SoHo Journal: The Magazine of Arts and Politics in SoHo and the Hamptons Soho Politics Blog Hamptons Politics Blog

May 9th, 2008


by Christopher A. Broich

What’s it like to be a cop in the Hamptons?

Well for one recently fired police sergeant in the Southampton Village Police Department it gets boiled down to dirty politics, incestuous relationships and incompetent leadership. For others its overtime pay on movie sets, $60,000.00 interest free loans from the mayor’s boss and fatherin- law, security side work at Bridgehampton POLO while on duty in Southampton Village and stock options in PVNX.PK Pure Vanilla Exchange. Great for some, not so great for others.

Lars King

During the search for outgoing Chief Sherry’s successor, one Village Trustee suggested that all six sergeants, two lieutenants and one captain be included in the pool of candidates. This notion was rebuked by Mayor “Romo” who insisted that Captain King, Lt. Wilson & Lt. Cummings be eligible for the exam. With a disregard for almost all points of order, Lars King was sworn in as Chief of Police two weeks before civil service exam results were even published! The best part is that new appointed Chief King failed. Lt.Cummings passed and Wilson’s name was marked absent. Lars King compared the failing grade to the analogy that most lawyers fail the Bar exam the first time.

The Village Administrator stated there was “no liability” having Lars King occupy the Chief’s position with a failing grade. Epley was elected Mayor in June and it was decided that a new test would be given to four candidates. Once again Retired Police Commissioner & Trustee McFarlane announced the idea that more than four eligible candidates within the police department should be allowed to take the exam.

When Chief Sherry announced his retirement and the Village Board announced ranking limits on the new chief test there were only four people in the department to kiss up to.

Andrea Allen, Tony Gallo and Brian Platt could see the handwriting on the wall and tried to get the Village Board to open the Chief’s test to the lower ranks in the police department. They met with Village Trustee Harald Steudte in November 2004 at his wood shop in Southampton. The trio explained that Lieutenant Wilson was having a sexual relationship with Seasonal Police Officer Kimberley McMahon and that it was affecting the morale of the department. Examples were cited where Lt. Wilson would schedule Senior Officer Platt to work midnight shifts and Seasonal Police Officer Kimberly McMahon was scheduled day shifts. Lt. Wilson had also scheduled McMahon to work overtime at the movie set of “Something’s Gotta Give” at Coopers Beach, a detail usually given to senior ranking officers. McMahon was not a member of the PBA Union yet. Wilson would also schedule McMahon to work “soft clothes” operations at the Southampton Publik House parking lot while McMahon was still in the police academy.

When Lt. William Wilson found out about this meeting and it’s various topics he went ballistic and fired off a two page letter to the Southampton Village Police PBA Union demanding a full investigation of Andrea Allen, Brian Platt and Tony Gallo…big surprise. Wilson’s letter stated the meeting with Steudte and the PBA union members “squashed” his chances of becoming Chief of Police in Southampton Village. Herman Lamison, Sue Hurteau and Dave Dorchak immediately started interrogating members of the Village Board, which started the now infamous PBA Article III Union investigation. These same police officers were wearing Union Official hats and investigating PBA Union business all on taxpayer time, all with the tacit approval of Chief Lars King. Where is Marty Scorsese when you need him?

In December 2004 there was a “no holds barred” PBA fight card with Wilson vs. Platt, Wilson vs. Broich, Wilson vs. Gallo and Wilson vs. Allen. By all accounts Wilson is demanding Andrea Allen’s head on a silver platter while Michael Medio, who was the best man in Wilson’s wedding, is demanding a vote of no confidence in PBA President Andrea Allen’s leadership. Michael Medio had run for PBA President against Andrea Allen the year prior and lost. This just gets better and better doesn’t it?

The PBA meeting had taken an unexpected turn when Tony Gallo began playing snippets of his 50 minute taped interview with Heather McMahon using his laptop and external speakers. Heather McMahon did not approve of her younger sister’s relationship with Lt. Wilson. Heather had prior military experience and understood the effects of fraternization on morale. Wilson stormed out of the PBA meeting prematurely and unsatisfied. He vowed revenge for all those responsible for interfering with his promotion to Chief.

Mark Epley

The promotional and hiring practices in the Southampton Village police have been described as discriminatory and reverse discriminatory in the past three years, which is no easy feat. Herman Lamison first made this discriminatory claim in 1994 with the help of PBA Attorney Tom Spota. Lamison made this claim a second time in 2004 with Mark Epley sitting in the front row cheering section of the Village Board Meeting. Mayor “Romo” also took time out of his schedule to picket in front of Village Hall for Lamison. In 2005 made a counter claim of reverse discrimination against the Village of Southampton and described the inner workings of the old boys network.

