Stooping To The Lowest Of Low

There is a comprehensive story, on this website entitled, “Killer To Inherit Part of Estate” and I am reporting on Dad’s city pal’s coming to the rescue with letters of support and intended influence as payback for the same personal, political gain The Fintzy’s accuses Commissioner James of engaging in.  The knowledge of three of our WPB Elected Officials, using city letterhead to write personal letters to the NY Parole Board, to influence release of an inmate who committed a horrific murder and is the daughter of Len & Rita Fintzy, has been known to a group of citizens for about a year. After unsuccessful attempts to get confirmation of the stupid and irresponsible act, the information was taken to the media, roughly six months ago. Quite contrary to the blame being placed solely on Commissioner Keith James, because a member of his campaign staff, placed a public records request to the city, for e-mails, letters, memo’s, etc., having to do with Mr. Fintzy on December 17, 2014.

Commissioner  James was one of three elected officials who wrote letters to the NY Parole Board in support of the release of Mr. Fintzy’s daughter, Michelle Lennon but he did not compose his letter on city letterhead and wisely, used his own stationary. The Fintzy Family issued a statement, for immediate release on January 16, 2015, in response to what they referred to as Keith James negative campaigning. The statement from Len & Rita Fintzy stated: “We are shocked and deeply hurt that Commissioner Keith James has chosen to stoop to the lowest of low by authorizing his campaign staff to politicize our family’s personal tragedy, for his personal political gain”.

What is really the lowest of low? Commissioner James campaign staff member, Jonathan Cooper, utilizing public records, is hardly the lowest of the low.  The act and manner in which Mr. Fintzy’s daughter violated another human being that resulted in a death, would certainly qualify as the lowest of low.  Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell using city letterhead and her title as a Commissioner, to compose two personal letters to the NY Parole Board, as influence to assist Mr. Fintzy’s daughter, Michelle Lennon, to be granted release from prison would be low on a scale of ethics and conduct unbecoming of an elected official.

Prior to entering the District 4 Commission race, Mr. Fintzy headed the Political Action Committee, Citywatch and he has been helping Ms. Mitchell remain in office since shortly after she won her first election in 2002. Ms. Mitchell has worn a physical and verbal path, back and forth through the years, to and from Mr. Fintzy in Riverwalk, to get Citywatch’s endorsements to keep herself in office. She also uses that resource to get her cherry picked recruits in office or get ones who crosses her, out of office but this carousel might be coasting to a final stop. Commissioner Shanon Materio was also reeled in by the man who delivers the votes. She wrote a letter addressed to two superintendents, dated January 9, 2014, stating in that letter, she had written a previous letter. She proudly boast, “as an elected WPB City Commissioner”, to the NY agency. Her second letter seems to be a mystery so far. Both Commissioners Mitchell and Materio used nothing but the highest level of praise for Len and Rita Fintzy, as their supporting statements for the release of the Fintzy’s daughter, whom they have not even met. Mitchell admits she does not know the incarcerated Michelle Lennon personally but yet she speaks of the progress the woman has made over the years.

Commissioner Mitchell, stressed, in her letter, “we – the collective we – are ready to embrace Michelle”. She goes on to assure that Michelle will thrive with “our” collective guidance and it would be nice to know who is  “the collective we”? Our city letterhead represents the citizens of this city and city resources should only be used for a public purpose and for the public good and our elected officials soliciting for the release of a woman who committed a heinous murder and who none of our elected officials even know, is not for a public purpose or a public good. Apparently, It wasn’t enough that Commissioner Mitchell got away with the previous misuse of her position and city services in November 2011, when she used city resources and personnel, to gain an advantage that was not available to the general public by allowing our emergency operator, to take care of a personal problem she had with her home Comcast Cable Service.

The concern was taken to the five PBC Ethics Commissioners and three found no probable cause to move forward with the investigation and It just happened to be the three acquaintances of Ms. Mitchell. After crossing that hurdle, Ms. Mitchell requested reimbursement of the $7,325 she said were her expense for her lawyer. Her colleagues, on the city commission, unanimously voted to issue the refund, in spite of admitting they knew of no facts surrounding the case but asking no questions either. I think It’s fair to say, this act qualifies as stooping to the lowest of low.

In a televised city budget meeting on September 25, 2013,  Mr. Fintzy, stepped up to the mic, not to talk about the budget but to prematurely endorse both Kimberly Mitchell and Shanon Materio for their upcoming March 2014 elections saying, “these young ladies have shown an indefatigable sense of responsibility and in-depth analysis of issues facing the city combined with an awesome devotion to the needs of the many communities in our city”  Mr. Fintzy evidently has not taken a walk through Kimberly’s District 3, Westward Park to see the dangerous conditions lingering for more than three years.  That premature endorsement is the kind of disgusting back scratching that has been going on for a decade and the letters were a favor to someone who they can count on for endorsements and votes. Mayor Muoio also strongly recommended the troubled woman be released from jail and allowed to come to WPB. Kimberly Mitchell promises a job will be waiting for Ms. Lennon . . . . compliments of  her long time friend, Rodney Mayo, who Ms. Mitchell pushed, in the August 19, 2013 commission meeting, to get him 3 months free rent for his new 509 Clematis Street business location.

Despite the glowing letters, the NY Parole Board wasn’t impressed at all with the official titles or the fanfare and denied parole until 2016.