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Peter Schmitt Watch

Keeping tabs on Nassau County Legislator Peter J. Schmitt. The truth is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Schmitt Crosses the Line

Pete Schmitt (R-Himself) took a running leap over the line of decorum on Monday when he accused the Suozzi adminstration of covering up a sexual assault. Schmitt even went so far as to accuse (off the offical record) Judy Jacobs of "protecting a rapist."
It seems that in the name of politics, Peter Schmitt is willing to make public a very private matter. A young woman who was the victim of sexual advances/assault by Peter Sylver is being used by Schmitt to attack Tom Suozzi. In an open legislature meeting on monday while going over allegations that Sylver used county funds to pay private purchases on a credit card, Schmitt made the announcement that Sylver also assaulted a woman who worked for him.
Schmitt never went to DA Dillon or asked Suozzi officials about this, he just made a public statement. An open meeting is the wrong place to do that and he had the woman in question in the room.
Schmitt has been watching too many old Perry Mason shows where Perry has a suprise witness up his sleeve that exposes a whole new crime. This isn't tv and what Schmitt did was just plain wrong. If the woman wants to press charges against Sylver, she should and he should be locked up. Schmitt just wanted headlines with his accusation and he got what he wanted. This charge has nothing to do with the hearing but since he wasn't getting the political traction against Suozzi from the money issue, he tried something else.
If Schmitt had bothered to ask Suozzi officials about the situation, he would have found out that they knew, they investigated, she was given a different job and she apparantly did not want to file charges. The victims mother even sent a note of thanks for the handling of the situation.
How has Schmitt treated this woman? He (Legislator and Minority Leader) called the woman to his office (did she believe she had to?) in Mineola and she came alone and was questioned by two of his aides (possibly Ed Ward and Scott McMahon.) When the young woman was at the hearing in the audience, Presiding Officer Jacobs tells Newsday that the woman had tears in her eyes "... almost pleading with me to stop this." Was this victim coersed in any way by Schmitt and his minions? Did she want to go public? What did Schmitt and his cohorts say to her?
What we have so far has been Schmitt's account of his conversation with her and not what she has to say. His account tries to implicate Tom Suozzi in some way in a "cover-up. " If the woman wanted to press charges, Schmitt could have brought her to the DA's office but instead he brought her to a public hearing to use her politically.
According to CE Suozzi, the rules governing this situation were followed and it is/was up to the young woman to file charges. On tuesday Schmitt went to DA Dillons office with the allegations w/o the victim.
The young woman was abused by Sylver and now she is being abused by Schmitt for political gain. Shameless is the best description of Schmitt's actions.

We hope the young woman is not further injured by Schmitts actions the past few days and finds justice.

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