UPDATE: Release Of Internal Police Audit Results

Future of West Nyack’s Traphagen House up for Clarkstown town board discussion


The results of the Clarkstown Police Department’s internal audit of 2012 overtime are scheduled to be released at Tuesday’s Town Board workshop at 7:30 p.m. The department announced it would begin an internal audit in February following a discrepancy in overtime hours worked by who subsequently resigned from the department and reimbursed it for the four hours in dispute. 

Residents pressed for an outside audit and the board announced in March the Korn Rosenbaum LLP of Pomona would review the police department’s records after its completion of the yearly town government audit.

As the internal audit of the department’s $3.8 million in overtime was drawing to a close earlier this month, Chief Sullivan said the department personnel who had conducted the audit would attend the workshop to explain the process they used to verify overtime and answer questions.

A second agenda item also closely monitored by residents deals with the Traphagen House on Germonds Road in West Nyack.   The Vanderbilt/Budke/Traphagen house in West Nyack is the second oldest house in Rockland County and currently owned by The Town of Clarkstown. 

A task force with representatives from the Historical Society of Rockland County, Heritage of West Nyack  and Clarkstown Historic Review Board has been meeting over the course of several months to discuss ideas for the future of the building and property. The task force will present its results at the workshop. 

The town acquired the Traphagen House when it purchased the Traphagen property in 2011 to add to its Open Space Initiative.  The town acquired the 9.23-acre parcel for $900,000.

At the beginning of the workshop, Police Chief Michael Sullivan will provide the department’s monthly report.

