THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri May 14, 2021 1:40 p

March 27, 1989 Report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning federal Hobbs Act investigation of corruption in the Rensselaer County (State of New York) Department of Health:

"According to (Dr. Axelrod), the results of the State's investigation were that New York State laws were not being followed by the Rensselaer County Health Department, Rensselaer County laws were not being followed by the Rensselaer County Health Department, and there was very little 'enforcement activity' even in the face of illegal sales."

"(Dr. Axelrod) advised that the Rensselaer County Health Department's oversight of realty subdivisions in that county is 'unsatisfactory'!"

"(Dr. Axelrod) also faulted the State of New York Health Department for not auditing Rensselaer County's program."

"(Dr. Axelrod) advised that he would not expect to find a worse county in the region (the Capital District region which comprises 17 counties)!"

"According to (Dr. Axelrod), the object of any county health department is to protect the public and not to facilitate development."

"In the case of Rensselaer County, it appears that the Rensselaer County Health Department was in business to facilitate developers and development rather than to protect the public."


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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri May 14, 2021 1:40 p

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OPINION:

Assistant United States Attorney, BARBARA COTTRELL, Northern District of New York, advised on May 1, 1989, that no evidence of any violation of federal law had been uncovered as result of investigation to date.

For this reason, AUSA COTTRELL declined prosecution at this time.


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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri May 14, 2021 1:40 p

METROLAND - The News Weekly Of The Capital Region by Stephen Leon April 20 1989:

"Rensselaer County," says Paul Plante, "was a whorehouse; you could come in and do whatever you wanted to do."

Plante is referring to the review process for subdivisions and sewage systems from roughly 1978 until his hiring (from 1982 until he came on in 1986, the county had no environmental health engineer at all).

The State DOH report, in more official-sounding language, backs up the essence of Plante's claim.

"Whenever documentation could be found," the report says, "Mr. Plante was found to be accurate in his statements of inappropriate code reviews ..."

"Realty subdivision plans were frequently approved after 1977 which did not meet the requirements of Article IX of the County Sanitary Code and the 'Variance Criteria Guideline' adopted by the County Board of health."

Also: "Based upon a review of the County's subdivisions and private water and sewage programs, it is clear that Mr. Plante's concerns about its integrity are justified."

"The public health and environment are threatened by an inordinate number of sewage system failures, which are the legacy of mismanaged programs in prior years ......"

What the report did conclude was this:

"While all the allegations could not be verified, many were founded."

"In many cases, the county did not follow its own Code and policy guidance ....."

"Responsibility for this condition is shared among the County Board of Health, the County Executive's office [Buono and his predecessors] and perhaps most directly the Public Health Director [Van Praag]."

Judith Enck, co-chair of Rensselaer County Environmental Action, is concerned about these numbers, about what they will mean for the county's drinking water.

"That's why the Paul Plante situation is so serious," Enck says.

"The county desperately needs a person of Paul Plante's caliber in that position."

Enck's concern is not shared by developers, and apparently not by Democratic county legislators, who, Plante supporters charge, have used the controversy surrounding Plante as a way of politically damaging the county executive, a Republican.

Enck and Buono specifically point to anti-Plante activity by Democratic legislators Daniel Ashley, Marilyn Douglas and Joseph Manupella as a turning point in the Plante controversy.

"They would hold news conferences attacking Paul," Enck says.

"They held a series of public hearings which were nothing more than media circuses."

******

The public hearings, held on various dates last year, are described identically by Buono, Enck and Plante: as one-sided forums designed to crucify the environmental health director.

At an East Greenbush hearing last Aug, 23, they say, the first thing anyone saw on their way in was Paul Plante hung in effigy outside the building.

"That was sick," Buono says, "really sick."

Plante was asked by Van Praag not to attend the hearings, but he went anyway - and was not given a chance to speak.

"I was very naïve," recalls Enck, who attended the East Greenbush hearing.

"I really thought these legislators wanted to hear about how septic systems impact on water quality and how development patterns impact on land use."

"And from my testimony and from sitting there observing the rest of the evening, it became very clear to me that these legislators did not really care about the facts, but were trying to jump on a political issue in which they could criticize Buono."


