Tag Archives: Sheriff

All in the (Howard) Family

24 May

Sheriff Tim Howard has hired his wife to be on “Scientific Staff Reserve”. I have feelers out to see what background she has in law enforcement, and whether Howard created the position for her, or if she filled an existing one. 

Via Facebook

Via Facebook


Tim Howard’s Spycraft

7 May

America’s Worst Sheriffs

Add to the laundry list of “why Sheriff Tim Howard is awful” the fact that his department bought a $350,000 device that mimics a cell tower and allows police to surveil every cell phone call and text in range. Since this story broke, big 2nd Amendment “I won’t enforce the law” hero has dummied up. He won’t comment, and his department won’t explain why and how it’s used this device, or whether it’s obtained the needed warrants to do so.

Without a warrant, any evidence gather from, or as a result of, intercepted conversations is no good in court.

Erie County Legislator Pat Burke is calling for hearings on this, and hopefully everyone gets some answers.

I guess Tim Howard isn’t going to enforce the 4th and 5th Amendments, either.

Running Government Like A Business

23 Mar

Had he not been such a consistent Collins sycophant for so long, I might just feel some sympathy for Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard. After yet another episode of a dangerous detainee being mistakenly released under his tenure, there was something new in the mix – candor. The new Democratic administration and Legislature weren’t looking to place blame, but to solve the problem. 

A longstanding one that’s been known for a long time. 

Howard and Collins had both viciously fought off any criticism from Democratic electeds and politicians like, e.g., then-Comptroller Mark Poloncarz, about hiring more staff to adequately do their jobs. This despite multiple tragic and embarrassing cases of inmate suicides, early releases, and escapes – most notable among them being Ralph “Bucky” Phillips’ escape from the Alden Correctional Facility, which resulted in three shot cops, one of whom died. 

Most recently, an accused attempted murderer was mistakenly released for about 20 hours on March 8th due to an epic paperwork screw-up. Howard was brought before an Erie County Legislature committee to explain what happened. Now unshackled by any loyalty to the Collins crew, Howard was uncharacteristically forthcoming. He blamed the screw-up on overworked deputies and clerks, many of whom were on their third consecutive 16-hour day. Some had made mistakes when entering information from the court, and rebuffed questions about the release from a newer clerk. 

Legislative chairwoman Betty Jean Grant asked Howard whether the Sheriff’s Department had asked for more staff to rectify this issue. 

Undersheriff Mark N. Wipperman said yes and that the former county executive punished the department for the request.

“We asked for seven additional records clerks at $13.18 an hour for the 2011 budget, and the executive reponded by cutting all of our secretaries, administrative clerks, and eliminating management positions and reducing my salary,” Wipperman said.

Get that? Collins’ relentless push for “efficiency” and “running government like a business” resulted in punishing the Sheriff’s office for asking for adequate staffing. 

In answer to Hogues’ and Grant’s questions on what steps have been taken to prevent further mistakes on improper inmate releases, Howard said:

  • Paperwork from State Supreme Court and Erie County Court on inmates is now immediately entered into the jail’s computer records once it is sent over from the courts.
  • Efforts have been increased to speed up the activation of a new universal computer system that would electronically transfer the most recent court actions inputed by court clerks, eliminating the need for those records to be manually updated by sheriff’s records clerks.

In addition, Howard said the state’s Commission on Corrections, which oversees local jails, will meet at 2 p.m. Monday with his department to review its final draft of a staffing-needs analysis of the sheriff’s jail management division.

That document is expected to require the county to hire 60 to 80 new employees, both civilian and sworn personnel, to meet the manpower needs of the downtown Buffalo Holding Center and county Correctional Facility in Alden.

What we’re learning is that the Collins-Romney Six Sigma, “run government like a corporate raider” ideology is an abject failure. The needs and goals of government services like running a jail and policing the community cannot be held to the standards of the American private sector. 

Just because a corporate worker is overworked, underpaid, given few benefits, and threatened daily with outsourcing doesn’t mean that’s any way to run a Sheriff’s Department. 

Lying Liar Chris Collins

31 Oct

Going to the voters of Erie County to debate, speak, and listen to them at candidates’ forums? Absolutely not

Go on Obamaphobic proto-fascistic Fox News and lie through your dirty whore mouth? Absolutely.

Having watched Chris Collins lie lies in the video, I won’t dignify it with an embed or even a link. Collins’ hysterical whining should stay on an obscure Sunday cable news show I’ve never heard of where it belongs.

Chris Collins quite literally lied every time he opened his mouth when speaking to the Obamaphobe network on a show nobody saw.

But now I understand why Collins doesn’t want to attend candidate forums and avoid real questions from real people – because he’s intemperate, rude, and finds it easy to make shit up out of whole cloth.

