Facing the Music: Investigations and (Possible) Incarceration for the Dirty Tricks Scandal and Vito Fossella


Remember that writing assignment you probably had to do in high school about how a space alien would react to life on Planet Earth? If E.T. were to land today with only the Post and Daily News as his guides to what’s going on, chances are he’d think our institutions are rife with corruption and crime (and he’d probably be right).

Both papers have a slew of exclusives on various scandals in Albany and Washington. The Post reports Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has convened a grand jury to investigate the State Police Dirty Tricks Scandal. On Friday, the Post reported on the suicide of Gary Berwick, a retired State Police official who was about to be questioned in the investigation of a “rogue unit” that spied on Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s political opponents. The paper reports today that the grand jury subpoenaed Berwick’s suicide note. Berwick had been the security chief for Govs. Pataki and Spitzer.

The Daily News, meanwhile, reports that investigators in Cuomo’s office are set to interview retired Tech. Sgt. John Curry, a “former state police bomb and canine expert with strong ties to New York’s one-time most powerful Republican.” Curry performed favors for one-time state GOP chairman William Powers. An anonymous GOP source tells the News, “John Curry did things for Bill Powers…He helped friends of Bill’s who got into trouble.” There’s no word yet if the Powers investigation is related to the Dirty Tricks Scandal.

Meanwhile, the News takes us inside what may be Vito Fossella’s “Time Share:” the jail cell he may reside in because of his DWI arrest earlier this month. This gives the tab a chance to play with Photoshop on the front page, placing the Staten Island congressman “behind bars.” The photo on page 7 shows how Fossella will go from his “seat of power” in Congress to “this ‘throne,'” a stainless-steel toilet. This is just the kind of thing you want to read on a Monday morning. Meanwhile, the Post reports that Fossella is getting support for re-election from leaders of the Staten Island Republican party.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 19, 2008


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