Monday, September 22, 2014

Jail employee on paid leave for more than two years files suit against Sheriff Mahar

MAHAR

A corrections officer who has been on paid administrative leave for more than two years is the latest to file a lawsuit against Sheriff Jack Mahar and others for improperly accessing medical records.
Kevin Rogers, a CO at the Rensselaer County Jail from 1990 through 1996 and again from 2003 to the present, claims two nurses at the jail, at Mahar’s direction, accessed his records on at least three occasions. If the allegations are true, it violates a number of Rogers’s Constitutional rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
Rogers, who was the union vice president and makes in excess of $70,000 a year, has been on paid administrative leave because of allegations he used union funds for personal gain. According to sources, he has refused to plea bargain with the federal authorities who are looking into the matter. He has not been formally charged with any crime.
The Rensselaer County Jail
(The one in Troy, NY not Troy, Michigan) 
President of the now defunct Sheriff’s Employees Association of Rensselaer County, Mark Piche, was also under scrutiny for using union funds at strip clubs and high-end restaurants. In 2013 he pleaded guilty to tax evasion in relation to a restaurant his family owns, The Red Front in Troy. He did not face any embezzlement charges but sources say part of his plea to tax evasion was to testify against Rogers when and if the latter is charged and when and if it goes to trial. He also resigned from his position at the jail.
The two former union representatives were staunch supporters of Gary Gordon, a former Troy police officer now working as an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, in his bid for sheriff against Mahar in 2011.  Gordon ran with the Democrats and Mahar is a Republican.  

In his civil suit against the Sheriff’s Department, Mahar and nurses Katrina Dinan and Elaine Young Rogers claims his medical records were accessed without his permission twice in 2006 and again in 2013. The nurses allegedly used a system the jail had established with Samaritan Hospital to check medical records of inmates getting care at the hospital electronically.  
GORDON
In 2013, Samaritan sent a letter to scores of jail employees telling them their records were accessed in a similar fashion and at least half dozen lawsuits similar to the one filed Friday by Rogers followed.
  The password to the Samaritan Hospital medical records was given to Young, who has since resigned her position after 13 years at the jail. This lawsuit, like others, claims Young did not properly secure the password and instead left it taped to the computer console or in her desk drawer.  
  The suit claims Mahar directed jail personnel to access the records under the guise of stepping up enforcement of sick time abuse – and even if that were the reason, it would still violate HIPPA.
“This is not the first time high ranking Rensselaer County officials have abused their power to access confidential information,” according the lawsuit filed by Rogers’s attorney Matthew Tully in federal court. “The employees of the Rensselaer County Jail, under the supervision of Sheriff Mahar, have a habit and practice of breaching the privacy of citizens and improperly accessing computer databases.”
PICHE
The suit goes on to talk about Master Sgt. Anthony Patricelli, who was considered one of Mahar’s loyalists when the jail was fractured between Mahar supporters and those of Gordon. He admitted to directing employees to access medical records and was initially charged with the felonies of falsifying business records and computer trespass as well as official misconduct, a misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a computer.
“Unbelievably, Defendant Patricelli was not disciplined by Defendant Mahar and remains an employee at the Rensselaer County Jail,” according to the lawsuit. “It is clear that Defendant Mahar’s failure to take action against Defendant Patricelli, in the face of unquestionably illegal conduct, that Defendant Mahar and Rensselaer County have ratified the conduct of Defendant Patricelli and other employees as it relates to the unauthorized access of citizen’s private information.”
Specifically, the suit alleges Mahar violated Rogers’s right to privacy, implementing policies and procedures that directly violate Constitutional rights, the failure to train and supervise employees under state law, violating the American with Disabilities Act, and computer fraud and abuse.
The suit demands a trial by jury and an unspecified cash amount be awarded.
Mahar could not be reached for comment.
Rogers is represented by attorney Gasper Castillo in the criminal matter that has yet to yield an indictment.
More information as it becomes available.

76 comments:

  1. Whole RCJ needs an upheaval. Dirty from the Sheriff on down to dispatch. Ignore any 911 calls covering up for the law-breaking CO's lately? Yes indeed!

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  2. Love ya Franco but it's HIPAA

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  3. Where's the pic of Rogers... Why do uou have a picture of Piche when the story is about Rogers.. Makes no sense.

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    1. Could not find one. If you have one send it along and I'll be glad to post it.

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    2. Piche was Roger's shadow.

