Senator, DA Sound Off On 50-A Repeal

first_imgPhoto: Derek Seifert / U.S. Air ForceALBANY — State Senator George Borrello and Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson are speaking out against the New York Senate’s recent repeal of the 50-A Statute in the state’s Civil Rights Law.The 50-A statute previously allowed police departments to shield disciplinary records of officers.Borrello this week critiqued the repeal after he said the Town of Cuba was recently issued a Freedom of Information Act request by an organization named MuckRock stating that they were seeking to obtain copies of all police personnel files dating back to the 1970’s.During an interview with WNYNewsNow, Borrello said that the repealing was a “knee-jerk reaction” that was politically motivated in the New York State Legislature. “Not only are these records unnecessary to be harvested in this manner, it’s going to create a huge financial burden for these already strained municipalities,” Borrello said. “You’re going to be asking for the records of, in many cases, police officers that may have been deceased for decades.”“This is just an unnecessary burden that ultimately is going to create fertile ground for frivolous lawsuits, ultimately at the tax papers expense and will do absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, to change the current situation when it comes to transparency and justice.”Swanson, in a separate interview with WNYNewsNow, said he “is not sure what it (the repealing) solves.”“What you have in police personnel files is the number of complaints, many of them unfounded, some of them substantiated,” Swanson said. “Releasing the contents of a personnel file with a bunch of complaints that were frivolous and not supported by facts, really doesn’t accomplish much.”“What are we accomplishing with this legislation other than smearing officers with unjust claims?”Borrello was unable to provide specific projections on the costs that he cited because of what he says is the “poor manor that the legislation was rushed through.” The Senator, however, says that municipalities could still face legal ramifications should parts of their records be missing even if they provide as much information as possible in a “good faith effort.”“Now, you’re going to have these unscrupulous trial attorneys that are going to look for these municipalities that have records that are missing and they’re going to say, ‘Yes, we realize that you don’t have them but we are still going to take you to court and sue you,’” Borrello said. “In this case, even though the municipality is doing what it’s supposed to do and rightly so, it’s costly to defend themselves.” He adds that municipalities will end up paying a heavy settlement to prevent further court litigation.WNYNewsNow also asked Swanson if the repealing could have an affect on the prosecution in future cases. He says there wouldn’t “necessarily” be one.“If there’s an unsubstantiated claim that’s maybe in an officer’s background, it shouldn’t be information a jury ever hears because there’s no truth to that claim,” Swanson said. “When you’re questioning a witness about their credibility, and an officer shouldn’t be treated any differently than everything else, if somebody made some claim that’s proven to be false in the past, that information isn’t something the jury should hear.”Swanson says his office could potentially need to file motions blocking juries from hearing unsubstantiated claims, but his “hope is that defense counsel wouldn’t seek to use unsubstantiated claims.”“I don’t see (a wide sweeping affect),” Swanson said. Swanson says Chautauqua County has a “good group of local police officers.”Citizens have criticized Borrello’s stance on multiple social media platforms, stating that the Sunset Bay native and others will similar viewpoints on the 50a Statute are promoting a lack of accountability and transparency from law enforcement. Borrello, however, says that is not the case.“I know that is the talking point for people. The reality is that there is no other profession where unsubstantiated claims remain in your file,” Borrello said. “This is true for teachers, doctors, lawyers, and so on, but this isn’t true for law enforcement and our first responders. We have the right to due process, and we have the basic Constitutional right that you’re innocent until proven guilty, and in fact, that right has been the subject of many of the other criminal justice reforms when it comes to bail and so forth…”“With all of that being said, we are not able to give justice to people if we are releasing these records that have false and unsubstantiated claims still in them.”Borrello says he and other members of the Senate challenged the repeal during a debate, asking why the legislative body didn’t chose to expunge or redact unsubstantiated claims from the record.“The answer was, ‘Just because it was unsubstantiated, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,’” Borrello said. “My God, that’s a basic and fundamental right that you’re throwing out the window. We’re saying we don’t care if it wasn’t proven, we are going to allow this record to be used against someone and tarnish them, which is outrageous. It’s a basic violation of our fundamental rights as Americans.”Borrello adds that those with lengthy criminal arrest records can’t have them used against them in court when they’re charged with another crime.“We protect the criminals of society with that same basic Constitutional right that we are taking away from our law enforcement officers,” Borrello said. “It’s wrong, it’s unjust, and that’s why I stand firmly on my position.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Technical Glitch Causes On-Line Registration Issues In Pennsylvania