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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Sat May 15, 2021 1:40 p

DATE: 15 May 2021

TO: Trooper Sheehan, New York State Police

RE: On-going political retaliation in Poestenkill

Dear Trooper Sheehan:

As it very much appears that this on-going "hate" campaign and political violence against myself in the town of Poestenkill is never going to end until my very life is stripped from me as the life of George Floyd was stripped from him, or I am driven from the town of Poestenkill in retaliation for my having exposed endemic corruption in Poestenkill to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the courts of the State of New York, I would like to flesh out a few more background details in the event that these acts of political violence aimed at me should escalate to the point of where the involvement of the NYSP is required, which is a great concern of mine, given the involvement of the New York State Police in covering over, with the aid of Poestenkill Town Court, a hit-and-run vehicular assault against myself by Gary James Horton of Poestenkill, which Horton, a "protected person" in Poestenkill, is still actively involved in this harassing and intimidating conduct as part of this "hate campaign" being waged against me in the Town of Poestenkill.

With respect to my physical health, which is greatly diminished as a result of this on-going harassment and torture, as was previously stated, in a deposition by then-Rensselaer County Executive John L. Buono, the following colloquy occurred, to wit:

SEPTEMBER 27, 1994

Q: Did there come a time in May 1993 when you were consulted about a Worker's Compensation proceeding that Paul Plante had initiated?

BUONO: Yes.

Q: Are you aware that on or about July 18, 1993 that the County had entered into a stipulation that Plaintiff (myself) had suffered a partial disability as a result of a work-related illness that was generated during the time he was employed as the engineer for the Health Department?

BUONO: I'm aware of that, yes!

end quotes

I would ask you to pay special attention to the words "the County had entered into a stipulation that Plaintiff (myself) had suffered a partial disability as a result of a work-related illness that was generated during the time he was employed as the engineer for the Health Department."

As to my duties with the Health Department as an associate level public health engineer, they were as follows:

This is a professional position involving responsibility for the planning, direction and supervision of the environmental health program of the Rensselaer County Department of Health.

In addition, an employee is responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Public Health Law and local and State Sanitary Codes in relation to environmental matters.

end quotes

In other words, my position was in law enforcement, with violations of the Public Health Law being Class "A" misdemeanors, and I was disabled in the line of duty, which takes us to an August 14, 1991 Memorandum of Decision of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board based on prima facie evidence as follows:

Claimant, an engineer, claimed that he suffered a deterioration of his health due to undue pressure at his employment, including threats of bodily harm, causing him to stop work on October 12, 1988.

Claimant cited one specific incident of July 29, 1988, when he twisted his neck to avoid getting struck by a swinging back-hoe bucket, an incident which he also claimed exacerbated a prior neck wound sustained in 1969 while serving in the Army in Viet Nam.

Dr. Kolb reported on April 20, 1990 that in addition to the combat wound he received a history from claimant in October 1988 of a series of harassing events connected with his employment.

In an affidavit dated September 27, 1990, Dr. Kolb stated that claimant was also suffering from severe headaches, neck pain and numbness in his right arm and hand, caused in part by the aggravation previously stated in his report of April 20, 1990, and that a Dr. Loudon had confirmed that claimant had been subjected to an escalating series of harassing incidents beginning in late 1987 during his course of employment.

****

In C-4/C-48 dated December 3, 1990, Dr. Sheremeta indicated that he has been treating claimant since August 13, 1990 for a cervical dorsal strain causally related to an injury of July 26, 1988, when claimant twisted his upper back getting out of the way of a back-hoe.

Upon review of the entire record, the Board panel finds that the reports of Dr. Kolb and Dr. Sheremeta, when considered together with claimant’s C-3’s, do constitute prima facie medical evidence.

end quote

As was stated previously, that backhoe assault was on a site off Rt. 150 in the town of Sand Lake that was being developed by one Christian Momrow, a powerful political figure in Poestenkill who served as chairman of the Poestenkill Planning Board.

As to the adverse impact that assault had on my health and well-being, I would like to take you back to 26 January 1990 to a document at page A-190 of Volume II of a four volume document of 480 pages entitled Petitioner's Appendix, Rensselaer County Court, The People Of The State Of New York against Paul R. Plante, which document is addressed to Thomas A. Constantine, Superintendent, New York State Police, Building 22, The State Campus, Albany, New York 12226, and has as its heading "Hit and Run Investigation," wherein is stated as follows, to wit:

"Should you desire to contact me, please do so after mid-day, as I am disabled veteran, and I must do so many hours of physical therapy each day, in order that I might move freely without severe pain."

