Just a thought. Don Goddard stated in this suit that as a result of the public humilation he suffers from depression and anxiety attacks. He is currently employed as a police officer in the village of Fishkill. He carries a gun. How does this affect this job performance?
In case you missed it, here is the letter of discipline that HE gave to Jim Langan to publish in his paper. I don't know anyone that would voluntarily (with the exception of Sue Serino) allow a letter of discipline to be published in a newpaper. You would think that this is a situation you wouldn't want anyone to know about, as the less they know, the better. Do I sympathize with Goddard? Hells no.
Today's front page of the HV News featured the sensational headlines of former provisional Police Chief Don Goddard bringing suit against the Town of Hyde Park for violating his rights.
There are several things that Mr. Chris Lennon, author of this article forgot to include in his story (quite ironically it is not Mr. Goddard's good friend Jim Langan writing the piece). Mr. Langan has been absent from all the town board meetings held over the past months which is quite unlike this individual who lives to snap photos of the town board and feature them on the cover of this paper.
Donald Goddard is rumored to be suing the town for 'being rendered sick and sore as well as being publically humiliated.' In lawyering skills terms (and Joe Kakish should learns these for his future aspirations of 'lawyering') his feeling were hurt. He claims to suffer from anxiety and depression which has affected him greatly. Ironically, he is still employed as a police officer in a part-time basis in the village of Fishkill as lieutenant, so considering he can still perform his duties there, is his claim valid?
Read the case on PACER: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/new-york/nysdce/7:2011cv06328/384549/
Because Don Goddard is suing the town, a copy of the suit can also be obtained from the Town Clerk's office under a FOIL request and you too can see the verbage of being 'rendered sick and sore.'
This suit is frivilous. Why? This is a similar claim to those that sued McDonald's for making them obese. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and Mr. Goddard's actions of disclosing the circumstances surrounding his retirement his supposed problems led him to him to suffer the extreme bouts of being 'sick and sore.'
How so? Well if you revisit the stories that Mr. Langan printed in his paper, Don Goddard publicly aired his conflict with the town board and the supervisor. In fact, wasn't it Don Goddard that gave Jim Langan a copy of a letter of discipline to print in his paper? In a question of the professionality of a someone that is in a position of leadership, why would they have a letter of discipline published in a paper for anyone to read?
Perhaps if Don Goddard had kept his mouth shut, then he wouldn't have suffered the 'public humiliation' he so claims he has.
In the Feb. 24th edition, Jim Langan printed the letter of discipline along with the following article:
POLITICS AND PARANOIA AT HYDE PARK TOWN HALL By hv news staff
While everyone expected Hyde Park Supervisor Tom Martino and the new town board to take a markedly different course than the previous board, the nastiness of that transition has longtime observers shaking their heads. The Hudson Valley News has obtained a number of e-mails and memos underscoring the ugly and controlling atmosphere at Town Hall. Employees and concerned citizens have been contacting us, appalled at what they are experiencing personally or have witnessed. More than one person has said they will not meet with Martino unless accompanied by someone else for purpose of having a witness to any conversation. “There’s something very unpleasant and disturbing about him. He’s an angry guy. Everyone at Town Hall is walking around on eggshells,” said an employee who did not want to be identiﬁed for obvious reasons. An examination of a memo sent by Town Attorney James Horan to the architect of the proposed police/ court facility is an indication of Martino’s perception of himself and his board. “The Town Board will make all the decisions … The Supervisor will determine what other parties are necessary for the decision making process … The Town Board is enough of a committee … If this project comes in at a number in excess of the approved bond,
Then there is a strong likelihood that the project will not take place,” the memo reads. In short, Martino intends to consult no one and make all decisions behind closed doors. In the wake of a town board incident during which Martino instructed two Hyde Park Police ofﬁcers to remove longtime Route 9G Corridor Committee Chairwoman Vicki Kampf from the podium, police Chief Don Goddard issued a directive detailing the responsibilities and
Parameters of the police in dealing with town board members. We are publishing Goddard’s directive in full as we are concerned that the supervisor and other board members may have been attempting to use privileged police information to their own advantage. We obtained this directive independently of the chief, from someone with knowledge of the situation. The chief chose not to comment on this issue but another member of the department conﬁrmed to Hudson Valley News that such inquires were made. Goddard’s directive was dated Feb. 5 And Martino’s angry and threatening letter was sent to the chief on Feb. 9. The essence of his reply was that the chief of the Hyde Park Police Department is not welcome at his own Town Hall. (We are publishing that letter in full as well.) Goddard is a 23-year veteran of the Hyde Park Police force and is credited by his ofﬁcers for his positive impact on morale and performance since being named chief. On Jan. 27, Goddard was named president of the Dutchess County Association of Chiefs of Police at the annual installation dinner. Also ongoing is an attempt by the town attorney and the board to circumvent the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals through the use of politically chosen alternates intended to do Martino’s bidding. Failing that, Martino has already threatened to shut down the Planning Board if he doesn’t have his way. Stay tuned.