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Pexels Stock Image.HARRISBURG — A weekend computer glitch that caused service issues in several Pennsylvania Commonwealth agencies, including on-line voter registration, has been resolved, according to officials.Multiple commonwealth agencies were impacted by the outage that was due to an equipment failure at a data center managed by Unisys for the commonwealth, officials said.Voters can once again go online to to register to vote, apply for a mail ballot, or check their voter registration, among other services.The Department of State’s professional licensing services are among the applications that are still affected. The Commonwealth Office of Information Technology and Unisys are working to restore those functions as quickly as possible. Online services for the departments of Revenue and Human Services and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board also are affected.Officials stressed the problem was equipment failure and there was no sign of criminal activity.The issue began at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Technicians identified the cause as an equipment failure at a data center managed for the commonwealth by Unisys and immediately began to work on plans for recovery. There is no indication at this time of any malicious physical or cyber activity, or that any loss of data has occurred.last_img read more

Report: Violent Crimes Increased Last Year In The City Of Jamestown

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now / MGN Online GraphicJAMESTOWN – The number of crimes increased more than 30 percent in the City of Jamestown last year.That’s according to data in the Jamestown Police Department’s 2020 report released on Friday.In the last year the estimated number of total crimes increased 31.4 percent from the year before. However, property crimes dropped 1.9 percent.The number of violent crimes increased from 191 in 2019 to 251 in 2020; while the amount of property crimes decreased from 1,142 in 2019 to 1,120 in 2020. “I am proud of our police officers and staff working to ensure the safety of city residents,” said Chief of Police Tim Jackson in a statement from the city. “Any increase in crime, especially violent crime, is concerning, but also in line with what the rest of the country saw during the COVID-19 crisis.”Jackson says going into the new year, his department will focus on connecting with the community more; by establishing a citizen’s police academy and youth mentoring program.“The Jamestown Police Department will continue in its efforts to be more open, transparent, and honest with the community,” he said. “With a number of different programs that we have begun in 2020 and starting in 2021, I am looking forward to continuing the outreach that is necessary to build up trust between the community and police force.”The force is also working with city leaders to complete the Governor’s Police Reform Initiative.“In the most difficult of years, I am extremely proud by the work and service our police officers and staff provided to the City and its residents,” said Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “I am excited about the community outreach initiatives that Chief Jackson has promoted to help foster a better and more connected relationship between the public and the police force.”Among accomplishments the department’s touts in 2020, was an increased focus on community engagement, a return to the ‘beat’ with 400-foot patrols conducted throughout the year, and increased collaboration between the Chautauqua County Sherriff’s Office and the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.Viewers can read the full report posted below:Failed to fetch Error: URL to the PDF file must be on exactly the same domain as the current web page. Click here for more infolast_img read more

Tony Winner Jim Norton Joins the Cast of Broadway’s Of Mice and Men, Starring James Franco & Chris O’Dowd

first_img James Franco Of Mice and Men Show Closed This production ended its run on July 27, 2014 Of Mice and Men premiered at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre in 1937, starring Wallace Ford and Broderick Crawford. The show was revived in 1974 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, starring James Earl Jones and Kevin Conway. Chris O’Dowd Jim Norton is the first Great White Way favorite to join the starry cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. The Tony winner will play Candy, the old handyman who’s left with only one hand after an accident, in the production. Starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester, Of Mice and Men is scheduled to begin performances March 19 at the Longacre Theatre, with an official opening night set for April 16. The show will play a limited engagement through July 27. Adapted from Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men tells the story of two migrant workers: George (Franco), a sharp but uneducated, short-tempered man, and Lennie (O’Dowd), a large but simple-minded man. Together they hope to one day acquire their own piece of land. But when Lennie stirs up trouble on the job, George must choose between protecting his friend or continuing to strive for the American dream. View Commentscenter_img Related Shows Norton won the Tony Award for his featured role in Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer and is currently starring in Atlantic Theater Company’s American premiere presentation of McPherson’s The Night Alive off-Broadway. Norton’s other Broadway credits include The Weir, Finian’s Rainbow and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. His film and TV credits include Straw Dogs, American History X, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Water for Elephants and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Leighton Meester Jim Norton Star Files View All (4)last_img read more