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    3. I think you have that backwards!!

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    4. Rogers pic (on right, in red):

      http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/10/57/65/2293084/5/628x471.jpg

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  4. Rensselaer County politics are so fucking disgusting.

    That's all.

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  5. What's up with his face

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  6. These asshole in the jail guarding people today will have over 100 post by noon.

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    Replies
    1. Not all who work at the jail are assholes. Don't judge all by a few bad apples.

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    2. You're right, not all of them are bad. So if you're a good egg 9:01 you should work to get the bad apples out. Do the right thing, it can be done.

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    3. they have been trying to get rid of the assholes, but Mahar just changes their title from Master Sargeant to Sergeant. The problem starts at the top. Everyone else is just reacting.

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  7. Has Mahar concluded the 3 year investigation into the HIPAA violations? How many lawsuits do Rensselaer County residents have to be responsible for paying out (the insurance company ain't payin!) before the GOP controlled Legislature and GOP county executive decide to DEMAND accountability?

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  8. How will those lawsuits effect our taxes? Are the lawsuits going to lower them? Will the money that would be used to pave roads have to go toward lawsuit payouts? 3 years and not a mention, but she is worried about taxpayers? Shame on YOU Jimino! YOU are worried about Jack. YOU are helping to cover it up. Shame on You!

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  9. How much money can the sheriff waste? Throwing away two years full salary and benefits, plus the overtime it costs to cover Rogers shift for TWO years. What do they get $40-50 an hour for overtime? A normal shift has been covered by $50 an hour help, because Jack doesn't like Kevin and can't find enough evidence to charge him? How much has this cost us? Anyone care to investigate? Does Jimino have an opinion on whether this is a good use of taxpayer monies? Still covering for Jack and not the taxpayer - thanks Kathy!

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  10. Jack Mahar is on paid leave too.

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  11. Shouldnt this story be about the fact that 2 years has passed and rogers is still getting paid and not made to work??? What is taking so long? Could it be that rogers father keeps company with the renn. county executive?

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    1. Mahar screwed up. Rogers will get 3-400 GS after all said and done. Including keeping his retirement, insurance and shield.

      Mahar and Jack Rogers never got along during their years on tpd. You messed up Mahar.

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    2. Exactly, that wouldn't happen in the private,sector. You would be shit out of luck.

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    3. What does "keeping company" mean?

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    4. Nobody ever got along with Mahar at TPD. He has always been a little piss pot.

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    5. It means exactly what it sounds like.

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  12. " Mahar could not be reached for comment." The only way Mahar will be reached is the next election!

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  13. Not sure why you are posting Mark Piches picture . . this has nothing to do with him . take it down franco

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    1. Nothing to do with Piche ? Hahahahahaha !!! Thanks for the laugh.

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  14. Piche didn't face embezzlemet charges becasue he didn't embezzle any money plain and simple.

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    1. Neither did Rogers

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    2. Then why is he out of a job

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    3. Sure Piche did. And Kevin isn't out of a job he's on paid leave.

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    4. Piche is out of a job because of the redfront debacle, it has nothing to do with any union money.

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  15. Jack Mahar lives in Myrtle Beach! He doesn't even work there anymore! Talk about getting paid for no work!

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  16. Piche isn't a thief, plain and simple. We all make mistakes in life. He made a few bad choices, again, Piche isn't a thief. Will bend over backwards for you.

    Rogers on the other hand would pick pocket you if he had the chance.

    I've known them both for over 35 years.

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    1. Is today Opposite Day?

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  17. As I said before the Republicans are going to Primary him they just need to find the right person.

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    1. And they don't have anyone. Because they suck.

      The RCJ has been a lawless zoo for years. If the Dems on the legislature weren't so clueless and spineless this would have developed into a full blown scandal a LONG time ago.

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  18. I don't worry about crime in the county with Mahar and Tedesco running the show. Never felt safer. Both have their departments respect and admiration. Fiscally responsible, budget conscious, Honorable lawmen, who live, work and care about their county and city and want it to be a better place. Go GOP!

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    1. Whatever you say Rich Crist. Hey wait a minute, you're committing crimes in Rensco aren't you?

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  19. Calling Bobby Ashe....your county needs you!!!.....Calvin Spaulding

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    1. Ashe is having a lot f fun in Hoosick Falls and doing a great job. Do you really think he would give that up.

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  20. Please, please let Bob Ashe run. Only he can save us now!