On the March 17, 2010 edition of the paper, which featured Don Goddard on the cover, he complained about the 'unfairness.' The comment from the supervisor was that of a professional, he wished Mr. Goddard well in his future endeavors.
Jim Langan didn't help matter further in his blog he wrote (the one he claims to be an former presidential aide and excludes his career as in the finance industry).
The Monday night ramblings of Hyde Park Supervisor Tom Martino are somewhere between hilarious and horrendous. At times, it's hard to believe he's serious or that psychologically damaged. The other night was a perfect example. After introducing a new hire for the police department, Martino went off on a rant about how much better the police department was these days and how sharp they looked since Chief Charlie Broe took over from Don Goddard. Goddard resigned in April rather than continue to deal with the bizarre Martino. Fine, that was his choice. But Martino just can't let it go. He has to bash Goddard every chance he gets. He's like a spurned lover who just can't leave it alone. And like a divorce, people don't want to hear the other person trashing the other. It's immature and annoying. Martino might want to pencil in a little couch time and get beyond the fact Goddard thought he was nuts.
And in the July 7, 2011 edition he wrote a column which included the following:
Quote of the week
The current town board needs to begin taking steps to provide the police with the resources and manpower needed to serve and protect the community before an officer or citizen gets seriously injured. The first step this board can take is to stop pretending to know the first thing about running a police department and start listening to what their new chief has to say. In short, just shut up and listen for once. While I have never met or spoken with the new chief, every indication is that he is a decent person, a capable administrator and very well respected by the men and women of the department. I would only have to question his thought process in going along with such a hare-brained scheme put forward by the town supervisor to make his position part-time. In no other department of similar size or activity would such an arrangement have been acceptable, nor would the elimination of the department’s only lieutenant position ever be taken seriously. This is what happens when elected officials put politics over people – it clouds their already-limited ability to reason and think clearly. Fortunately for the people of Hyde Park and the dedicated members of the police department, at least the new chief has had what appears to be a moment of clarity and will no longer accept this nutty arrangement. The current town board, with the exception of Councilwoman Sue Serino, has no experience in running an organization or successful business and should pay attention to those with a proven track record of doing so. They have consistently displayed an egregious disdain for input, advice and constructive criticism and with regard to public safety, they do so at their own peril. Hopefully, they will not make this mistake with the new chief, who has the proven track record and ability to bring the Hyde Park Police Department to a new level of professionalism. As former chief, I wish him well and hope he is able to work out an agreement with the current town board to become permanent and full time.
Don Goddard is former provisional chief of the Hyde Park Police Department. Respond to this column at editorial@thehudsonvalleynews.Com.
Let's see, Jim Langan printed another article on 2-24-11:
Board blinks in face of public outrage POLICE RALLY ROUND THEIR CHIEF By hv news staff
A resolution to eliminate the position of lieutenant from the Hyde Park Police force staff set off a furious public outcry Monday night, led by members of the police force itself. The lieutenant position was vacated by current Chief Don Goddard when he was promoted to provisional chief. The attempt to eliminate the position was seen as an attempt to hurt Goddard should the board remove him as chief. By eliminating the position, Goddard would have to assume the next-highest rank available, which would be sergeant, and force the lowest-ranking sergeant to go back to foot patrol. If Supervisor Tom Martino thought he was going to ram the resolution through without the public’s knowledge or comment, he got a rude awakening. Scores of people showed up to challenge the heavy-handed move by the board. Shouts of “You should all be ashamed
Of yourself,” “Why are you eliminating a position that is costing you nothing?” “You just don’t like Don Goddard,” and “You didn’t give any public notice on this,” ﬁ lled the air. It was clear the members of the police force were angry at what they felt was a back-door attempt to oust their chief. Resident Gina Borrelli brought the house down when she said, “Why is it I’m reading about some tag sale in May in the papers but there’s nothing about this?” She was referring to a recent workshop where the issue of a tag sale was discussed for half an hour. Martino attempted on numerous occasions to shut off further public outcry by calling for order. Someone in the audience sarcastically said, “What are you going to do, call the cops?” But the ﬂ ash point of the evening occurred when Martino attempted to call
Supervisor Martino tries unsuccessfully to quiet a raucous crowd at Monday’s Town Board meeting. Also pictured are Councilmen Michael Taylor, James Monks and Attorney James Horan. Photo by Nicole DeLawder.
