Clarkstown’s Watergate?

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BY MICHAEL HULL

A Google search will quickly reveal the definition for unlawful or illegal surveillance. Here is one: “Illegal surveillance is the monitoring of a person’s activities or property in a manner that breaks regional laws. Depending on the region, wiretapping, recording a conversation without consent, following a target either in person or electronically or by postal interception may be deemed illegal surveillance. Where surveillance crosses the line into a violation of rights to privacy is when a person surveilled is not under any suspicion of criminal activity and is not being surveilled for a reason related to any ongoing legitimate investigation.”

Given the above the following questions arise about the new charges leveled against Police Chief Michael Sullivan.

1) Logic would inform that “unlawful surveillance” of the magnitude that is alleged can not have been conducted by a single person. Who else was involved in the alleged unlawful surveillance and why have others not been suspended if they are employees of the Town of Clarkstown or employees of the County of Rockland?

2) Numerous private residents of Clarkstown and the surrounding community were allegedly unlawfully surveilled. Does the Town of Clarkstown intend to officially inform these residents that their legal and normal activities may have been unlawfully surveilled? This is standard procedure if a bank or other institution believes someone’s privacy has been violated either accidentally or deliberately.

3) Why was the Head of the Strategic Intelligence Unit (see page 8 of this linked document for a description of this unit), Stephen Cole-Hatchard, ordered back to desk duties in the Clarkstown Police Department?

According to the Journal News: On July 1, Supervisor Hoehmann directed Sullivan to reassign Sgt. Stephen Cole-Hatchard from his role as director of the Rockland County Strategic Intelligence Unit to the town detective division. Sullivan indicated in his response to the earlier charges that this was because the Town Board had obtained an email exchange between the sergeant and a Journal News reporter involving an incident involving a single member of the police department.

It is now indicated by the recent charges that surveillance was going on against not just a single individual but against numerous individuals including a law enforcement individual running for office, members of the judiciary, and numerous private citizens residing in Clarkstown and close by. Did the Strategic Intelligence Unit participate in these unlawful activities?

4) The Strategic Intelligence Unit appears to operate within the office of District Attorney Zugibe. To whom does the Head of the Strategic Intelligence Unit report? Does he report to DA Zugibe or to Police Chief Sullivan? Alternatively is the Strategic Intelligence Unit simply operating under its own authority and has it become a ‘rogue‘ unit?

5) To whom was the information given that was derived through the alleged unlawful surveillance of a) individuals running for office, b)members of the judiciary, and c) residents of Clarkstown and surrounding communities? Was the information given to DA Zugibe and/or to Chief Sullivan and/or to any person holding and/or running for political office?

6) Is there an ‘enemies list‘ in the Town of Clarkstown? If so who is on it? Who established the list? Who used the list?

Who is the ‘NIXON’ in Clarkstown’s Watergate?

Originally published by Rockland Voice 

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