A few days ago when an anonymous benefactor provided me with the police disciplinary record of a candidate for Schenectady County sheriff, Joe Lazzari, I said I would print particulars of it only if someone provided me with the comparable record of the other candidate, Dom Dagostino, a recently retired Rotterdam police officer.
Well, not to keep you in suspense, Dagostino himself provided it, or, same thing, he authorized the Rotterdam Police Department to release it, which they did, and yesterday I had a look at it.
It didn’t take me long. The file contained only one disciplinary entry, and that was for a trivial bureaucratic slip-up or oversight. Back in 1997 he filed a civil lawsuit over an on-duty car accident he had been in, and he didn’t notify the chief, as department rules required. The lieutenant who reported the matter said he believed Dagostino “was not aware” of the rule, and, “I believe the blame should be on me and not on Inv. Dagostino.”
There is no indication of his having been punished for the infraction.
With that, I now feel free and indeed obligated to report the particulars of Lazzari’s record with the Schenectady Police Department, from which he retired in 2004, after 25 years of service.
Please note, the records I received in the mail cover the period only from 1993 to 2002, which means mostly the time when Greg Kaczmarek was chief, which was from 1996 to 2002. Lazzari says Kaczmarek resented him and had it in for him because the Republican Party, in 1998, picked him, Lazzari, as its candidate for sheriff and not Kaczmarek, who also wanted the job.
I cannot get a response to that from Kaczmarek, because, alas, he is in state prison on a drug conviction.
Anyway, herewith Lazzari’s infractions:
-- In 1993 he “used coarse and profane language to another person” and had a “confrontation” with “a manager from Trustco Bank.” (Not clear if that’s the person to whom he used the bad language.) Got eight days of “departmental discipline,” which I assume means he had to forfeit that many days of accumulated time off that he had coming.
-- In 1995 he was cited for “failing to perform a duty,” etc., no details given, for which he got three days of “departmental discipline.”
-- In 1998 he was cited for a series of non-specific charges, such as “did not conform to departmental rules and regulations, orders and procedures,” for which he got 20 days of “departmental discipline,” which seems like a lot.
-- In 2000, while working a private security detail at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, he had a confrontation with the manager of the security company and directed “profanities and verbal threats at him.” He got one day of “departmental discipline” for “failure to treat any person civilly or respectfully.”
-- In 2001 he was cited for ordering four shirts from Lee’s Trophies and a photo book from Reale’s and charging them to the Police Department without prior authorization. He got a “permanent letter of reprimand.”
-- Also in 2001 he was cited for taking a day of unauthorized military leave, which he says occurred when his plane was delayed coming back from a period of service in Antarctica. He was suspended for one day.
-- Also in 2001 he was cited for having parked his private car, the previous year, in Schenectady’s municipal parking garage for storage and refusing to move it even when requested to do so. He got two days of suspension.
-- In 2002 he was cited for “disobedience of an order” after filing for a warrant in a rape case when he was ordered by a superior not to do so. He was suspended for two days.
If I am doing the dirty work of the Schenectady police union, the PBA, in reporting these matters, I’m genuinely sorry, but I tried to be fair, holding back unless I could also see Dagostino’s records, and now I’ve done that.
I don’t know who provided me Lazzari’s confidential file, which came in the mail anonymously, but since the PBA had a copy of it, and since the PBA is working hard to elect Dagostino, I assume that’s who it was. Them, or someone acting on their behalf.
However the records came to me, I count them as newsworthy, with the proviso that I report equally on both candidates.
Dagostino is a member of the Conservative Party, by the way, in which the PBA has a dominant voice, and he is also running as a Democrat.
Lazzari is enrolled in the Independence Party and is also running as a Republican.
I leave you, the reader, to weigh the infractions I have reported and to reach any political conclusions you think appropriate. I am a neutral vehicle, conveying the facts that are loaded into me. Or a blindfolded holder of the scales of journalistic justice, whichever image you prefer.
In case you’re wondering if I attended the pro-am boxing program the other night at HVCC, the answer is yes, I did, and what’s more I found it satisfying.
It was a solid program of competitive fights, with good performances by Shawn Miller of Troy, Brian Miller (no relation) of Schenectady, and Mike Faragon of Guilderland, all of whom came out winners.
Faragon, a lightweight, I especially appreciate — I like his calm control, which you hardly expect from a 22-year-old. He ran his record to 9-0 with a decision over one Julius Edmunds of Philadelphia, who fought gamely for the full six rounds despite incurring a nasty cut at the corner of his left eye in the first round.
Shawn Miller, kid brother of heavyweight Shannon Miller, in his second professional appearance, looked very sharp against a guy from Yonkers making his pro debut at the age of 29, though both fighters utterly punched themselves out in this four rounder.
The Yonkers fellow, Angel Gonzalez, to such an extent that when Shawn Miller gave him a hard push near the end of Round 4 he not only went down, he hardly had the legs to get back up and finally his seconds had to half-carry him back to his corner.
Brian Miller won the New York state lightweight championship with a unanimous decision over a tough Rafael Luna, from Albany.
I took a few photos of this action, and you can view them by visiting my blog by clicking HERE.