutunjian’s adminstration. I’m not saying it was a complete fabrication because, as far as I could find out, it was a laborer in DPW who got jammed up so technically it was in Tutunjian’s adminstration. It’s just that the guy worked out of a pickup truck and probably never stepped foot in City Hall.
Then he propped up two on the Council – Kevin McGrath and Nina Nichols – with promises of who knows what if they supported a police commissioner. They convinced Mayor Lou Rosamilia to appoint Anthony Magnetto to oversee Tedesco and that experiment threw the department into turmoil. Magnetto went back into retirement after a year and Tedesco is now back in charge of the department.
And then he sued the city. It’s a pretty sordid story, really. A fellow officer, Steve Seney, was making a stink about residency and promotions – specifically, officers not living in the city were getting promoted ahead of those who did. Fitzgerald wasn’t happy about that and allegedly threatened to tell his wife about an affair Seney was having. There was threats of violence and Tutunjian suspended Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald sued and the city settled for $84,000.
Battles between the PBA and the administration – of whatever party – are legendary. But Fitzgerald took it to a new level. Rather than work within the existing hierarchy, he thought the PBA should run the department and used every tactic of manipulation in futile attempts to achieve that goal.
Sgt. Tom Hoffman is the new PBA president. I don’t know the guy, but he can’t be any more divisive as Fitzgerald.

45 comments:

  1. Fitzgerald, Nichols, McGrath, Magnetto--- GONE. Is that a coincidence? Don't think so. Karma!

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    1. And Lou is next. Ol' Fitzy had that reverse Midas effect. He ruined everything and everyone he touched, to the extent they weren't corrupt or stupid to begin with.

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  2. You know what Foghorn Fitzgerald use to say about Kevin McGrath "nice boy but he's got more nerves than a bum tooth".

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  3. Well Bob retired with his healthy pension and left the TPD with the public perception of the Schenectady PD of years ago. Even most of his apologists have realized he's a lying, dishonest cop. He has left the rest of the TPD with that stench. They supported him and will now reap the spoils for their foolish blind allegiance. The TPD are now unfairly viewed as less than the criminals they work hard to apprehend. Again, they brought it on themselves.

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    1. Look what happened to the politicians that supported him. That's all you need to know.

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  4. Bob Fitzgerald reinforced every negative perception people have about public safety unions. He was a buffoon, stupid and arrogant, and his political stunts put others in danger. He was a disgrace to the department. After ruining whatever shreds of credibility he had remaining, he hightailed it out of town like a coward to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a strip mall rent a cop. His departure is a huge plus for Troy.

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  5. We need Bobby Ashe to ride in and straighten all of this stuff out. Bob for sheriff!!!!!..................Yafata's Moustache

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  6. 5:35 is spot on. Many of us felt playing politics would ultimately bite us in the ass. Bob couldn't stop and now we have a weak mayor and council people who are anti-cop. And they were all backed by Bob and the PBA.

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    1. There still are bad cops.

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  7. Tedesco outlasted them all.

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    1. He is king leader of all the officers that get away with crap. Can't wait til that one goes.

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  8. Very good story Mr. Franco. You covered a lot of background and detail with facts. The excessive salries and benefits of PBA members date back to the 70s when city manager Buckley signed a contract with major improvements for policemen. His successor, Mr. Dwosrsky, then proceeded to "give away the store" to the police dept. leaving us with future contracts that are unaffordable.

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    1. What's unaffordable about the police salaries? Troy Police are one of the lowest paid city departments in nys. They are grossly underpaid compared to other departments.

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    2. Excessive salaries?!?!?! HAHAHAH
      Please, explain. I would love to hear it. Yeah the cops get some awesome contractual benefits but they also have to deal with being hit, punched, kicked, spit on, bled on, etc. I'd say what we pay as taxpayers for them to deal with all the savages running around his city so that we don't have to deal with them.... It's a bargain.

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    3. Yes I think their salaries in many instances are excessive. I do think that a man like the Chief deserves a nice salary of say 125 K a year, but not every OT grinding potential retirey. THere are over 100 people in Troy making over a hundred a year, and the Mayor gets less! Thats stupid, Unions have ruined Troy along with previous administrations that paid off the cops for their votes.

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    4. All Troy cops should have to live within the city. And believe me, people are sick of the cops bitching. If you think you're underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, whatever... Get the fuck out. Find another job. You're replaceable. Plenty of qualified men and women who would be happy to take your place. Isn't it funny how cops bitch a lot but never leave to get a "better" job. Because they know they got it good. So spare us the complaining and do what the rest of America does when we are dissatisfied with our jobs... Find another one, or STFU.

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  9. Heard he stopped off on Red Rock to give Kevin McGrath a matchbox cop car and a Junior Crimefighter badge, then rode off into the sunset with Pat Rosney.

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    1. Do they match his Lansingburgh Action Superhero Cape?

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    2. It's for the kids. Always for the kids.

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  10. "Thank god and greyhound your gone"

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  11. Fitz is spending his pension AWAY from TROY

    He is MOVING to another city. We will be paying for his morguriotos in iland polm tree area while we still FREESE

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    1. Yummy. I love "morguriotos!" I'm also a fan of "iland polm trees!" I don't enjoy a good FREESE though! Hahaha, idiot. Learn the basics of English Grammar before you decide to stretch those neurons too far and try to come up with a politcal opinion.

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    2. He wasn't living in or spending his money in Troy before he left. He's gone--Let us move on.

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    3. And Troy is a better place.

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  12. So I guess brian gross was the last crooked cop Robert marched in to court to face a Judge.

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    1. But not the last crooked cop

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  13. When where the last white riots? And where? Please tell me. Thank You.

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    1. City Hall is where you will find the white riots!!!

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  14. Whites don't get shot at by black cops that's why

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    1. But black sure do get shot by blacks. Oh there's another. Welcome to Lansingburgh

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  15. Most of the above posts are critical of Mr. Fitzgerald which could be attributed to his political enemies. But even the police or the pro police comments do not defend him. Maybe that's why he wants to move where people don't know him and view him as the scumbag that he really is.

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    1. It won't take them long to find out. God bless Google.

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  16. Willie is gone, can we please give it a rest on the race card insinuations???

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    1. Not while there are still racist comments being made. They won't say them in front of the black officers, but it's still a racist department.

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  17. Not while there are still racist comments being made by city employees. When that stops then the race card will be dropped. Working for Troy is like a major step back in time.I wish the Mayor would compose a letter to ALL City employees in regards to racism and what racist comments do and that anyone can go to him with complaints of racism and not get exposed and the offending employees disciplined. I hear,racist comments everyday and am ready to blow my lid.

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    1. Seriously Irrelevant Tim-- Give it up, your comment is so transparent it's laughable. While your at it, produce your credentials proving you can legally perform religious services and counseling. I'd bank there isn't any, which is fraud!

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    2. Not the reverend.just an employee that hears bad comments about blacks,Hispanics etc all the time and fed up with it.

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    3. Then speak up about it, not going to change anything writing about it here.

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    4. I'm afraid to 828, it's just my word against theirs.

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    5. Let those people make their comments, when those comments falls on the public's ear and a federal harassment lawsuit hits the City that's when they will take racism serioysly

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  18. Reverend Tim, who's Lid ?

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  19. Good riddance Fitzgerald! You and your pathetic cronies are totally out of power. KARMA

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