Some readers seem to think we were out of bounds in Wednesday’s The Daily Mail by reporting on former Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley’s association with the Oath Keepers. Others praised the story for detailing what they described as feeble comments from county lawmakers supporting his association with the group. This, friends, is known as unbiased reporting.

With the pervasive influence of the internet, daily life has undergone enormous changes. Nothing is truly private, not even Seeley’s recognition by a far-right militia organization linked to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In other words, Seeley’s association with the group is not the issue. It’s a problem because he was involved while he was sheriff.

That’s the astonishing part of the story. It’s also something of an embarrassment for Greene County to have its top lawman be associated with a group whose members stormed the Capitol. We can’t help but ask an explicit question: Would Seeley have been one of the insurrectionists or would he do all he could to stop them? County officials interviewed for the story did not come close to addressing it.

In this country, the oath of office requires a sheriff to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state wherein he is elected, and will faithfully discharge all of the duties of the office of sheriff to the best of his ability.”

The key phrase here is “Constitution and laws.” The Jan. 6 insurrection clearly violated the law and defied constitutional authority. That Seeley declined to respond to multiple calls for comment is not surprising, but it doesn’t provide any clues to the answers the public needs to hear. Equally inferior is the failure of Seeley’s bosses on the Greene County Legislature to demand an explanation, criticize or even denounce his association with this group.

This proves transparency in Greene County has a long way to go.

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(2) comments

BASEMENTDWELLER

“Unbiased” That, in and of itself, is comical at best. Insinuation of guilt is not guilt. The former sheriff receiving an award and speaking at a dinner four years ago when times were clearly different does not indicate anything of relevance to the current matters at hand. It was stated that nine of the five-hundred-forty people arrested (1.67%) for insurrection related “crimes” (they’re not guilty until they’ve had their day in court). That hardly provides solid evidence of anything. If anything, it serves to prove that there a few outer fringe individuals in EVERY group. That includes civil rights “activists”, anti-law enforcement “activists”, and the like. That doesn’t afford us the right to slander all individuals and stoke up fear based on the actions of a few. Someone’s past affiliation, however big or small, is not a rubber stamp to be used at will. As I stated on the original piece, Oathkeepers are not running out local government, law enforcement, etc. Scott Myers likes to repeat things over and over again and will them into truth. As has been proven time and time again, his “facts” have been revealed to be false, and nothing more than smear tactics in a fearless attempt to support his crusades. Sensationalism is ugly.

scottmyers

Greene County, and sadly, the village of Catskill, has a long way to achieve transparency. Carl Sagan wrote that “If the truth can destroy it, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth. In 1939 Gandhi wrote: “There is no God but Truth.”

Four years ago, Greene County began blocking my email to @discovergreene.com. County attorney Ed Kaplan began denying FOILs. The Village of Catskill began denying FOILs a year ago.

In that time, over and over again, horrible redirection of our scant resources went to a new unjustifiable jail and the demolition of the Sheriff’s Office. For perspective, the Community Center in Catskill was defunded.

A new $90 million debt obligation, a $7.2 million loss for 80 Bridge Street – a historic building with no serious defects, that’s gross mismanagement. It’s a loan. We don’t have and can’t expect to have the money for this albatross.

It wasn’t justified. The adjoining county jails are 85% empty due to justice reform promulgated by Cuomo and Trump.

Now the county wants to build homeless barracks, which are more jail cells. Groden wants them to be uncomfortable.

If the readers are embarrassed to learn their sheriff is an Oath Keeper, they need to be uncomfortable.

The police reform committees failed. The police simply coalesced power. Without authorities, civilian oversight, they will do whatever they want. History shows this is a mistake. It’s why we’re rated a “worst offender” by the State Commission of Corrections.

This mess doesn’t change with a new sheriff. The first thing Pete Kusminsky did was hire Greg Seeley’s son Mathew. When I complained (by lawsuit), the county simply changed its nepotism rules. There are likely Oath Keepers among the County and Village police.

It wouldn’t matter if it weren’t controlling bad policies here—the first step to fund and authorize unbiased civilian police boards.

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