New York Gov. David Paterson, left, and
New York State Police Superintendent
Harry Corbitt

New NY Police Superintendent Denies Existence of Rogue Unit

May 28, 2008 10:51 AM
by Josh Katz
Harry Corbitt became New York's 13th State Police superintendent on Tuesday. He will occupy a position that has been marred by the Troopergate scandal.

30-Second Summary

Corbitt, who has been with the police department since 1978, is New York's first African-American police superintendent. He is taking over from Preston Felton, who is also black, but who served as acting superintendent.

Corbitt addressed the Troopergate scandal at his swearing-in: "I don't believe there's a rogue unit, but that's what investigations do. They uncover the truth.”

Just after taking office from Eliot Spitzer in March, Governor David Paterson replaced Felton, and called for an inquiry into the State Police, though Corbitt was not officially sworn in until yesterday. N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo then launched an investigation into the possibility of a “rogue” unit of state troopers last month. The investigation has targeted the executive services detail of the State Police, responsible for looking after the governor.

The scandal has recently taken some unexpected turns, as two State Police officials have committed suicide in just over a week: former New York State Police inspector Gary A. Berwick and forensic scientist Garry Veeder.

The Cuomo investigation partly targets Daniel Wiese, who was at the helm of the executive services detail before Berwick. On Friday, May 23, Wiese was fired from his inspector general position at the New York Power Authority.

The original Troopergate affair came to public attention in the summer of 2007, when State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno accused Gov. Eliot Spitzer of using state troopers to spy on him.

But the current investigation might show that the seeds of Troopergate date much earlier. “Old Albany hands say such accusations also dogged state police in the Democratic administrations of Mario Cuomo, Hugh Carey and even Franklin Roosevelt,” the Associated Press writes.

Headline Links: Corbitt sworn in; two suicides in just over a week

Harry Corbitt becomes new State Police superintendent
Gary A. Berwick commits suicide

Background: Troopergate, Spitzer’s resignation, and the current investigations

Spitzer resigns
Governor police unit affair

Key Players: Berwick, Wiese, and Cuomo

Gary A. Berwick
Daniel Wiese
Andrew Cuomo

Opinion & Analysis: Albany politics needs to be more open


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