The roll on the resolution. When the clerk called Ward 1 Councilman Mike Athanas’s name, it was obvious he had been listening to the public outrage. There was every expectation he would vote to abolish, but he seemed to pause and then said, “I think we need to table this.” The room erupted in applause and within minutes the resolution was tabled. Councilwoman Sue Serino then seconded the motion to the obvious displeasure of Martino. In the hallway, the police and their many supporters celebrated their victory. The euphoria was muted by the belief Martino’s antipathy toward the chief and the police will evidence itself further down the road.
The next battle will be to get Martino and the board to honor the voters’ wishes and begin construction on the police/court facility. Attempts to pin the board down on that issue have been difﬁcult with Martino throwing out one red herring after another. The suspicion is he will try axing the facility. Goddard paraphrased Edmund Burke when he told the Hudson Valley News, “The worst thing is when good people do nothing. Tonight the good people came out.” As the crowd spilled into the parking lot, it was clear to everyone that the board blinked and Athanas and Serino had some new admirers.
On March 17, 2011 Jim Langan wrote in an editorial:
EDITORIAL The people of Hyde Park need to need to wake up and mobilize before it’s too late. If there was ever a time to get angry and demand change in your local government, it’s now. We have made no attempt to hide our disdain for the way the new Hyde Park Town Board has been embarrassing this once-proud community, but recent actions by the board prompted this call to arms. Plain and simple, you are now less safe because of this administration and its insistence on operating like a spoiled only child with too many toys. Provisional Police Chief Don Goddard, who has been working in Hyde Park for 24 years, felt compelled to step down and retire because this board has treated him shabbily. Sgt. William Truitt is following Goddard out the door, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more resignations come in as our local ofﬁcers ﬁ nd work elsewhere. We were safer with an experienced policeman like Don Goddard leading our local force, and we were safer before our local ofﬁcers started looking for work in towns that will respect them. Goddard and Truitt take 44 years of experience with them. The mess started when the board began the process of eliminating a lieutenant position from the police department roster and replacing full-time ofﬁcers with part-time cops. The board says this is an attempt to save money, though it has been proven by the local pba that it will not and would have a negative impact on public safety. But this board simply doesn’t listen to residents or experts who disagree with them. Furthermore, we wonder, if this board is so intent on saving money, why are they trying to give new town clerk and Republican running mate Donna mcgrogan a pay raise and hire a new assistant for her? The board says we have to make cuts at the police department and we can’t even afford road salt, but we can raise a ﬁ rst-year town clerk’s salary and give her an assistant after less than three months on the job? The ﬁ nal slap in the face is the apparent attempt to scuttle the police/court facility approved by the same voters who put them in ofﬁce. While Supervisor Tom Martino and Councilman Michael Taylor are on record as saying they are committed to housing the local cops in a decent facility, councilmen Jim Monks and Mike Athanas have been telling people that the planned facility will not happen under this board’s watch. Someone is lying. Because of this atmosphere of fear at Town Hall, town employees are shaking in their boots. Morale is at an all-time low and virtually every veteran town employee we have talked to tells us (off the record, of course) they are looking for work elsewhere. In three months, this board has done more damage than anyone thought possible. We can’t tolerate another two years of this. These thugs need to be stopped and it’s up to you to put them in their place. It’s time to start putting some fannies in the seats during town hall meetings. Make them listen. Demand change. Start now.
The conclusion to this blog is that Mr. Goddard is an individual that brought this claim of being sick and sore upon his own person through disclosure to the public in the form of whining. Jim Langan didn't help matters because while it seems like he's a good friend of Don Goddard he used Goddard to make a few bucks.
Perhaps if Don Goddard had kept his mouth shut, then he wouldn't have suffered public humiliation.