Property Rights Foundation of America®

August 22, 2003
The Press
Ellenville, New York

To the Editor:

The follow up to the story of the police entering a tenanted apartment [The Press, August 8, 2003] is so corrupt I've decided not to divulge it completely, mainly because of the New York Times August 10, 2003 article, "The Taint of the Greased Palm"'s explanation of why, in some special cases, while not fomenting it, the allowance of corruption of a certain type and level may be the only immediate solution society has an option for.

A high administrative official proffered a white lie to cover up what was in actuality, unknown to him at the time, a fairly innocent occurrence. The consequences of an attempt at a breaking of the cover up would be worse than if the original perpetration were revealed. This is another reason why I am withholding privileged information I was only allowed because of the position in the communication links I serendipitously happened to have been in. The true overall story would hurt more people than revealing what the singular original event was.

The Times article on corruption in Baghdad after the war and Mexico has a few very interesting ideas to palpate and ponder upon regarding the viability of corruption, e.g.:

"'You can announce a fight against corruption, but you have to govern, (sic) too.' Moreno Ocampo says. 'And governing is easier if you don't question corruption.'"
(Page 32)

Unbeknownst to the high official the original eyewitness story devolved into an incident much less serious than the first rendition. But the high official's later explanation incorporated parts of the original story that when put under more rigorous scrutiny, did not pass muster (were determined not to be true) as if they were true...[!] (He parroted my original hearsay story as if it were true when later I'd discovered parts of it were not). It's called "pulling the wool over our eyes."

Not only, but when I was given the final, official version of what happened:

1. That it was the women (my version had a woman and a child standing on the front lawn while the police person entered the apartment) who exited the apartment through the window.

2. That it was the tenant's employer who called police asking police to enter their employee's apartment to find out why he hadn't been to work in a week and, out of character, never called in. (My version from tenant was that one of the two tenants called police from New York City to find out if his roommate, who wasn't answering phone for days, in was OK).

The version I heard, from the horse's mouth, was more cogent. (What employer would call police requesting a break into his apartment because their employee hadn't been in at work for a week?)

My witness changed his story to me over a few days period upon my persistently asking for more details about aspects that did not appear to be verifiable: When I went, within hours of the first witnessed account, to look close up and photograph the window the policeman purportedly was seen crawling out of, I made note of fact it was locked from inside. When I brought this to the witness' attention (after the July 29th Village Board meeting when I first brought this subject up — and see The Press's letter to the editor in the August 8th issue), he changed his story to say he only saw the policeman returning from the entrance door areaway with a "slim jim" (a 1½" wide 1½' long spring steel tool police use to jimmy car doors open) in his hand.

The policeman who told me it was he who attempted entry at tenant's request said he used a plastic card in his attempt to enter. None of the three versions from three different witnesses ended up claiming anyone had actually entered the apartment. Only the high official who pontifically proclaimed having the final real factual version claimed anyone actually entered but it appears he was merely parroting my original rendition presented at the July 29th Village Board meeting.

When I tried to interject the revised corrected witnesses accounts that, in some major instances contradicted the high official's "final version" of the incident, he talked over me, disallowing any contribution from my side. (He talked at and to me with an impenetrable authoritarian bent, blocking possibility of any dialogue of an equitably communicative nature, emasculating my persona, but maintaining his own pomposity that allowed his knowingly lying to cover up what he mistakenly thought happened or really didn't care one way or the other, I strongly suspect, as long as the whole thing goes away. I tend to agree. Most men's character can't stand much pressure when pushed up against a wall ethically or morally.

The trouble is the district attorney apparently insisted upon a written report. This high official who said he wrote it not only refuses to stand corrected but he claims, when I asked (me being one of the two parties whose freedom from unlawful intrusion by police was infringed), I was told the report would not be made available to anyone.

Result being, incredulously, a false report written by a high official that is unavailable to everyone except _______ (?) A fine "how do you do," eh?

That's why I say let the corruption be. Leave it alone. It'd cause more trouble and agitation ferreting it out than if left alone. As long as no one who has access to the pseudo "report" doesn't take it seriously enough to begin any prosecutorial actions, say, for instance, arresting and jailing the woman whom the report says was seen exiting the apartment's window when as a matter of fact no one actually ever was even inside the apartment, etc., etc., etc...

Paul T.Johnson
Ellenville & NYC

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