Thursday, October 23, 2014


The following represents my opinion and that of many others. "COPS FOR CASH" is not just a catchy phrase... it literally describes what has been going on at Sherman Hills. I kid you not.

The question here is simple: In return for virtually no inspections at Sherman Hills, has Mayor Thomas Leighton received cash from a slumlord which has severely comprised the safety of all police officers?  This would include the one police officer who was shot at Sherman Hills and the rest of the officers who jeopardize their lives when they are called there.

If you listen to Pashinski and Leighton... you may come to the conclusion that the lives of Wilkes-Barre police don't matter.

Consider the following hypotheticals:
A) A police officer loses his life while trying to pull a child from a burning car. This would be honorable and heroic.

B) A police officer is killed while getting in the way of drug dealers at Sherman Hills. One dealer is from Newark, NJ. The other one is from the Bronx. This has a different taste to it. This is tragic and preventable. How would a mom explain to the kids? 

"Hey kids. I want to explain to you that Daddy went to be with the Lord.
Why Mommy?
Because daddy was sent to a dangerous place and was killed by a very bad man... a drug dealer.
Why was the bad man there, mommy?
Because your mayor decided money was more important than your daddy's life. It is called a kickback. I know you don't know what that is... but in this town you will learn soon enough."

None of Pashinski’s Sherman Hills (in Times Leader) explanations hold water:
1) It's HUD's fault   Where were you (and Leighton) ten years ago? When does it become YOUR FAULT?
2) We have new owners at Sherman Hills   It took 10 years to act? Plus, the violence has not stopped.
3) We took down Sherman Hills "recruitment posters" in NYC?  You are kidding, right? It's all about the posters? They too have been known about for years.

Pashinski did not mention:
A) Leighton has been completely negligent in inspecting properties. Pashinski covers up for Leighton here. No mention of culpability.
5) Why no mention on the Federal raid on Sherman Hills? Any comments on that? People act like it never happened. Obviously there was something not right. What was it?

The fact that the Sherman Hills debacle is being pushed off until December should give police officers a sense of how these officials truly feel about you. What if an officer is shot and killed in November? How long are they going to dawdle with this? One officer was already shot in the foot. That’s about four feet away from the heart.

I cannot fathom how incensed officers must feel. I can't imagine responding to a call at Sherman Hills knowing you are likely dealing with a perpetrator with a loaded gun and high on any number of drugs including alcohol. I would be furious every time I was called up there. Why are you forced to risk your life to these dregs? ... who shouldn't be there!

Pashinski and Leighton...  would not your first order of business be to take on the darket and deepest problem of the city first? It is now year eleven. 

Here is what Sherman Hills stands to save through the largely "no city inspection" scam.

How much money do you think Sherman Hills has saved by the spotty (virtually no) inspections. Easily in the $Hundreds of thousands. If $300 per year was sunk into each of the 344 units (for ANY/ALL of the expenses above) the amount would be approximately one million dollars over 11 years.

We know for sure that the previous owner was dirty because he advertised Sherman Hills to NYC junkies. And we know that Leighton is both impaired and pathetically corrupt. It is a match made in heaven (or hell). 

- Would not this slumlord be willing to slip Leighton $100,000 so he could save $900,000? 
- Or perhaps $200,000 for $800,000? 

It would be the easiest money Leighton ever made. All he has to do is… absolutely nothing! If Leighton was not getting paid off by the owners... what incentive could he possibly have for giving these slumlords a decade-long break? The only plausible explanation is the Leighton was receiving kickbacks similar to what he was getting from LAG Towing. There simply is no other plausible explanation.

So who ultimately pays for this? The Wilkes-Barre police do. They are the ones risking their lives. And innocent victims caught in the cross fire. 

“Vermin Hills” is an old issue (Times Leader May 2013; Jerry Lynott) - Frank Sorick questioned council about the lack of rental inspections at the Sherman Hills apartment complex. A city ordinance requires a rental property to be inspected each time there is a new rental agreement entered into with a tenant. This does not preclude other inspections for being made due to repairs, audits of who is staying in a unit, other legal issues that may arise, or the discretion of the Mayor.

An inspection completed Thursday found two violations that Drew McLaughlin, municipal affairs manager for the city, described as minor 
(two minor violations among 344 units with the last inspection being 3 years prior… is anyone believing this?). Prior to that the complex was inspected in 2010, he said (three years prior... the fact that McLaughlin said the entire complex was inspected lays credence to the fact that the whole complex can be inspected every year).

The mayor said the city’s inspectors are very busy and the department is understaffed (Too busy to make sure the police are safe when they go there? You are passing up all the inspection fees on 344 units?  Lies… lies… lies… what an alcoholic does whenever he opens his mouth).

But council chairman Bill Barrett responded that Sherman Hills is a problem property and should be inspected more often. The complex, privately owned by Park Management Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been the scene of numerous shootings and violent crimes. “It gives us an opportunity to keep a finger on what’s going on there,” Barrett said. (One of the few times I agree with Bill Barrett)

As unbelievable as it may sound... COPS FOR CASH is an apt description.

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