You may critique me or Poloncarz all day for jumping the gun on blaming a Republican for faking the Collins ballots, but Collins is no better going on “national” TV and directly blaming Poloncarz AFTER the Sheriffs’ office has expressly absolved both campaigns of involvement or blame. Which is more egregious?

The only thing missing from this campaign is Collins BOE patronage hack Michael Mallia assaulting a senior citizen. Shame on Collins and his clearly spooked, desperate campaign of failure and lies. Thankfully, the video isn’t in the news, and nobody saw it.

Happy Monday!

Stupidest Thing Ever?

24 Oct

Just a few days ago, it was revealed that some cretin in the Board of Elections sent out absentee ballots that were pre-marked for Chris Collins. They were sent out to at least 10 Lackawanna Independence Party voters, and the Sheriff’s Department quickly mounted an investigation, as both parties’ BOE commissioners expressed shock and anger.

I rushed to judgment and assumed that the cretin who would do such a brazen and stupid thing would be a Republican proponent of Chris Collins.  Yet based on information from several sources, not to mention Stefan Mychajliw’s proxy outrage for his boss, it would appear that the culprit is actually a BOE Democratic appointee with close ties to Collins’ last opponent, Jim Keane. On Friday, Poloncarz released this statement:

Ballot tampering is a serious issue and I hope for a quick resolution of this recent issue at the Board of Elections. I support the investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office. Whether it is a Democrat or Republican who is at fault, it is my hope that the Sheriff’s Office will get the true facts of the case, make a swift prosecution to the extent of the law, and the individual should be immediately terminated. At the end of the day, he or she denied someone the opportunity to vote fairly in this race.

I apologize for thinking logically and assuming that only a Collins partisan would do something so stupid. I never considered that an even more stupid individual would try and do this – commit fraud to make Collins look bad, and have it backfire. I don’t know if an arrest is imminent, but when it happens I can expect Collins’ camp to make as much hay of this as possible. Who can blame them? Playing the victim is a great ploy in a campaign, and they’ll milk it for all it’s worth.

Thankfully, the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that neither campaign had anything to do with this, so there’s that, but this absolute idiot, in trying to get Collins in trouble, has gotten himself into trouble and has caused the Poloncarz campaign to do damage control for something they had nothing to do with.

Hassan’s Complaints: Hollow

18 Nov

I know that the Erie County jails have a bad reputation right now for poor treatment of inmates, and that the federal government is looking into it.

But when a genuine lunatic – who admits to beheading his wife – complains about being treated badly by sheriff’s deputies, I have a hard time believing a word of it.  There is no way they would do anything actionable against such an infamous inmate.

All Hassan is doing is minimizing the real bad experiences complained about by inmates with lower profiles than his.

Top Ten Uses for the Sheriff’s Red Chopper

16 Mar

Other uses for the Sheriff’s shiny red helicopter:

10. Rescuing kittens from trees
9. Breaking up street fights
8. Crowd control before and after Sabres games
7. Cooling people down on very hot days
6. Building it to the curb
5. Going to Texarkana and coming back with cases of Coors in just 24 hours- Eastbound & down.
4. Getting Chris Collins in touch with the people
3. Best McDonald’s run ever
2. Getting the kids from ballet to swimming
1. Burning that sweet, sweet fuel

Minimum Standards Unmet

11 Mar

You may recall this post that Marc Odien wrote the other day in response to repeated claims being made by the county administration that its jail system lives up to – or exceeds – minimum state standards.

But the state has taken issue with the county’s claims, and ordered the county to take corrective action in March 2009, claiming that conditions at the jail were unsanitary, unhygienic, and otherwise substandard. The county balked, and the state Commission of Corrections took the county to court.

And won.

So far, the anti-agenda, anti-status quo folks have lost every time they try. Tim Howard? In 2006, the state concluded that Ralph “Bucky” Phillips’ escape (and subsequent cop-killing) was thanks to the Alden Correctional Facility not meeting the state’s minimum standards.

This is getting to be a habit.

The Sheriff was trying to cut corners by classifying different prisoners in the county jail differently. For instance, if you get popped for disorderly conduct in Hamburg, you might get kept in a lock-up until the first available arraignment time. That’s usually a very short time frame measured in hours, not days. Town lock-ups that detain people pre-arraignment are not considered “jails”. The jails, however, are considered jails. A 2002 law permits towns to ship inmates awaiting arraignment to the county jail.

Sheriff Howard wanted to treat pre-arraignment detainees differently from post-arraignment detainees who are held for longer periods awaiting trial.

All this over toilet paper and toothbrushes.

Deep Thought

9 Mar

How soon before we always surround the word “suicide” with quotation marks when referring to the Erie County jail system?

Friday YouTube: Egregious Failure Edition

5 Mar