Time for some accountability

I’m angrier than a blogger who is almost certain that he’s being electronically stalked by an APD detective, because there’s not much he can do to stop the guy.  You can learn more about that at the end of this article.

I’m also angry that an Albany County government official gets, so far, to keep his cushy job where he is the second in command in the county.  And by the way, that blogger is me.  Please see the link above to learn about why I am accusing an APD detective, Dave Bernacki, of electronically stalking me.

Just as I reported previously, Deputy Executive Michael McLaughlin, Jr., the scumbag who you see to the left, was arrested for DUI earlier this month and, as of the time that this article was published, is still on the job with absolutely no consequences whatsoever.

Hey, Albany County lawmakers!  Go drive drunk!  There are no consequences if you’re a government official!  Go ahead, drive drunk and, hell, kill someone.  You won’t even get suspended!

There’s new news to report, thanks to an article in today’s Times Union.  Under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, the newspaper of record got a hold of body camera footage that shows the Albany Police Department dealing with McLaughlin, and it lasts 90 minutes.  In the footage, we see that County Executive Daniel P. McCoy recommend to McLaughlin that he, while McLaughlin was in police custody, call Jeffrey Jamison, a local attorney, and counsel to McCoy for several years.

In the initial interview with the paper two weeks ago, McCoy said quite clearly that Jamison’s involvement in the situation was limited to Jamison giving McLaughlin a ride home from NY State Police barracks and that Jamison had no contact with McLaughlin until he was processed and released.

The footage clearly shows McLaughlin contacting McCoy on the scene of the incident on May 1 while a trooper listened on at the barracks in Latham, a suburb of Albany.

McLaughlin is reportedly admitting to the trooper that he had in fact been drinking.  But he very quickly refused to talk any further, saying that he wanted to speak to an attorney.  The trooper advised McLaughlin that he’d have an opportunity to speak with a lawyer once they get to the barracks.

Once McLaughlin starts speaking first to McCoy, he was heard to ask if McCoy had an attorney he could call.  McCoy immediately recommended Jamison, and McLaughlin said he’d contact the attorney, who represents the county and no employee personally.  The trooper is heard and seen very clearly giving McLaughlin advise, namely to not take the breath test if the attorney so advised.

McLaughlin then told the trooper that Jamison advised against taking the test.  The bottom line here is that McLaughlin was arrested for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and is set to be arraigned in Colonie Town Court sometime on Monday.

At the time of the incident, McCoy told the newspaper that Jamison was not at the scene in any official capacity and said that he was “amazed” that the newspaper even knew that McLaughlin was picked up.  McCoy, over and over, has tried to sell the story that what allegedly happened was when McLaughlin was off the clock and, by implication, that his job shouldn’t come into play.

McLaughlin was advised by the trooper that because of his refusal, McLaughlin’s license would be suspended for one year, the penalty for refusing to take the test.

McCoy’s account to the newspaper seems to contradict what’s on the bodycam footage.  McCoy has repeatedly, and in my opinion, disgustingly tried to paint Jamison as someone who merely came down as a friend or perhaps a co-worker to pick McLaughlin up.

Not so, at least not based on the Times Union‘s reporting.  There is an obvious conflict of interest that the county doesn’t want you to know about. Jamison is the county’s attorney.  It is not appropriate for him to have this level of involvement and he certainly shouldn’t be involving himself in a legal matter in a role other than the county’s attorney.

I reached out again to McCoy’s office, just as I did for the first article that I wrote to Mary Rozak, Director of Commuications for the County Executive’s office, hoping for a follow-up comment.  In a terse email today, she responded, “Mr. McLaughlin is employed with the [c]ounty.  We have no further comment.”

Her response is alarming to me, especially now that body cam footage has been exposed.  I understand that there’s due process that McLaughlin is entitled to, but the appropriate thing to do here, I think, would be to immediately suspend him without pay.  But, no.  Apparently, drunken driving is of no concern to the county.  And that should make anyone sick!

Citing the state’s Freedom of Information Law, I reached out to the NY State Police in pursuit of the full bodycam footage, so that I can see for myself what went on and then report on it to you, the reader, in a manner in which conventional media outlets cannot.

Here are my concerns.  First, it seems to me that McCoy told a little bit of a fiblet.  I’m not going to go so far as to call him a liar, but in my opinion, he wasn’t as forthcoming with the newspaper than he could have been.  He is held to a higher standard and the perception could be that he’s a liar.  We shouldn’t have anyone like that holding office in this or any county.

My second concern is that the trooper seems to be all too willing to coach and coddle McLaughlin.  The trooper clearly, at least to me, acted more as McLaughlin’s friend than have a role of arrester, arrestee.