Featured player in the network is George Benedict, former Director of Pure Vanilla Exchange (PVNX.PK). Pure Vanilla Exchange is an “anonymous online solution” for internet pornography and other venues. Benedict loaned Pure Vanilla $90,000.00 and retains 6,216,086 (7) shares & 8.62% Common Stock. George is also the founder of Seafield Center and a Southampton Village resident. In 1999 Benedict loaned Herman Lamison $60,000.00 interest free to purchase his house on Mill Farm Lane (talk about a subprime loan). As of 2007 the loan had not been satisfied and Herman Lamison is listed on SEC Filings with George Benedict. You, the reader, should not be surprisedto learn that Herman Lamison dropped Southampton Village Trustees McFarlene, Bates and Steudte from his lawsuit so that Mark Epley could approve a settlement agreement in favor of…you guessed it–Herman Lamison! $25,000.00 plus back pay. What a lucky guy Herman is huh?

From my discrimination claim we learn that Mayor Joe “Romo” still has a $500.00 gift watch from the PBA. The $600.00 Glock 9mm and hollow point ammunition that was seized by the District Attorney’s Investigator was returned to the Police Armory, but the $500.00 gift watch expenditure was justified by PBA President Dave Dorchak as a “thank you” from the PBA to the Mayor for salary raises. The PBA Board was also thankful that the Village labor attorney was excluded during contract talks. “Romo” negotiated the contract between the PBA and the Village himself. The 9mm Glock was engraved with the mayor’s name on it by the PBA. Spota’s office got a tip from me that the Mayor has the gun and the watch. The Southampton Press titled the article “Mayor likely to get his Gun Back.” A recent letter I sent to the Southampton Independent states the Gun was never given back to “Romo.” Spota declines prosecution of retired mayor “Romo” for the gratuitous time piece and Village-owned Glock pistol. The gun was issued to the Mayor when Spota was the PBA Attorney. Spota also negotiated the employment contract between Chief James J. Sherry and the Village of Southampton. Spota’s daughter worked for the Village for one summer season as a traffic control officer.

Thomas Spota

From my administrative hearing record we see these incestuous relationships in black and white. I had submitted photograph evidence to Spota of Lt. William Wilson working security at Bridgehampton POLO while on duty for the Village of Southampton. Included with the photos was a copy of the William Masterson speeding ticket that Lars King had taken out of the ticket box, proving that Lamison was committing a class “B” misdemeanor by operating a security company without a license. Under oath Lars King testified he received a phone call from District Attorney Tom Spota concerning allegations of corruption in the Southampton Village Police Department. DA Spota revealed to Chief Lars King that the confidential informant to his office was me. Lars King referred to this as a “courtesy call.”

Unbeknownst to Spota, Platt and I had contacted the New York State Commission on Investigation. The Commission waited 60 days to see if DA Spota would take action on any of the evidence. When no action was taken by Spota, the State Commission contacted the DA and the Southampton Village Police to announce they were conducting an official invetigation of their own and DA Spota was taken off the case. Ultimately, 1,972 Uniform Traffic Tickets were missing over a 4 year period sampled. This included William Masterson’s speeding ticket. The Commission found “insufficient evidence” concerning ticket fixing, and sufficient evidence Herman Lamison Jr. was operating a security company without a license. Lamison paid $37,000.00 to the State of New York as a fine and the Village of Southampton paid Lamison $25,000.00 plus back pay to settle his discrimination suit. Records showed that Lamison took in 1.3 million dollars in one year alone from unlicensed security guard work. I was fired for administrative charges. Gallo was recently suspended for 30 days pending administrative charges. Platt is out of work with a line of duty injury. Hurteau was promoted to Detective, Lamison was promoted to Detective Sergeant, PBA President Dave Dorchak was promoted to Sergeant.

Police Officer Andrea Allen resigned from the force and the PBA after being arrested by Suffolk County Narcotics Detective Sergeant John Busweiler. Busweiler was not assigned to Internal Affairs. He worked for Herman Lamison at the Ira Rennert Estate starting in 2004. Department of State Records show that from 2003 to 2005 Lamison took in $2,840,719.00, all without a License.

Christopher A. Broich is a 19 year Decorated Veteran of the Southampton Village Police with more than 20 Departmental Commendations and was a member of the Rescue Team that responded to Ground Zero during 9/11. He currently owns his own licensed Watch Guard Patrol Agency in Southampton New York. His administrative disciplinary termination appeal is currently before New York Supreme Court in Riverhead, New York. Christopher A. Broich has also filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against members of the Village Board who voted to wrongfully terminate his employment.

Filed Under: Articles | Community | Politics | the Hamptons





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