Thus, the New York State Police have been informed about and aware of the status of my health since 1990, and today, I am thirty-one years older, and because I am over 70, I am in essence a prisoner in my home because of Governor Cuomo's "Matilda's Law," which requires me to stay inside and only go out for solitary exercise.

Because of COVID, all my support systems have been taken from me, to include acupuncture for pain management, and the closing of the courts, so that I am in worse pain now with no recourse available, and instead of making any effort to accomodate that, the town of Poestenkill instead sees it as a weakness to be exploited.

As to the "threats of bodily harm" against myself for daring to enforce the Public Health Law in Rensselaer County and corrupt Poestenkill, which threats were detailed in an October 12, 1988 writing from then-County Public Health Director Kenneth Van Praag to John L. Buono, County Executive, wherein Van Praag informed Buono that "(A)s you are aware, the Rensselaer County Department of Health has been endeavoring to do what it is required to do in terms of regulating and enforcing the wide range of state and county sanitary codes designed to protect the public's health and safety," and "(I)t should be noted that the New York State Health Department has commended and upheld the judgments exercised by the Director (myself) while dealing with the difficult regulatory functions relating to this program," and "I am concerned for Paul Plante's health, both physically and emotionally, and I cannot help but feel that there has to be some effect on his everyday activities as they relate to his family and his personal life," that was a direct reference to threats from among others Gary James Horton, the assailant who ran me down on Liberty Lane in Poestenkill on 29 December 1989, which hit-and-run, as previously stated, was covered over by Poestenkill Town Court and the New York State Police, which agency assisted the hit-and-run driver, Horton, to file false criminal charges against myself, which false charges robbed me of my life for several years thereafter, until a successful appeal by myself in Rensselaer County Court put an end to that portion of what remains an on-going nightmare for me in corrupt Poestenkill.

At the time I went out on disability, I was in the process of bringing charges against this same Gary Horton for possession of a fraudulent Rensselaer County Health Department sewage system construction permit, which is the basis of his never-ending enmity that resulted in the December 29, 1989 hit-and-run.

So that you can better understand the relationship between the various parties here, I have been in the Town of Poestenkill since 1949, and I am still on a portion of the land that I grew up on, and have been since 1971, after returning to Poestenkill from military service in Viet Nam.

This Gary Horton is an adjoiner who came long after I was in Poestenkill, which takes us to New York State Real Property Law § 381, titled "Survey, map or plan to be filed," which section of law provides thusly:

There shall be filed with the registrar a survey, map or plan of the land the title to which is sought to be registered, which shall be made by a competent surveyor and shall be subject to the approval of the court, and which shall clearly show the exact boundaries of the land and its connection with adjacent lands and any adjoining or neighboring streets and avenues, and the distances from such adjoining or neighboring streets or avenues, and all encroachments, if any, and all other facts which are usually shown by accurate surveys.  

If any adjacent land is already registered, the survey must properly connect and harmonize with the survey of such previously registered land.  

There shall be attached to such survey, map or plan, and filed with it, an affidavit of the surveyor by whom it was made, that it was made by him personally or under his immediate supervision and direction;  that it is a survey, map or plan of the property described in the petition or the official examiner's report of title, and that according to the best of his knowledge and belief said property is included in the boundaries shown on such survey, map or plan, without any encroachments or improper erections, except as follows:  (stating and describing any encroachments or improper locations of buildings, fences or other structures).  

end quotes

I am in fact in possession of such a map prepared by RDM Surveyors, and it shows not only the property lines themselves, but also the location of any pins, or fence posts and boundary line trees, and the Town of Poestenkill is aware of that map, as are the New York State Police, given there have been complaints to the State Police from adjoiners about me walking on my own land.

Now, as to solitary exercise, I should be able to walk the boundary lines of my property which would be a distance of roughly a half-mile, given I own eleven acres of land.

However, when the Court of the town of Poestenkill covered over the December 29, 1989 hit-and-run by allowing Horton to file false criminal charges against me, it also handed out Orders of Protection to Horton and his wife, Diane Horton, who gave false testimony in that matter with impunity, which Orders of Protection effectively have expropriated and dispossessed me of several acres of my land by requiring me to stay so many hundred feet away from either Horton or his wife under fear of arrest, and given that they reside on my property line, that Order of Protection, which was never rescinded by Poestenkill Town Court, denies me access to my own land and instead awards control of my land, and my life, to my assailant Gary Horton and his wife Diane who bore false witness against me in court proceedings while under oath.