Why did the trooper act the way that he did?  Does the trooper have some involvement in this matter that someone could reasonably call a conflict of interest?  It’s my opinion that the trooper acted inappropriately, treating McLaughlin with kid gloves.  Hopefully, the trooper will be disciplined, which to me means termination with forfeiture of his pension.

My third concern is that, after the newspaper’s follow-up story, McLaughlin appears to still be employed by the county and on active duty as opposed to being suspended while the legal saga plays out.  I understand that, for now, he’s innocent in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, he absolutely should be considered guilty.

As one might imagine, the matter has come before the Reddit Court.  “Rules for me, not thee,” one person accurately posted.  It’s true.  Anywhere else in the country, McLaughlin would at the very least be suspended without pay.  But that’s not going to happen here.

Keeping that in mind, I hope that McCoy loses someone special to a drunken driver.  I hope he loses his wife and/or kids and then we’ll see how he likes it.  I don’t want McCoy to be the victim of a drunken driver, because I want him to live the rest of his days knowing that he defends people like the person who hypothetically killed his loved one or ones.

In a separate interview with the Times Union, McCoy said, “I don’t get into personal issues.”  Someone holding public office allegedly driving drunk, putting innocent people at risk of losing their lives is not a “personal issue,” scumbag.

But here’s the thing that McCoy doesn’t want you to think about: it’s a “personal issue,” according to McCoy himself, but the county’s attorney, the person who legally represents the county and not its employees personally, is now involved in a personal capacity, making it a public issue.

It’s a conflict of interest, I think, for Jamison to be the county’s attorney and for him to in any way assist a county employee on a personal level, no matter what Scumbag McCoy tries to pull. It just doesn’t track!

McCoy can’t have it both ways, but he’s certainly trying to, in my opinion, pull a fast one on all of us who live in Albany County.  That, to me, speaks volumes about his character, or, I submit, the lack thereof.

The filthy little piece of excrement is quoted as saying that the incident happened “off the clock. [It] had nothing to do with his job here.”  Got it.  So if one of his employees murders someone off the clock, then that’s okay too, right, McCoy?

Wow!  So accountability isn’t a thing in the County Executive’s office or in Albany County at all. Got it.

Look, this guy refused to take a breath test.  The only kind of person who would refuse is, in my opinion, a guilty party.  McLaughlin looks guilty, I say, because he didn’t man up and take the test.  Taking the test is a condition of having a driver’s license in this state.  And, innocent people don’t shrink away from the blood test.

A police officer or trooper is free to test me, for example, any time and any place, because I have nothing to hide when I drive.  I’ve never driven drunk, or would I ever do so.  But then again, I have basic morals, something that I feel that neither McLaughlin nor McCoy knows anything of.

McLaughlin could have killed someone.  Would McCoy keep him working had he done so?  I’m painting McCoy as a pathetic coward and the county’s enemy here, because that’s what he is.  By not suspending McLaughlin, he enables drunken driving, in my opinion.  I’ll remember that next election and if you’re local, so should you.

If McLaughlin had nothing to hide that night, then he should have done the right thing, but he failed to do so.  Maybe that’s the kind of person he is. Rather than holding himself accountable, he hid behind the county attorney’s apron springs when the attorney shouldn’t have even been involved.  That’s something that a coward would do.

Speaking of being a coward, while preparing to publish this article, I noticed that McLaughlin’s social media presence was plentiful this morning, but they are all, as of publication, locked down.  Coward!

I’ve also attempted to reach out to Jamison, who just so happens to be running to be a judge in Albany County Family Court.  He also co-owns a local gym.  I reached out for a comment, but he did not respond before the deadline for this article.

The NYSP responded to my request via email, stating that a decision as whether or not to respond to my request would be made before November.  Man, I’m onto something that they don’t me or you to see.  There’s no excuse for a request to take that long, especially here in 2024.

All I requested was a digital copy of the bodycam footage.  I have also requested the trooper’s name, rank and length of service.  That is the information that may take until November to acquire.  Their response advised, as pertains to the footage, that I would receive a response from a vendor that they use to distribute body camera footage.  No such response was received by deadline.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but if there is justice in this county, and in another county as there is obviously a conflict of interest here, he will be refused a plea deal, tried, convicted and then fired.  Justice cries out for nothing less!

Will Albany County finally step up and do the right thing?  Based on what I’m seeing today, they won’t.  Will there be any accountability for McLaughlin?

Based on Rozak’s response, no, no there will never be any consequences for McLaughlin as far as his office is concerned.  McCoy knows the right people, so we all know that there won’t be any consequences in the legal system.  Nonetheless, I will be watching this story very closely and will of course post follow-ups as necessary.

Read more about my accusations against an APD detective whom I feel is stalking me electronically.  It’s the feel-good read of the week!

(Photo credit: County of Albany, New York)