Michael Esper & More Will Lead the Cast of Sting’s The Last Ship on Broadway

first_imgBroadway favorites Michael Esper and Aaron Lazar, along with U.K. star Rachel Tucker, will lead the Main Stem cast of 16-time Grammy winner Sting’s new musical The Last Ship. Directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello, the musical will begin previews September 30 at the Neil Simon Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for October 26. The Last Ship will sail to New York City following a pre-Broadway tryout from June 10 to July 13 at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre. Star Files Esper has appeared on Broadway in American Idiot, The Lyons and A Man for All Seasons. Lazar’s Broadway credits include Mamma Mia!, A Little Night Music, Impressionism, Les Miserables and The Light in the Piazza. Tucker appeared in the West End in Wicked, and was a finalist on the BBC’s talent series I’d Do Anything. The Last Ship marks her Broadway debut. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2015 Nail’s TV and film credits include Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Spender, Evita and Still Crazy. He makes his Broadway debut in The Last Ship. Triplett appeared on Broadway in Carrie. Her West End credits include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Follies, Chess, Grease, Cats, Anything Goes and Guys and Dolls. Applegate’s Broadway credits include in The Producers, La Cage aux Folles, Young Frankenstein, Sister Act and The Sound of Music. Kelly-Sordelet makes his Broadway debut in The Last Ship. The Last Ship’s creative team includes scenic and costume design by Tony nominee David Zinn, lighting design by Tony winner Christopher Akerlind and sound design by Tony winner Brian Ronan. View Comments The Last Ship is set in an English seafaring town that operates around the local shipyard and follows Gideon Fletcher, a man who left home to see the world and returns fourteen years later to find that the future of the shipyard is in danger. The shipyard’s workers decide to take their fate into their own hands and build a towering representation of the shared dream that has defined their existence. In addition to Esper, Lazar and Tucker, the principal cast of The Last Ship will include Jimmy Nail, Sally Ann Triplett, Collin Kelly-Sordelet and Fred Applegate. Inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences and his album of the same name, the musical features an all-star creative team including a book by Tony winner John Logan and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey and choreography by Tony nominee Steven Hoggett. The Last Ship Michael Esper Related Shows Aaron Lazarlast_img read more

Michael Roberts’ Greed: A Musical for Our Times to Have Off-Broadway Premiere

first_img View Comments Michael Roberts’ Greed: A Musical for Our Times, is to have its off-Broadway premiere. Directed by Christopher Scott and starring Tony nominee Stephanie D’Abruzzo, the show will begin performances at New World Stages—Stage 2 on March 19. Opening Night is set for April 3. What do Jamie Dimon, Lance Armstrong, Pope Francis and Bernie Madoff have in common? They all appear in Greed: A Musical for Our Times. The musical comedy’s targets range from Ponzi schemes to the not-so-subtle sales pitches of retirement planners and mortgage bundlers. With numbers like “A Little Juice,” “Inside Information,” “I’ll Cheat On My Taxes” and “The Ballad of Jamie Dimon,” Greed takes aim at the obvious, and not so obvious, targets.center_img D’Abruzzo received a Tony nod for Avenue Q. She will be joined in the cast by Julia Burrows, James Donegan and Neal Mayer.last_img read more

Watch Inishmaan Star Daniel Radcliffe Count Jimmy Fallon’s Balls

first_imgBroadway’s Daniel Radcliffe is everywhere! The star magically appeared on The Tonight Show and The Today Show to discuss his role in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, which begins performances at the Cort Theatre on April 12. Not only did the affable actor reveal his cute run-in with Tom Brady and wife, supermodel Gisele, he also talked about his Food Network obsession and blah blah…let’s get to the balls. Radcliffe and Fallon donned crazy Velcro suits and played a game called Sticky Balls; think dodge ball with 200% more innuendo. The next morning, Radcliffe appeared on Today, and much to our chagrin, he did not play Sticky Balls with Al Roker. Oh, well. Check out the fun below and find out who has the most balls. Daniel Radcliffe View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on July 20, 2014 Star Files Related Shows The Cripple of Inishmaanlast_img read more

Indian Ink Starts Preview Performances Off-Broadway

first_img Indian Ink Set on two different continents and in two different eras, Indian Ink follows free-spirited English poet Flora Crewe on her travels through India in the 1930s, where her intricate relationship with an Indian artist unfurls against the backdrop of a country seeking its independence. Fifty years later, in 1980s England, her younger sister Eleanor tries to preserve the legacy of Flora’s controversial career. In addition to Harris and Garai, the cast features Firdous Bamji, Bill Buell, Nick Choksi, Neal Huff, Caroline Lagerfelt, Omar Maskati, Tim McGeever, Brenda Meaney, Philip Mills, Ajay Naidu, Bhavesh Patel, Lee Aaron Rosen and Rajeev Varma. The off-Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink begins performances at the Laura Pels Theatre on September 4. The Roundabout production stars Tony and Emmy winner Rosemary Harris and U.K. stage and screen fave Romola Garai. View Commentscenter_img Related Shows Indian Ink, directed by Carey Perloff, will celebrate its opening night on September 30. The play is scheduled to run through November 30. Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 30, 2014last_img read more