As a result, today, I am a prisoner of these people, and I wish the State Police to be aware of that fact as these threats of violence against myself escalate.

Respectfully,

Paul R. Plante, P.E.


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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

Cui Bono in Sand Lake Appeal


06.17.21

As someone who prevailed in a frivolous appeal filed by the New York State Attorney General in Lascari et al. v. NYSDEC et al., 229 AD2d 650 (3d Dept. 1996), I find myself interested in this Barnes Road matter in Sand Lake where the Planning Board appears to be asking the Appellate Court to essentially rule that the Supreme Court justice who issued the ruling appealed from was stupid, ignorant and clearly didn’t know the law and should be overturned, essentially proving that the planning board attorney who lost at the Supreme Court level was really the smarter lawyer of the two, and should be vindicated of what on the surface right now, given the loss at the Supreme Court level, appears to be shoddy legal counsel to the Planning Board in making the decision to grant the permit in question, which should result in some great theater of the absurd when this goes up for oral arguments, and the town’s appeal attorney, who gets paid, win or lose, don’t make a difference, tries to convince the Appellate Court judges there is a stupid Supreme Court Justice on the loose in Rensselaer County.

Which raises the question of who are these haughty people on these planning boards who set themselves above and apart from the citizen body?

And no, we didn’t always have planning board.

They came into being in the 1970s, around here and at p. 8 of a 15 March 1989 Report of Investigation of the RCHD by then-State Health Commission Dr. David Axelrod, we get a good look into their political nature which is based on power supposedly unassailable by the general public, to wit:

There is a question of conflict of interest.

The Public Health Director is also the Chairman of the Town of Sand Lake Planning Board.

The Sand Lake Town Planning Board reviews plans for proposed realty subdivisions for compliance with the Town Code.

So one man wearing two hats with tremendous power was able to dispense favors with pretty much impunity, because who could challenge him?

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

On Being “Business Friendly”


06.24.21

First of all, let us be clear that issuing a permit without complying with the law is not just an “oh, whoopsie” like spilling a glass of Merlot on somebody’s brand new white shag carpet.

It is a Class E felony in violation of Section 175.40 of the Penal Law, “Issuing a false certificate,” which section states that “A person is guilty of issuing a false certificate when, being a public servant authorized by law to make or issue official certificates or other official written instruments, and with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another person, he issues such an instrument, or makes the same with intent that it be issued, knowing that it contains a false statement or false information,” something NYS Asst. AG Kathleen Liston Morrison was forced to admit under oath in Albany County Supreme Court before Judge Robert Williams after my second Article 78 alleging false issuance by the DEC when she admitted in an affidavit to the Court that the DEC did not bother to follow a single law, rule, or regulation, and thus, she was forced to concede her client, the DEC, was guilty as charged.

In this case of Barnes Road, the Court overturning the Planning Board would seem to constitute prima facie evidence of false issuance, and that thought takes those of us with memories longer than a TWEET on TWITTER to the 1980’s, when we were reading in the Advertiser and Independent about Sand Lake and Poestenkill being “welcome developer” towns.

So we are talking about nothing at all new here.

In fact, if we go back to the 15 March 1989 Axelrod Report at p.4, we see as follows concerning the essential elements of a “welcome developer” town, those being a blatant disregard for rule of law and stifling dissent, to wit:

“Realty Subdivision plans were frequently approved after 1977 which did not meet the requirements of the County Sanitary Code.”

Felonies stacked upon felonies, which were then laundered through the Sand Lake PB.

“Welcome Developers,” indeed!

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

On being a “developer friendly” town


07.01.21

And staying with the “developer friendly” practices of the various planning boards in Rensselaer County, especially Sand Lake and Poestenkill, both of which figure prominently in an FBI Hobbs Act investigation of public corruption in Rensselaer County, which is an indication of the long legacy in Sand Lake leading up to this Barnes Road situation, according to the March 15, 1989 Axelrod Report of Investigation of Misfeasance and Malfeasance in the Rensselaer County Department of Health under the direction of the Sand Lake Planning Board Chairman, which report was very effectively buried to protect the guilty, at p.5, item 4, it states thusly:

“In some cases plans were improperly approved/signed by the Public Health Director (Sand Lake Planning Board Chairman) without input from a Professional Engineer.

