Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It Ain't Right

And I ain't gonna stand for it baby- Stevie Wonder

Remember the Mafia Cops? Stephen Caracappa and Louis J. Eppolito were convicted of serving as Mob assassins, killing for the Mafia while they were employed as detectives for the New York City Police Department.

They wore the badge and disgraced it. They used the badge as a battering ram to inflict pain and misery on the citizens of New York.

They each were sentenced to life and received fines of over $4 million dollars.

Judge Jack Weinstein noted that they probably had hidden assets that could be used to pay the fines.

But incredibly, the assets that we know these vermin have, their city pensions, cannot be used to satisfy the $8 million plus in judgments, as per state law.

There is something really wrong in the state pension law area.

On one hand you have Caracappa and Eppolitio. Both men have been drawing tax-free disability pensions from the city since they left the Police Department. Caracappa, who retired in 1992, receives $5,313 a month. Eppolito, who retired in 1990 gets paid $3,896 a month.

Because they were accused and convicted of crimes after they retired, their pensions are considered like an MC Hammer song : You Can't Touch This.

It does not matter that the crimes that they committed, murder, kidnapping, etc were performed while they were wearing the uniform. It does not matter that they were accruing pension monies while they committed evil crimes. The pensions that these men have cannot be taken away from them and given to the victims under current law.

But incredibly, current state law does allow pension benefits to be taken away from brave cops & firemen who have done nothing more than hurt themselves.

Look what has happened over the last 8 years. Many of the first responders to the biggest domestic attack on U.S. soil in American history have developed psychological problems such as depression, which is no surprise. Some have developed substance abuse problems. And how does the city government treat our psychologically wounded warriors? They are treated with contempt. They are fired under a zero tolerance policy.

Not only that, but they are stripped of all pension rights they have accrued up until their termination.

That means you can have 15 years of service, 15 years of dedicated life -on the-line service to our City, and the Mayor and Fire Commissioner will throw you out on the street, and strip you of your pension.

These men need help, not punishment. They are clearly the bravest of the brave among us, and we should help them as they have always been there to help us.

It boggles the mind that the Mafia Cops committed murder in uniform and get to keep their pensions yet 9/11 heroes with psychological problems who have hurt only themselves are stripped of their pensions.

What is wrong with the following policy: If you were a 9/11 first responder, you are guaranteed a pension based on length of service. No matter what. If you violate a substance abuse policy, no matter what the future punishment, the city cannot take away from you your prior service, which is represented by your pension.

Who would not agree with such a reasonable and just policy? Lets find out: go ask a local politician if they would support it.

I look at the Trade Center as a modern day Gettysburg. And like Gettysburg, those who lost life or put their life on the line should never be forgotten by a grateful nation.

Societies should be judged on how they treated the weak, the elderly, and those who put their lives on the line in service of the common good.

If we continue to allow the city to continue to strip these men of their pensions, what does that say about us?

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