Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Is New York State DOCS Out To Lunch?

This is part four of a series of random and wide ranging posts on the subject of Crime and Punishment in New York State.

“No employee, whether on or off duty, shall so comport himself as to reflect discredit upon the Department or its personnel.” From the New York State Department of Correctional Services Employees’ Manual.

Upstream has some additional questions for Glenn Goord, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services. This time the questions are not about Goord himself but about some high level employees at DOCS. More questions may be asked in future posts.

1. Why are some of the higher level employees at DOCS allowed to take long lunches, in one case more than four hours long?

To help you prepare your answer, let me give you some examples drawn from an investigator’s detailed notes.

March 21, 2005. Kevin Breen, Associate Commissioner of Labor Relations (retired last Fall and went to work for CDPHP) and Russell DiBello, Chief Financial Advisor, were at the OTB on Central Avenue in Albany from 12:55-1:36p.m. and did not return to DOCS until 2:24 p.m.

March 23, 2005. Dibello was at OTB from 12:26-2:14p.m. Breen was at OTB from 12:26-2:15p.m. Both returned to work at DOCS at 2:25 p.m.

March 24, 2005. Dibello was at OTB from 12:39-4:55p.m (over 4 hours). Breen and Sam Butto, an employee of Breen’s and a cousin-in-law of Libby Pataki, were at OTB from 2:40-4:43p.m. When DiBello left OTB, he did not return to DOCS.

March 28, 2005. Breen and DiBello at OTB from 12:45-2:40p.m.

April 11, 2005. Dibello and Breen at OTB from 12:40-2:57 p.m. Arrived back at DOCS at approximately 3:06 p.m.

OTB-Two-Walk to car

Two DOCS Officials Leaving OTB On April 11, 2005.

2. Let’s assume these employees had permission to be gone this long? Does it not make the department look bad when they are sitting at OTB for hours with their DOCS identity cards clearly visible to the public?

OTB-Shows ID

DOCS Official At OTB With Identity Tag Showing.

3. Upstream has reviewed copies of Dibello’s, Breen’s, and Butto’s time sheets for the above dates. These sheets were obtained through a FOIL request. Can you explain why none of these time sheets show any personal or vacation time charged for the above dates? It would seem from the time sheets that these employees did not have permission to be gone so long. Is that true?

4. At many of these lunches, the DOCS employees were sitting at the bar. The investigator didn’t get close enough to be able to prove that they were drinking anything alcoholic, so let’s assume they weren’t. Do you believe that it is good for DOCS public image to have employees sitting at OTB’s bar for hours with their DOCS identities clearly visible?

5. How much time are your 30,000 plus lower echelon employees--prison guards, secretaries, clerks, etc--allowed for lunch?

6. Are they allowed to go to OTB, sit at the bar and place bets during lunch time?

7. Fred Dicker of the New York Post said last week on radio station WROW that many state employees are demoralized. Do you think the example that bosses are setting may have something to do with that demoralization?

8. Would you like to watch the video that was shot of these lunches?

9. How much time does Prison Pete get for lunch?


  • Nice posts the last couple of days.

    Here's another question: How stupid are those DOCS workers that they walk into OTB with their ID cards hanging around their necks?

    ...And this note to ALL State workers: take off that ID when you leave the office. You look like an idiot walking around with it in Price Chopper.

    By Blogger Albany Eye, at 6:39 AM  

  • By the way, DOCS Employee's Manual, Section 5.2 states "Only official ID cards or shields will be possessed, and shall be used only on Department business."

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 7:08 AM  

  • Mr. Weaver: You are truly amazing. It is so refreshing to see that someone has the guts to write the facts about "big shots" abusing state time and making us hard working people that are only grade 13’s and 14’s look bad. I salute you. I was not shocked by the photos. I have seen worse. I laughed at “Albany eye’s” post- they do look like idiot's at Price Chopper with their tags on because they do. Tags off!

    By Anonymous State employee that works!, at 8:31 AM  

  • mr weaver, did you know that Russ dibello was given a promotion this summer.This is a great state, you can get caught on film violating your own set rules and policies and still get promoted.This is just another example of the "good ole boys at its best"Anybody else would have been called up to Albany and demoted,double standard the DOCS puts out there. Do as I say not as I do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 AM  

  • Mr.Weaver,How about asking the folling people, DOCS commissioners,asst.commissioners,Supts.ofstate facilies,Cert commanders,Ciu leaders,Training acamedy leaders,I.G investiagators,OGS workers and plenty others about if they claim their vehicles on their I.R.S forms at the end of the year. Why do so many people have to have these vehicles to drive back and forth to work.How can all these people be on call 24 hours a day?!!With cellphones,pagers,laptops,faxes that are carried all the time,you an use them instead of driving back and forth in a taxpayers vehicle.Everybody else drives to work and then picks up a state vehicle.Besides none of these are reporting this to the I.R.S.Just ask Mr. Heveisi.the state comptroller.Plus these people are living in state housing that I bet they do not report that either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02 AM  

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