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  21. If there's a god in heaven, let Bob Ashe be our sheriff!!!!!!!

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  22. Pat Russo for sheriff.

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    Replies
    1. Not a good choice. He is a yes man for Mahar. Does not stand up for the COs.

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  23. Jack Smith for sheriff.

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  24. And the bullshit goes on and on

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  25. Harry all worked up over his previous spot shotter. Please city is in better direction with the current administration their visions and ability to execute them. They are burdened with the poorly planned ideas and destruction most notably one monument square that you created harry. You aren't significant anymore stop coming to council meetings and move on and let the city prosper without your negativity on twitter and on this blog

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    1. Morning Bill thought you didn't go on twitter or read the blogs? Next you will be listening to Vandenburgh on the radio.

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  26. Be part of the solution not the problem. Participate in government every chance you get to achieve what you want for this city in an upswing. Realize troy

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  27. And be careful with email and don't drop the bag of chips

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  28. And don't eat my ice cream I love me some ice cream

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  29. This should be an article regarding sheriff jack mahar violating the HIPAA law- not "aligations" and "inflammatory rhetoric" - you've tried and to an extent succeeded in tarnishing the reputations of Kevin Rogers, Mark Piche and Gary Gordon without ever mentioning the problems (legal and monetarily) Jack Mahar has caused this county.
    Your agenda is crystal clear Jim Franco..It's clear in evey article you've written regarding these guys in the last 3 years.

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    1. No one cares, that is the sad thing. The people affected have filed lawsuits, their lawyers are handling it. We taxpayers had to hire attorneys to fight our insurance company who will not pay out any settlements with respect to the lawsuits regarding the HIPAA violations. The investigation that Jack has been conducting from South Carolina for 3 YEARS has yet to be concluded. Kathy doesn't want this investigation to come to an end. Do you know why? Because as soon as it does, outside agencies can step in and do their own investigation, until then their hands are tied. People aren't paying attention to the politicians that are picking our pockets by covering for this Sheriff and allowing more lawsuits to be filed. When does the legislature demand this investigation end? Where is the city council protecting Troy residents who have to pay Rensselaer county taxes and were victims in this breach? Where is Jimino? In a bunker in her basement? Where is the press? Horrible violation of rights ignored. Don't wonder why your taxes are so high. You aren't paying attention.

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  30. Please run the Coons story you WOP!

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    1. WOP
      With Out Papers

      Not a nice Term

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  31. Zoning board chair for sheriff. Controls a meeting can control the jail keeps criminals from opening towing business and can keep criminals in jail

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  32. And can we hire more auditors and interns? Ace

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  33. Bill dunne. I mean ace blogging at work again. Bob Dougherty is gonna be upset

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  34. That's the best thing I ever heard!

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  35. ...and what ever happened with the Don Vito Germano trial, hmmm?

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  36. Plain and simple! Jack Mahar is an outlaw. He has made false allegations against anybody who dares to come out against him and has never been held responsible for any of his misdeeds and crimes. He rewards those who help him continue his dirty work by giving them sweet jobs and promotions. Look at Patricelli. Patricelli plead guilty to a crime! He is a criminal! He is still wearing a badge! Jack Mahar is a coward. Jack Mahar should be indicted for what he has done over the last ten years. Move on Mahar and take your pain in the ass wife with you! You know, the one who can't pass a civil service exam to save her life.

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    1. Gary, you have to let it go.

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    2. Hey Tony, can you run this criminal history for me?

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  37. I think that this is going to come down to what Pat Russo wants to do.

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  38. I understand Mahar is going to run again and feels that he deserves it. Their is only a few people that will stand up against him. Most of the others will do what the GOP says. And the bullshit will go on and on.

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  39. Jack Mahar is dreamy

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  40. After paying 900000 for Canadians to Tell us what to do a cheery bill dunne is seen at hannoford purchasing snacks and soda for his meet an greets. Food wasn't included

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  41. Russo won't run. Mahar won't let him. Russo should take his testicles back and be a man again. They are in the bottom left hand drawer of Mahars desk Pat.

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  42. And people think the guy in Maricopa County Arizona is a nut job. Mahar is a narcissist. It amazes me that anyone still supports him.

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  43. The only support he gets are the sheep that work for him. They're afraid not to.

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  44. What about jack smiths glasses

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  45. We need to put the pressure on the leadership of the GOP to not support Mahar. If he runs again he will lose.

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