Thursday, March 27, 2008

Harvey Slaight Indicted on Official Misconduct


I went to the press conference today and was completely unimpressed. There was a six foot long table set up of thousands of pages of jury deliberation that will never be made public. The D.A. said here is our extensive work it's all here, we paid 10 thousand to print this alone but you (the taxpaying public) will never see their findings.

The investigation, which to be fair started way before Holley Carnright took office, was a farce. A 20 million dollar over budgeted jail fiasco, hundreds of thousands to investigate the misuse of funds and the result : Harvey Sleight, the buildings and grounds supervisor, was indicted on a misdemeanor. Now I clearly think Mr. Sleight was in over his head and the charge is probably a legitimate one. However, Mr.Sleight did not go to the bathroom without permision from the legislative Chairman. It is very clear this guy is being thrown out to the wolves.

A disappointing end to a dark chapter in Ulster County's history.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why unimpressed? Remember it was Schreibman who has spent almost a year on the county payroll investigating and presenting this matter to the grand jury. Wasn't he one of the individuals you were touting as a District Attorney candidate?

Jeremy Blaber said...

I like Julian Schreibman but I always supported Sennett for D.A. And, it was not Julian's investigation that I was unimpressed with...I will have a more detailed post later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Ward Todd wasn't led away in chains? Damm, I need a cigar!

DEMonopoly

Anonymous said...

I feel safe and confident in the future of our community knowing that this high ranking culprit will finally be brought to justice for his very serious crimes
against our community.
Quite the remarkable waste of money to end up with an indictment of the director of buildings and grounds for a misdemeanor.
What an unbelievable farce . . .

Anonymous said...

Carnright is a lame duck. he over charged kids in the Kingston high school incident and the couldn't win the case. the jail investigation is a joke. How in the world can you blow 40 million and end up with a misdeminor? The public has a right to know who testified and what happened.

Now Carnright can't go to the legislature to ask for anything. he has no friends there.

Anonymous said...

Wasnt Harvey a hired gun who answered to the bosses?
How can he be guilty when his bosses had to approve the final decision?
Ward and Genentine had the final say, or at least that is what we elected them to do!
Looks like a lynchin to me!
Harvey's only crime is being is being dumb enough to be pimped out by these two and thier friends.

Anonymous said...

Reading the Legislature investigation report shows that the main infraction involved favoritism involving the Request For Proposals(RFP's). It's hard to believe that there were no payoffs. While there may not have been payoffs the Republican leadership directed work to their supporters.

This is the main reason why a County Executive is so important. There will be greater oversight and accountability through a system of checks and balances.One can only hope.

The County Executive will set priorities, so we better make sure we elect a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

"The public has a right to know who testified and what happened."

Jeremy...why didn't you quote the law?? Grand jury testimony is secret. Carnright said over and over that he has to FOLLOW THE LAW.

Let's face it./....sometimes the investigation is only as good as the folks on the jury and their level of understanding and intelligence. Sorry....but for the most part, you aren't going to find the most impressive brains in this county. Sad, but true.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Don't it just make you proud? Maybe this is very remotely related to why I, like Michelle Obama, am not always bursting with pride ?

Anonymous said...

The Freeman reports that Carnright said releasing the documents (all of them) would undermine the work of the Grand Jury. What? One would hope, the documents support the grand jury's findings. If not, then politics has been victorious over the law and now owns the district attorney's office.

By the admission that the documents could "undermine" the work of the grand jury is a clear verdict that this chapter in the county's history should be called Holley's Folly.

Anonymous said...

Now you know where all those "GET OUT OF JAIL" cards went from your MONOPOLY Game...smitty

It's how the game is played!!!

UlsterCountyInsider said...

Where is the fiasco, JB?

Is It is the 20 million dollar cost overrun over the original project? Or maybe it just took 3 1/2 years since the ground breaking ceremony ,in October 2002, when UCLEC was initially occupied when the county was told by the main contractor, "It would only take 18 months to construct". Then again, the Pandora's box of the numerous work change orders modifying the physical plant didn't help matters either. And lets not forget when the sub-contractors walked off the job when they didn't get paid. Look at the site where UCLEC is situated on Route 32, directly adjacent to a solid waste transfer station-- The foundation sits on solid rock with all the water and gas tanks above ground.

I could further elaborate, but that wouldn't do any good. The facility was built primarily to relieve inmate overcrowding but what will happen down the road when this jail again experiences inmate population. overcrowding. Will we go back to boarding out inmates to other counties and seeking out variances from the State Commission on Corrections?

Dutchess County built their jail facility in 1983. Now that too is obsolete with overcrowding, expired SOC variances. The bottom line is they have to build another facility but the politicians over there don't want a repeat of the "Ulster Fiasco"

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sleight is either a scapegoat or so far from alone, it's a joke.

CLUE
It wasn't Col. Mustard, in the study, with a pipe either.

It was Mr. Slick, in a backroom, with a checkbook.

Since all the cards were dealt and none in the 10k envelope, I guess we'll never know. Game over!..smitty

Anonymous said...

I wish some of the Grand Jurors would come public. We could hear for ourselves if they were coerced into not indicting these thieves. What a crock of s*#@. We all know someone, somewhere, got kickbacks of some kind.
Sleight may be guilty, but I would bet my house, he is not alone. He should start singing. He has nothing to lose. He would be a hero instead of the goat, a scapegoat that is!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Blaber, Tell me how your favorite County Executive candidate Mike Hein, is able to be at things in the middle of the business day? If there is a press conference, he shows up.
I saw him on the TV last night. I was surprised at how blatantly he answered the question asked of him, as if he were at a campaign stop. I hope he is taking vacation time for that.

He is for all intents and purposes, campaigning on County time. I am sure that is against the rules.

Anonymous said...

6:02 am stated, "By the admission that the documents could "undermine" the work of the grand jury is a clear verdict that this chapter in the county's history should be called Holley's Folly."

What the rag FREEMAN DIDN'T PRINT is that the DA said, it is AGAINST THE LAW TO RELEASE THE GRAND JURY testimony to the public because it is supposed to be "secret." Until someone shows me the law that says differently, I believe the DA is doing what he is supposed to.

Anonymous said...

If someone got a kickback, of course I would be angry.
But what am I reading here?? 20 Million and they were so STUPID that they just gave it all away?!?? Even Slaight isnt accused of taking money.

Like anyone, I can understand the motive behind stealing money... but THIS!!? This dosen't pass the smell test. Somebody's being lied to here and I think it's me.

Anonymous said...

Though the Grand Jury testimony may be kept from the public, the documents presented to the Grand Jury should be public documents and therefore available to anyone who wants to view them.

I think it's odd that there are no comments to the Freeman article. Does Jeremy's blog have wider readership? It's likely the Freeman isn't allowing any comments to be published that are derogatory to all the Republicans who are responsible for this debacle.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

I think you misunderstand the purpose of the investigation. Carnright's Grand Jury was NOT supposed to determine if there was incompetence, poor judgment, or bad decisions regarding the jail.

His ONLY job was to determine who broke the criminal laws of the State of New York.

Put another way, a person can make poor decisions and cost the county millions, but not ever break the law.

Second, to the person who says Carnright over charged the KHS kids, you don't know what you're talking about. The initial charges were filed by the Police Department, not Holly Carnright. Carnright presented the evidence to the Grand Jury and got the right charge based solely on the evidence.

He is proving himself to be an excellent D.A. and his reputation amongst the legal community is growing stronger by the day. He is well respected by his fellow attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Carnright sucks...there's a common expression that you can get a ham sandwich indicted. It all depends upon the evidence that is presented and how it's presented. Carnright soft-peddled on the KHS issue and he did the same thing here. It started with the purchase of the land for over 6 times the appraised value (it was on rock - that's why they had to put much of the infrastructure above ground). Who was the realtor who benefited from the sale of the property? Gruner, of course...he and Todd are thick as thieves.

Anonymous said...

Cahill, who asked your know it all ass? stfu.

Anonymous said...

The Grand Jury can only base it's decision on the testimony and evidence that is offered BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. The DA is always in control of the Grand Jury process. That's why Mike Kavanaugh was fond of saying he "could indict a ham sandwich." On the other hand, he could conceivably get that "ham sandwich" off by not presenting the necessary evidence as well.

If there was no criminal activity found, other than by Sleight, that's because there was no evidence presented which would prove criminality on anyone else's part.

The question then becomes, WAS there any other evidence to present?

Anonymous said...

8:34 A good district attorney would have reviewed the evidence in such a sensitive case along with the police.

Taxpayers deserve effective use of resources.

If the police decide to charge a jay-walker with murder does that mean that the DA must bring the charges to the grand jury?

Watch an episode of Law and Order. In these parts, we could call it law and odor.

UlsterCountyInsider said...

Richard T. Cahill wrote:

I think you misunderstand the purpose of the investigation. Carnright's Grand Jury was NOT supposed to determine if there was incompetence, poor judgment, or bad decisions regarding the jail.

His ONLY job was to determine who broke the criminal laws of the State of New York.

Put another way, a person can make poor decisions and cost the county millions, but not ever break the law.

Second, to the person who says Carnright over charged the KHS kids, you don't know what you're talking about. The initial charges were filed by the Police Department, not Holly Carnright. Carnright presented the evidence to the Grand Jury and got the right charge based solely on the evidence.

He is proving himself to be an excellent D.A. and his reputation amongst the legal community is growing stronger by the day. He is well respected by his fellow attorneys.

****************************************************************************

UlsterCountyInsider Response:

The hoopla is not about DA Carnwright but the controversial UCLEC fiasco. The Grand Jury has the prerogative to review the evidence present and to make recommendations even without the need of issuing indictments. What is unfortunate is that from the very beginning the project spiraled out of control. Incompetence, poor judgment and bad decisions were certainly apparent during the construction phase but that in itself does not necessarily arise to a criminal act.

Anonymous said...

And now the Kingston Parking Garage bid-rigging case begins?

Anonymous said...

I would like to direct two quick comments to Richard Cahill AND 4:23 PM:

First, Mr. Cahill, you are mistaken about the role of the grand jury. The Criminal Procedure Law ("CPL"), section 190.05 defines the grand jury and its general functions. It reads, in part, "the functions of which are to hear and examine evidence concerning offenses AND CONCERNING MISCONDUCT, NONFEASANCE AND NEGLECT IN PUBLIC OFFICE, WHETHER CRIMINAL OR OTHERWISE, and to take action with respect to such evidence as provided in section 190.60." (emphasis by capitalization added). 190.60 lists the available options for the grand jury, indict, file misdemeanor charge, remove to family court, dismiss or issue a report.

As to 4:23PM, the same section of the law that declares the grand jury proceedings "secret" [CPL 190.25(4)]also permits disclosure pursuant to court order or in the course of discharging their lawful duties. I have no idea whether Mr. Carnright asked for an order to unseal the report. I have not heard of any such application. Moreover, CPL 190.85 addresses grand jury reports and provides for them to be "sealed" "UNTIL AT LEAST THIRTY-ONE DAYS AFTER A COPY OF THE ORDER AND THE REPORT ARE SERVED UPON EACH PUBLIC SERVANT THEREIN . . . ." (emphasis by capitalization added).

I for one am neither satisfied nor impressed.

Jonathan R. Sennett (just a simple Kingston lawyer)

Anonymous said...

I find ot funny that all these legal experts are now coming forward. Why is it so hard to beleive that the people running our county and local governments, with a few exceptions, are really that stupid and ignorant that they could of just screwed this whole thing up. Look at the background of some of them. Look at the background and experience of those who were in charge of the jail construction. There was not one person invovled who had any experience planning or running a project of this magnitude and cost. Is it really that hard to believe that they had absolutely no idea what they were doing. The real problem was their arrogance that they could control it. While moronic, it does not mean there was a crime. Another thing not being mentioned is that once you get an indictment you then have to prove it at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. A very difficult thing to do in a case like this. So, sure, he probaly could of indicted alot of people...but once he got into a trial could he prove anything. He is going to have a tough time proving the one charge he did bring given the complete mismanagement at every level of this project. Read the official misconduct statute..it is not easy to prove the intent. The rape case is a different animal...rumor on the street is Carnright tanked that one all the way...ask any Kingston detective involved in the case. He wanted nothing to do with it and chose not to present significant pieces of evidence to the grand jury such as medical testimony that was relevant and supported a rape.

Anonymous said...

To the person saying that the grand jury can only base its decision on what the DA presents to it..you are completely wrong. The grand jury has the power to subpoena any witness it feels can present relevant testimony or evidence to it....the DA certainly guides and advises the jury, but the grand jury has the power, not the DA. It can also decide not to hear certain witnesses as well.

Anonymous said...

"Jon Sennett (just a simple Kingston Attorney) "

That's too funny. You were an eyelash away from being our D.A. You run 10 complete circles over Rich Cahill, a worker's comp lawyer.

Holley Carnright should be indicted on official misconduct for the way he handled this investigation.

BeenThereDoneThat said...

Don't blame me--I voted for Jon Sennett!!

Anonymous said...

I voted for Jon too - all of Ulster County lost when Jon lost.

Anonymous said...

Welcome from one simple Kingston lawyer to another. I wonder how long it will take for the "real" Kingston crowd to accept you as one of the boys now that you have rented space in their spanky new building.

Just don't expect it to happen overnight. Remember, they have been sleeping together since they were little kids and you will never be able to exchange memories with them about elementary school.

Anonymous said...

9:56 Jonathan may decide it is not worth it to cozy up to the Kingston crowd.

Very mature to base your world as an adult on who you went to 4th grade with.

Anonymous said...

9:56 is very astute and 100% right. If you ever asked any of the idiots why they supported Bratley, it was because he was their friend or his father's friend. It had nothing to do with his credentials, experience, or qualifications (no one ever cited his cases because there weren't any). It's very mature for Sottile, Cahill, Basch, Keegan, etc. - the uptown white crowd - to support that idiot only because they knew the family. They put their friendship ahead of the interests of Ulster County citizens by allowing Carnright to be elected by a plurality, not a majority.

Anonymous said...

Whenever R. Cahill's ignorance about something is pointed out as was done here about the grand jury and what it can do, we the public need to hear a rendition of the song that opens his public access television show--sort of as a little "tag, you did it again", designation. LOL

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think we should give little dick credit for continuing to post his uninformed and irrelevant comments about criminal law despite the fact that he is knocked down again and again.

Over and over he posts, over and over he shows how little he knows, over and over he embarasses himself as an attorney and he just keeps on going. Got to give him credit for not giving up.

Little dick, a word of advise. Stick to what you do. Our local criminal defendants know more about their rights and the elements of the charges they face than you and they do not take kindly to being misadvised.

Anonymous said...

The TAXPAYERS of Ulster County funded the grand jury investigation into the Jail fiasco. The TAXPAYERS have a right to see every page of the entire grand jury transcript, exhibits, indictments and reports. The Court can and should order it all unsealed. These are public employees and elected officials. They do not deserve the privilege of the sanctity of grand jury secrecy. If it looks like a legitimate proceeding, we can put it to rest. If not, we weigh the benefit of holding people accountable to the TAXPAYERS.

s/Publius

Anonymous said...

"....the DA certainly guides and advises the [grand] jury..."

Oh my, how naive.

More like "manipulates and controls."

Thus the ability to indict a ham sandwich (or get the ham sandwich off).