.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Peter Schmitt Watch

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

Friday, May 20, 2005

Schmitt writes a letter

To the Massapequan Observer on May 6th. As usual, it's full of the same old BS.
Here are some highlights:
"The "announcement" made by Legislator David Mejias regarding the upcoming rehabilitation project is nothing more than a weak attempt to draw attention away from the concerns of residents regarding the growing threat of gang violence in our county."
"Legislator Mejias has been quick to jump in and take credit for a project that was in place before he was ever elected to office."
"When the Nassau County Legislature approved the 2005 budget, I offered an amendment which would have added 300 more police officers to our streets and created a dedicated anti-gang task force to combat similar attacks that are increasing in frequency and savagery. The proposal to create a dedicated anti-gang task force was defeated by a vote of 10 to 9. Legislator Mejias, despite all his rhetoric that he is tough on crime, provided the 10th and deciding vote against increasing public safety in Nassau County."
"Legislator Mejias needs to re-examine the important issues in this county, and stop wasting time garnering headlines on issues that predate his term in the Legislature by nearly a decade."

We've sent a letter to the Observer and so did Legislator Mejias.
His was printed in the May 20th issue and is reprinted below.
"I am writing in response to Peter Schmitt's dishonest attacks on my record. In my first term in office working with Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and the Democratic Majority in the Legislature, we have balanced the budget, added 320 more police officers, reduced crime to its lowest level in 30 years, and saved the county from fiscal ruin, all without raising taxes. When Mr. Schmitt was in control, Nassau County was facing a state takeover, nearly bankrupt, $3 billion in debt, and had a bond rating one step above junk. In 1998 alone, Mr. Schmitt passed a budget with a $300 million deficit. What did Mr. Schmitt's leadership get us? We were rated the worst run county in America by the Maxwell School of Public Policy and Governing Magazine, just four short years ago. Clearly, Mr. Schmitt lacks credibility when discussing issues of governance.
Mr. Schmitt's politics of fear denigrates the hard work that our police officers are doing to keep our communities safe. He disrespects them and all they do to protect us when he tries to mislead us. Nassau County is the safest municipality of its size in the United States of America. In March, Nassau County had a class of 144 new police officers graduate from the academy. There are 150 recruits scheduled to graduate from the academy this fall, with another class ready to be sworn in immediately. His shameful attempt to scare the residents of our community is partisan politics at its worst.
Mr. Schmitt's attacks on my record of bringing government accountability back by holding 19 town hall meetings are shameful. While Mr. Schmitt issued a press release on the Massapequa Preserve restoration, I was fulfilling my obligation to the voters by keeping them informed and soliciting feedback in a community forum. The real issues facing Nassau County demand real leadership, not politicians that put rhetoric above effective governing.
Legislator Dave Mejias"

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Merry Month of May

Updates and news coming faster now that we have some more time here at SchmittWatch Central. Bookmark us and keep coming back for more.If you've read all the posts on this front page and want more, check out our archives listed on the right-hand side under the links. There's much more reading there.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Dillon goes after Schmitt for making things up


Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon fired back today at Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Peter Schmitt in regards to his recent comments after the conclusion of Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi’s State of the County Address. Schmitt stated, "Crime, especially violent crime is up all over the county. Gang assaults, gang shootings, and murders, once only a bad dream in our quiet neighborhoods, have now become a scary reality....Sadly, there are only two detectives dedicated to fight this growing problem in Nassau County." This statement is absolutely false and as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Nassau County I take exception to Legislator Schmitt’s poorly informed statement.
"If he had taken a moment to look at the recent statistics or to contact my office he would have known the following:

According to Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) statistics, Nassau had a violent crime rate of 192.8 per 100,000 for 2003, making it among the lowest (if not the lowest) violent crime rate in the United States of jurisdictions of 1 million or more. (Source - DCJS.)

The crime rates for Nassau County from 1994 to 2003 show a reduction of 35.6% on all index crimes (murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) and a reduction 19.7% on violent crimes (murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault). (Source: DCJS)

The FBI study of violent crime nationwide identified Edison, New Jersey as having the lowest rate of 195.4 per 100,000 population (jurisdictions 1 million or more). Nassau’s equivalent rate as calculated by DCJS is 192.8 per 100,000 population. This should be contrasted with the New York State average for violent crimes in 2003, which was 465.2 per 100,000. (Source - Division of Criminal Justice Services.)

Overall Crime in Nassau County is down 8.5% (January - March 2005) from the same time last year (January - March 2004).

The May 24, 2004 addition of Forbes Magazine identified Long Island as one of the safest locations in the Country in which to live. (Based on a FBI Statistical Analysis)

The Homicide Rate since 2001 is as follows (does not include vehicular homicides):
2001 - 34 Homicides
2002 - 26 Homicides
2003 - 24 Homicides
2004 - 24 Homicides

Contrary to Schmitt’s assertions that there only two detectives dedicated to combating gang activity, there is a Federal Gang Task Force, made up of the FBI, The Nassau County Police Department, New York State Police, Immigration (ICE), Port Washington Police Department, Freeport Police Department, Hempstead Police Department, and Nassau County Corrections, working with our office, in combating gang activity throughout the County. Additionally, the Nassau County Police Department has several Bureaus and Units attacking the gang problem throughout the county. These include the Narcotics Bureau, Bureau of Special Operations, and the Special Investigations Squad. In addition, there are gang coordinators in each of the eight precincts who monitor gang activity. The Chief of Department has a monthly meeting not only with the Nassau County Police Department components but also with the Federal Task Force, the District Attorney’s Office, Probation, Parole and the Village Police Departments."

"Scripture tells us that a house divided against itself can not stand," said Dillon. "How surprised I was to read that Peter Schmitt was criticizing the so called rise in crime under the District Attorney who is running with him on the same ticket this year. It grieves me to point to the public record to show that Mr Schmitt did not even take the time needed to get the facts before he made a significant speech. The facts are clearly set forth by the statistical records attached."