WPCNR THE FEINER REPORT. By Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. May 6, 2006: I feel that every elected official and citizen must speak out against the use of police (at the local, state, national level) to investigate political critics. The Greenburgh Town Boardís decision to direct the police chief to conduct a non criminal investigation creates a very chilling effect on free speech. Itís scary and intimidating. I feel I have an obligation, as an elected official, to disclose to the public whatís happening before it happens. I donít want to worry that if I say the wrong thing or speak out about land use matters that the police will be following me around.
If a local police department is allowed to be used by elected officials to conduct investigations against other elected officials Ė whatís to prevent future Boards from using the police to investigate people who attend Town Board/City Council/County or State Legislative meetings? Will the next step be to use the police to find dirt against political opponents during election time?
The erosion of democracy does not happen all at once. It happens in incremental, small steps. The action that the Greenburgh Town Board took last week was a big step backwards for open government and democracy.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor