Sheriff candidate Richard Vasquez addresses suspension from duties as Woodbury police chief; calls it political retribution

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The following statement is in response to the deplorable actions of retribution by Woodbury Supervisor Ralph Caruso in connection with Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco in an attempt to smear Chief Richard Vasquez two weeks before the election.

It is clear that the actions by Supervisor Caruso and the Woodbury Town Board are in response to Chief Vasquez’s refusal to use a vendor who was being forced on him regardless of the fact that the vendor was potentially involved with bilking the town taxpayers, attempting bribery and using racial slurs to demean Mr. Vasquez.

A link to a recording of a conversation between Chief Vasquez and Supervisor Caruso is attached: 

“The bogus accusations by the Woodbury Town Supervisor are clearly politically motivated.

This incident stems from my refusal to use a vendor, who I believe to be corrupt and racist. After learning that this vendor wasn’t properly doing the work he was paid to do, offering me a bribe and referring to me using a racial slur, the Town Supervisor still insisted that I use this vendor.

My continued refusal of the Supervisor’s demands, lead to this recent act of retribution.

It should not surprise anyone that this occurred only two-weeks before Election Day.

It is no secret that Sheriff Falco has told many people over the last weeks that he would be making my life a difficult and that he was going to go after me at work.

These deplorable actions of racism, corruption and the politics of personal destruction by Supervisor Caruso and Lou Falco should not be tolerated by the people who elected them to serve with honor and dignity.

I believe in my heart of hearts, that on November 3rd, the people will do the right thing and see through these deplorable acts.  

Until then, it is a sad day when Rockland has become a place where the honest and honorable man is the one dragged through the mud. “



Summary of the recorded conversation between Woodbury Chief Rich Vasquez and Woodbury Town Supervisor Ralph Caruso, with Woodbury Town Clerk Desiree Potvin in attendance:

5:33 – Supervisor Caruso begins conversation about “buying local” and inquires about servicing cars out of town.

Chief Vasquez discusses how the work by “McKenzie Auto” was not being done properly and costing taxpayers more money.

Supervisor Caruso asks to have the work distributed among the companies in town.

Chief Vasquez explains that the other vendors in the town are receiving work, except for McKenzie, who was not fixing the cars correctly.

After learning that using this vendor cost more money, Supervisor Caruso requests that Chief Vasquez “try him again.”

Chief Vasquez says, “he does not want to try him again.”

Supervisor Caruso responds, “well I want you to try him again.”

Chief Vasquez again explains his reason for not wanting to waste money.

Supervisor Caruso says, “I’m asking you to do it,” followed by “are you going to do it?”

Chief Vasquez replies, “I don’t want to. I’m going to see if there’s a way we don’t have to.”

Supervisor Caruso responds, “No, there is no way you don’t have to. I’m asking you to do it.” Then looks for confirmation from Chief Vasquez again that he will use the vendor.

Conversation continues.

9:20 – Chief Vasquez informs Supervisor Caruso, that in addition to the poor work, Glenn McKenzie came into his office and tried to bribe him.

Supervisor Caruso dismisses the claim and continues to push for him to receive work from the Town.

Conversation continues along similar lines.

Conversation regarding McKenzie concludes at 10:19.

The conversation then moves to other topics such as overtime. A conversation about management style brings the issue of Glenn McKenzie back up.

27:45 – Chief Vasquez mentions how the Supervisor is telling him to use a vendor, “McKenzie,” even though he doesn’t fix the cars.

Chief Vasquez again, says he will not use McKenzie. Supervisor Caruso tells him he wants it distributed equally, including McKenzie.

Conversation continues about the quality of work and ends with Supervisor Caruso saying, “Give them[McKenzie] shot.” Chief Vasquez responds, “We’ve already given them a shot,” and Supervisor Caruso responds, “I want it done. Plain and simple.”

28:47 – Desiree Potvin, Woodbury Town Clerk is asked if she has anything. She immediately brings up Mr. McKenzie and conversations she has had with him. She calls him “offensive” and says, “he speaks in very awful terms about your Police Chief.”

Supervisor Caruso responds, “well I don’t know about that.”

Clerk Potvin says, “Well he has said it to me…”

Conversation continues about Chief Vasquez not dealing with him directly.

29:36 – Chief Vasquez explains how Mr. McKenzie “goes around town telling everybody ‘I can’t believe they have a spic running this police department.’”

29:54 – Clerk Potvin confirms that McKenzie has said this to her. Chief Vasquez says how this is unacceptable and how he is now being “forced” to give him business.

Supervisor Caruso responds, “yes.”

Chief Vasquez then continues to confirm that Supervisor Caruso wants him to use McKenzie even though he was not doing a good job and that he was double billing for the same work, which led to the department’s discontinuation of his services.

The conversation continues similarly until the end.


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