“Time extensions for approval of plans were also approved by the Public Health Director without input from a Professional Engineer.”

And that takes us to Subarticle 4, Unauthorized Acts, of Article 130 of the NY Education Law, to wit:

§6512 Unauthorized practice a crime.

Anyone not authorized to practice under this title who practices . . . in any profession in which a license is a prerequisite to the practice of the acts . . . shall be guilty of a class E felony.

So talk about tradition in Sand Lake, there we have a bunch more felonies stacked up against the former Sand Lake Planning Board Chairman, whose legacy lives on in Sand Lake if the Barnes Road matter is any indication.

And it should be mentioned that before the former Sand Lake Planning Board Chairman became Rensselaer County Public Health Director, the state health department conferred on him the title of medical doctor so that he could be the Deputy Health Commissioner in Rensselaer County, which experience as a medical doctor then qualified him in the eyes of the state to serve as the public health director in Rensselaer County.

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

Who pays the price of “developer friendly?”


July 8, 2021

So if “developer friendly” benefits the developers by not enforcing the law pertaining to approvals, is there a cost, and if so, who pays it?

In the case of Barnes Road, the answer is quite obvious – the town taxpayers do, and that thought takes us to a March 27, 1989 Report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning a federal Hobbs Act investigation of corruption in the Rensselaer County Department of Health, where we have as follows as to who pays the costs of “developer friendly,” to wit:

“According to (Dr. Axelrod), the results of the State’s investigation were that New York State laws were not being followed by the Rensselaer County Health Department, Rensselaer County laws were not being followed by the Rensselaer County Health Department, and there was very little ‘enforcement activity’ even in the face of illegal sales.”

“(Dr. Axelrod) advised that the Rensselaer County Health Department’s oversight of realty subdivisions in that county is ‘unsatisfactory’!”

“(Dr. Axelrod) also faulted the State of New York Health Department for not auditing Rensselaer County’s program.”

“(Dr. Axelrod) advised that he would not expect to find a worse county in the region (the Capital District region which comprises 17 counties)!”

“According to (Dr. Axelrod), the object of any county health department is to protect the public and not to facilitate development.”

“In the case of Rensselaer County, it appears that the Rensselaer County Health Department was in business to facilitate developers and development rather than to protect the public.”

Which is why on October 11, 1988, I informed Rensselaer County Executive John L. Buono in writing thusly:

My certification of our operations is as a licensed professional.

I can no longer vouch for the integrity of our programs and will not place my professional standing in jeopardy.

For which there was Hell to pay, but better than being a liar.

Paul Plante

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Re: THE PAUL PLANTE STORY

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jul 16, 2021 1:40 p

THE ADVERTISER Letters To The Editor

And then came the FBI!


July 15, 2021

It should come as no surprise then that “developer friendly” is what drew the FBI to Rensselaer County in 1988 the way a family picnic draws flies, and in the time they were here, they compiled a file detailing corruption in the Rensselaer County Department of Health, and by extension, the various planning boards in Rensselaer County, to include Sand Lake and Poestenkill of over 200 pages,

According to an FBI record from 9 December 1988 entitled “Hobbs Act -Corruption of State and Local Public Officials,” the original investigation was “predicated” on a letter dated October 28, 1988 received by the Albany Office of the FBI alleging corruption in East Greenbush, and it concluded thusly:

AUSA DAVID HOMER, Northern District of New York, was consulted regarding this matter on Nov. 23, 1988, and suggested that the FBI interview the people specifically mentioned in the (redacted) letter in an effort to verify (redacted) allegations.

Thereafter, on 2/22/89, the title of the investigation was changed to “Allegations of Corruption in Rensselaer County Government Relating to Land Development,” and the Director of Environmental Health for the RCHD was named as a “subject,” and was brought into the investigation at that time as someone the FBI files say county officials were “afraid of,” and who “might have information regarding land fraud in Rensselaer County.”

The FBI records then state that on the afternoon of 2 February 1989, an FBI special agent went to the home of the Environmental Director in the Town of Poestenkill as a “valuable source of information,” and that “numerous Rensselaer County politicians were ‘afraid’” of the information the Environmental Health Director had.

A 28 February 1989 FBI record then states that the Environmental Health Director, in “two very extensive interviews” related specific information concerning corruption in the RCHD to include “kick backs” for “rubber stamping,” and that is how the FBI came to Sand Lake.

Paul Plante

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