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BW Publisher: Why Hasn’t the Mount Vernon PBA Brought Charges Against Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio?

We all are aware, Mayor Richard Thomas has been indicted on criminal charges and Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio is an unindicted co-conspirator in the NYS Attorney Generals corruption case against Mayor Richard Thomas. 

For the last three years, Black Westchester Magazine has questioned the appointment of campaign donor Joseph Spiezio, who was appointed to Deputy Police Commissioner with no law enforcement experience. 

Former Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Robert Kelly testified that Joseph Spiezio’s appointment to Police Commissioner was a violation New York Consolidated Laws, Public Officers Law – PBO § 3-b(1), appointment to a sworn law enforcement position requires New York State residency. Spiezio’s prima facie out of state residency made him ineligible to hold a sworn law enforcement position in New York. Kelly subsequently refused to endorse Spiezio’s appointment.

In May 2016, Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio conducted himself out of the scope of the Mt. Vernon City Charter, by performing property seizures without proper documentation and NOT being properly sworn in as Deputy Police Commissioner. 
 

I am also the New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. As the New York Representitive, I had requested a full investigation from the Westchester County District Attorney, NYS Attorney General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office of the Southern District of New York. The request to investigate was out of the concern for the safety and security of the public and the officers that are under his so-called command. 

Commissioner Harris and PBA President Gamble are clearly aware that the result of me publicly questioning the actions of Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio he has targeted my wife, Mount Vernon Police Detective Montika Jones because of her relationship with me. Detective Jones has made numerous complaints about the harassment and retaliation by Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio to Commissioner Harris and to the MVPD PBA. As we are aware of the recent news reports the pattern and practice of harassment have extended to Detective Jones’s family business. 

I have had personal conversations with both Commissioner Harris and PBA President Gamble; they both have confirmed on numerous times that they believed it was harassment and retaliation against Detective Jones to get back at me for something I said or something that was reported about Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio in Black Westchester Magazine.  

When PBA Union Attorney Steve Isaacs spoke with Detective Jones about her departmental charges and confirmed it was Deputy Police Commissioner behind her suspension. Isaacs also had the unmitigated gall to say he would have someone, who lives in Westchester talk to Spiezio about it. 

We believe that the PBA and the PBA Attorney Steve Isaacs failed in their fiduciary duty to protect Detective Jones rights through policy, City Code of Conduct and as a city employee by brokering a deal that gave away her right to her 207c benefits, EEOC Right to Sue letter. All just to receive her back pay and return to work to be systematically harassed again and again.  The PBA and the PBA Attorney Steve Isaacs had all the evidence to prove her case but failed to protect her. 

Now the harassment by Mayor Thomas and Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio has extended to harassment to the daughter of Detective Jones. Detective Jones again looked for the assistance from the PBA to address these issues through departmental policy, city’s code of conduct and city board of ethics. Detective Jones asked for conflict council because she didn’t feel comfortable with Steve Isaacs, she was told by President Gamble that it was out of their hands because it was not disciplinary charges. They took no consideration that harassment and retaliation is a violation of MVPD departmental policy. The Commissioner and PBA have failed to act against a Deputy Police Commissioner that has violated MVPD own Policy.  

Since PBA President Gamble did agree that it was blatant harassment by Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio. PBA President Gamble was made aware of the MVPD Code of Conduct Policy that forbids  Commissioner from harassing or retaliating against officers because of their association politically or organizationally. The policy refers to a violation of the New York State Election Law- ELN § 17-110.  Misdemeanors concerning police commissioners or officers or members of any police force.

Any person who, being a police commissioner or any officer or member of any police force in this state:

1. Uses or threatens or attempts to use his official power or authority, in any manner, directly or indirectly, in aid of or against any political party, organization, association or society, or to control, affect, influence, reward or punish, the political adherence, affiliation, action, expression or opinion of any citizen; or     

2. Appoints, promotes, transfers, retires or punishes an officer or member of a police force, or asks for or aids in the promotion, transfer, retirement or punishment of an officer or member of a police force because of the party adherence or affiliation of such officer or member, or for or on the request, direct or indirect, of any political party, organization, association or society, or of any officer, member of a committee or representative official or otherwise of any political party, organization, association or society; or

3. Solicits, collects or receives any money for, any political fund, club, association, society or committee, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

I sent him a copy of the policy in August of 2018. I have yet to hear from him. The question is WHY hasn’t the PBA or PBA Attorney taken any action to bring charges against Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio? 

What will it take for the PBA or Commissioner Harris to formally bring departmental charges against Deputy Commissioner Joseph Spiezio? Detective Jones has repeatedly stated that the continued actions of Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio has made Detective Jones’s work life hostile. We believe, Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio is still trying to find loopholes in policy to try and bring Detective Jones on departmental charges. But nobody is bringing departmental charges against him!

Why hasn’t Commissioner Harris taken any action against his subordinate Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio? In my 28 years in law enforcement, I have always believed that the Commissioner is over the Deputy. Maybe I’m wrong when it comes to the chain of command in Mount Vernon. Unfortunately, everyone is waiting on Mayor Thomas to be found guity of his criminal charges and hoping Spiezio would leave. Unitl then, the continued actions of Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio has destroyed the ethical culture of the department and the respect of other law enforcement agencies throughout the state of New York. 

The actions of Deputy Police Commissioner Spiezio are deliberate and calculated to suppress and impede on Detective Jones and her families’ fundamental First Amendment rights. The general proposition that freedom of expression and association is secured by the First Amendment has long been settled by the court’s decisions.

Organized labor’s struggle for the right to bargain collectively is considered a  liberal activity. But in non-economic matters—in such areas as civil liberties, protection against retaliation, racial discrimination and equality of opportunity for black officers —the practices of many police unions can hardly be described as liberal. Law Enforcement Unions have a long history of racial discrimination—and it is this tradition of discrimination which is responsible, at least in part, for the marginal status that Black women with nowhere to turn. 

There is growing evidence that Law Enforcement unions do not have the interest of Black Women Officers outside of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Even if you have a Black Union President, you’re on your own, if you have to fight the system!

The Publisher of Black Westchester

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About Damon K. Jones (212 Articles)
Damon K. Jones is an Activist, Author, and Publisher of Black Westchester Magazine, a Black-owned and operated newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Jones is a Holistic Health Practitioner, First Aid in Mental Health Practioner, Diet, and Nutrition Advisor, and Vegan, Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Mr. Jones is a 31 year Law Enforcement Practioner, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. Mr. Jones has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am), WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM), and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts, including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show.
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