Watchdog April 23, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Michael, why would Sherwood need a lawyer to explain a " mistake" about 4 hours of overtime? How do you make a "mistake" putting in for hours you did not work? That is stealing which explains why he had a lawyer and not his Union Rep who would have supported him for a "mistake" but perhaps not for stealing. No, there is more here than meets the eye. The question I have is why would a very talented intelligent career cop like Sullivan who advanced thru the ranks to the top job get involved with something as smelly as this? Baffling!
Watchdog April 23, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Clarkstown Life....you are in violation of the Terms of Service.
Clarkstown life April 23, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Right watchdog......I can't count how many times you and the others in your group go 'off topic'.......I am surprised you didn't bring up bereavement time off....that's a first
Watchdog April 23, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Thats 2x now. You will be flagged.
Watchdog April 23, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Very Nixonian.
Mike Hirsch April 23, 2013 at 06:24 PM
The prevailing wage laws have been violated ever since their inception a long time ago because they add about 40 percent to a project's cost. Many NYC governmental agencies, non-profits, construction managers, and contractors turn a blind eye to this because they all have capital projects that they need built and not enough money with which to do so. As I have said before, we did not profit financially from this project. The ones that profited were the thousands of NYC school children who use the facility. Everyone who worked for me on this project was happy with the wages that they received.
Mike Hirsch April 23, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Fred, If you try and think about this in personal terms I think you'll get a fuller understanding. Let's say that you want to hire a painter to paint your house, and the cost is $10,000. Now let's say that your representatives in Albany (who rely on union donations to get re-elected) passed a law requiring you to hire union labor (prevailing wage), and the cost is now $14,000. What would you do?
INTHEKNOW April 23, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Wrong Watchdog.. The truth is an absolute defense against a claim of libel.
Fred Def April 23, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Watchdog, this matter is about filing false paperwork for personal gain. I take offense that a person convicted of the same thing with his private business wants to "create a Police Commisioner position and appoint an independent businessman to that post. I'll volunteer to do it for free" Pot and kettle. I agree that our County's budget and local politics are out of control. Needing the FBI to clean up messes since our local politics are unable to oversee themselves, but this matter is not about that. This is about filing false paperwork. The Audit will not solve this problem. All it's purpose is to do is find out if others put in for time they did not work. What should be looked at is wether all the emplyees working the overtime were actually necessary or if some were put on duty just to increase allready high pay. That is a topic for another column.
stephany April 23, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Sullivan is not as bright as he would like you to believe
INTHEKNOW April 23, 2013 at 08:55 PM
"Sullivan is not as bright as he would like you to believe " . . . . and the personal attacks from Stephany continue.
stephany April 23, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Why is that a personal attack. no attack-not his fault, he can't help it. Let's hope he knows,unlike you who does not, that a cops shift is not normally from 11pm to 7 pm or 20 hrs long, or is that an attack too LOL
stephany April 23, 2013 at 09:41 PM
let me take a guess at what the "internal" audit will show. Not Much when all is said and done,. Oh some new recommendations/improvements/checks are virtually inevitable to justify the audit and lend some cred to it. IMO they can't find anyone who did what Sheridan did or trigger another resignation and a public uprising. Bottom line the system worked,but it's not perfect,nothing in this world is,we want/strive for the public to trust us. We do and will continue to strive for perfection. blah blah blah..Unless the Chief convinces the population there is no need for an truly external audit it is a big fail, and quoting what the comptroller said after his investigation years ago is about useless.. Finding no evidence of deliberate anything means nothing. we need proof beyond any doubt
Mike Hirsch April 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Fred, though I get that you don't want to understand that there was no personal gain, you haven't answered my question as to what you would do if the government required you to do work on your house with union labor at a 40% surcharge. You have three choices: (A) Follow the law and pay 40% more, (B) Break the law and hire a non-union painter, or (C) Have your non-union painter to do it for his lower, non-union price, and ask him to sign a form saying that he did your job at the union price. What is your choice? A, B, or C?
Fred Def April 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Mike, You sound just like our Politicians. You gave your word when you bid the contract and never intended to abide by it. You may be able to justify it to yourself, but that doen't make it right. My family has been involved in Construction in NYC for 3 generations, I know what happens and it is never really just for the childrens benefit. I have seen tremendous waste of our tax dollars with little tid-bits done for charity so the guilty could feel better.
Mike Hirsch April 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM
I gave my word to my client, who wanted his facility built by the best contractor that he knew at the lowest possible cost. I never gave my word to any city officials, who I did not have any contact with until the project had been completed for over a year. I asked you to think of this in a personal way in order for you to get a fuller understanding of the difficulties involved, and hardships caused, by this misguided piece of legislation. I ask you again, if you had to paint your house, which option would you choose? A, B, or C?
ADK April 23, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Back to the real matter at hand....why do we require $4MM in overtime for our police force? My educated guess is that this amount is +\- 20% of the police salary line...I don't know anything about police work, but I am an expert in finance and management...I can't conceive of a yearly budget that has this amount of overtime built in year on year...while the circumstances of a particular officer are perhaps titilating, I'm more interested in understanding the thinking that goes into the budget process and how we can be more efficient.
Mike Hirsch April 23, 2013 at 11:43 PM
The "thinking" by Alex and the Bored is that it's just free money, so why not just hand it out? Most taxpayers who give them the money don't vote and are uninformed, so why not?
Lawrence A Fisher April 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM
The problem with taxes in Clarkstown are ALL about the Police Force... they may all be well educated, lovely individuals, but the system is a scam... on average they make 100% more than the median income in Rockland County.... all the Civil Service laws protect them, and virtually guarantee eternal pay raises... how about this... as of today we FREEZE the Clarkstown Police Dept... HIRE NO NEW OFFICERS... we now create the Clarkstown Sherriffs Dept at a pay scale tied to NY City...instead of paying our Sherriffs Deputies 2 or 3 times more than what a NY City cop gets, for a much tougher more dangerous job, we pay our deputies NYPD rates, plus 10%... overtime all the Clarkstown cops retire ( at an average of $100k+ a year) and they are replaced by Sherriffs, who get NO PENSION, but rather have to contribute to their own 401k, and who also, just like people in the real world have to contribute to their own medical coverage.... Why not? Why go on with cops making $200,000.00 scamming extra OT? If we can't change the police contract, let's create something that actually works for the town and its owners, the taxpayers?!
stephany April 24, 2013 at 01:19 AM
this looks like a good idea. http://tinyurl.com/cjlebfj
Sigmund Freud April 24, 2013 at 01:58 AM
tit·il·late [tit-l-eyt] verb 1. to excite or arouse agreeably: to titillate the fancy. Synonyms: rouse, tempt, tease. 2. to tickle; excite a tingling or itching sensation in, as by touching or stroking lightly. Titillate is a very suggestive word, wouldn't you say?
Stacee Jaxx April 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM
its called a civilian complaint review board in clarkstown, but just as in Knoxville, its about actions taken by police, not salary and pension issues or how the department is managed.
stephany April 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM
And this article is about police overtime,where one cop was forced to leave due to '"police" misconduct: aka stealing. Sorry if you don't think stealing is misconduct. "authority to review and/or investigate allegations of misconduct [as in stealing my money] filed by the public against the Knoxville Police Department" I said it looks like a good idea, but never said we have to "steal" their law word for word with no tweaks or additions, and pardon me if I don't believe Joel Epstein has my best interest in mind, he has Joel Epstein's best interest in mind. and if you don't know what is happening how can you complain about it. 100% transparency on everything. I might know when there is a police brutality complaint but maybe not know about more internal actions i might consider misconduct,like stealing, that you wouldn't. please allow me to decide for myself what I consider misconduct without having to run it by anyone..
Stacee Jaxx April 25, 2013 at 04:09 PM
@ stephany, What are you ranting about? I was letting you know that a similar board already existed here in Clarkstown and what it is called.
stephany April 25, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Knoxville The mission of the Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) is to provide the citizens of the City of Knoxville a CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to "AUDIT" the discipline process AND THE "POLICIES AND PROCEDURES" OF THE KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT (KPD). CLARKSTOWN Reviews non-criminal complaints involving police officers. Similar is not the word i would use, and in no way does the Ctown version encompass OT policies ]this topic] whereas the Kville might. Rant,,What rant.
stacee Jaxx April 26, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Oh I understand now. You are just looking for an argument or debate. Yes similar is not the word you would use, but is is the word I choose to use, and I standby my original word and post of letting you know that a SIMILAR board exists here in Ctown. Kville, might not. I read the url that you posted, so no need to repost it.
stephany April 26, 2013 at 03:18 AM
you used the word similar to mean we don't need that because we already have something like it-maybe in name only-WE DO NOT have anything like it in reality. please post a link to where you see we have anything like this including and most importantly "THE "POLICIES AND PROCEDURES" OF THE KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT" " City of Knoxville a CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to "AUDIT" the discipline process AND THE "POLICIES AND PROCEDURES" OF THE KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Stacee Jaxx April 26, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Perhaps you should reread my posts. where did I say "we don't need that because we already have something like it" How do YOU know "WE DO NOT have anything like it in reality"? And as I posted and YOU MISREAD, I was letting you know that a similar aboard exists.
stephany April 26, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Stacee Jaxx April 26, 2013 at 04:30 AM
LOL, its ok missy, your entitled to a few mistakes, I understand.


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