Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ex-Port Authority cop advised to ignore corruption?

Jerry Speziale in 2002 - AP Photo
On May 9, Bruce Golding of the New York Post reported:
The former No. 2 cop at the Port Authority is suing the agency and an ex-honcho implicated in the “Bridgegate” scandal — claiming he was hired to clean up corruption and then told to look the other way when he found “illegal conduct.”

Jerry Speziale, also a former NYPD cop and Passaic County sheriff, says in the suit that he was recruited in 2010 by then-PA official David Wildstein, who has since quit over his role in last year’s crippling closure of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge.

Speziale says Wildstein told him to “root out corruption” and crack down on waste so he could one day take over the PA’s 1,700-member police force.

But in his first week on the $198,500-a-year job, Speziale met with his boss, Superintendent Michael Fedorko, who allegedly ordered Speziale to “not interfere with any operations of the Port Authority and intimated that Speziale should essentially do nothing.”

Speziale claims he ignored that warning and immediately uncovered “numerous instances of illegal conduct, improper conduct and abusive conduct. 

Speziale says he then suffered retaliation that included revocation of his official vehicle, denial of security credentials and cancellation of medical benefits for his terminally ill wife, Maggie, who died of breast cancer last month on Easter Sunday.

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The day after Golding's story broke, the Post's Philip Messing wrote that Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye ordered a top-to-bottom internal probe by the agency’s inspector general to investigate Speziale's claims of corruption. 

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