Honeymoon in Vegas to Record Broadway Cast Album

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 Honeymoon in Vegas Related Shows View Comments Based on the 1992 film, Honeymoon in Vegas tells the story of Jack Singer (McClure), a commitment-phobe who finally proposes to his girlfriend Betsy (O’Malley). The couple heads to Vegas to get hitched, but when the smooth talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza) falls head over heels for Betsy, he arranges for Jack to lose big in a poker game so he can claim the bride-to-be as his own girlfriend. The company will also include Matt Allen, Tracee Beazer, Grady McLeod Bowman, Barry Busby, Leslie Donna Flesner, Gaelen Gilliland, Albert Guerzon, Raymond J. Lee, George Merrick, Jessica Naimy, Zachary Prince, Catherine Ricafort, Jonalyn Saxer, Brendon Stimson, Erica Sweany, Cary Tedder and Katie Webber. What happens in Vegas certainly isn’t staying there! has confirmed that a cast recording of Andrew Bergman and Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas will be released on the Universal Music Enterprises label. The album will be produced by Brown and Jeffey Lesser; the release date will be announced later. Starring Rob McClure, Tony Danza, Brynn O’Malley, David Josefsberg, Nancy Opel and Matthew Saldivar, the new musical will begin previews on November 18, with opening night set for January 15, 2015, at the Nederlander Theatre.last_img read more

Lessons of the Week! Idina Menzel, Jim Parsons & More

first_imgIt’s Friday, and you know what that means—time to buy eight more TiVos so you can make extra sure you record Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go” “Defying Gravity” the National Anthem at the Super Bowl! But wait, but before you hightail it to Best Buy, you’ve gotta check out the crazy things we learned this week about our favorite Broadway stars (yes, including Idina). Check ‘em out!Idina Menzel Is Going Balls to the WallYes, the If/Then star is singing at the Super Bowl on Sunday, so she’s spent her entire week hanging out with a ton of testosterone-fueled football players, getting down and dirty at the stadium and fielding questions about balls. “I’ve decided I’m not really qualified to comment on the weight of anyone’s balls,” the Tony winner said, making us wonder what qualifications one needs and where to sign up for said qualifications.Martin Short Has a Colonoscopy ClubWhen you’re a mega-star, everything is more glamorous…especially routine medical procedures! It’s Only a Play star Martin Short, Steve Martin and Tom Hanks apparently eat Jell-O and uh, get their colons checked together. Man, celebrities have all the fun.Jennifer Nettles Got Her First B’way ScarHer opening night isn’t until February 2, but the new Chicago star already has her first battle wound: A gash on her forehead. No, a chorus boy didn’t high-kick her in the face—she scratched herself while trying to do a Fosse pose. Don’t forget, Jennifer, Broadway is a contact sport. Just ask Idina Menzel.Don’t Call Matt Doyle, He’ll Call YouBrooklynite star Matt Doyle can perform in front of thousands of people without breaking a sweat, but when he had to make phone calls in his old gig as a “terrible” production assistant, he clammed up. Matt, you just keep singing and we’ll make all of your phone calls for you. Especially any you might need to make to your old Spring Awakening cohorts.Jonathan Groff Wants a Spring Three-WaySpeaking of “The Song of Purple Summer” (and when aren’t we?), Jonathan Groff revealed that there’s not one, but two Spring Awakening cast members he’d love to hook up with on his HBO series Looking: Gideon Glick and John Gallagher, Jr. At the same time. Like, a three-way. OMG, this is even better than that Spring Awakening fan fiction we wrote when we were 15.The Wicked Cast Knows What’s Goin’ OnThe cast of Wicked obviously knows about “Popular,” but there’s something else they’re well-versed in: Songs from the ’90s we thought (and hoped) we’d never hear again. vlogger Kara Lindsay walked in on her co-star Caroline Bowman seriously rocking out to “What’s Up” by the 4 Non Blondes. Now do Lisa Loeb!Jim Parsons Is Holier Than ThouMove over, Jesus Christ Superstar, there’s a new almighty dude on the Broadway scene: Jim Parsons! The Big Bang Theory star will answer all your deepest existential questions in An Act of God—like why the sky is blue, why dogs rule and cats drool, and why they took away the Tony Award for Best Sound Design.Hey, B’way Hopefuls! If You Can’t Sing, LieStarring on Broadway doesn’t always require years of intense vocal training with Liz Caplan. Instead, just catch the attention of a casting director, lie through your teeth when she asks you if you can sing, and fake it ‘til you make it! Hey, it worked for The Book of Mormon star John Christopher O’Neill.Sarah Brightman’s Mascara Is Space-ProofThe Phantom of the Opera favorite Sarah Brightman is almost ready for her long-awaited trip to space. She’s got her bags packed with everything she might need: $52 million? Check. Space helmet? Check. Perfectly coiffed hair? Check. Mascara? Check. Eye shadow? Check. Yep, she’s ready.We’re Hopelessly Devoted to Darren Criss…And so are readers, who voted Criss their top pick for Danny Zuko in Fox’s Grease: Live. We can see it now: riding shotgun while Darren Criss speeds to the drive-in, singing sweet nothings in our ear. Wait, what’s that you say? That Julianne Hough is Sandy, and besides, a website can’t play the romantic lead in a musical? Fine, whatever, we’ll be Doody. View Comments Star Filescenter_img Idina Menzellast_img read more