Department of Investigation

80 MAIDEN LANE NEW YORK, N . Y . 10038 TELEPHONE 2 12-825-5900 SUSAN E. SHEPARD
COMMISSIONER

FINAL REPORT OF AN INVESTIGATION OF MISMANAGEMENT AND MISCONDUCT BY THE BUREAU OF WATER SUPPLY POLICE

MARCH 1992

Department of Investigation
80 MAlDEN W E NEW YORK, N.Y. 10038 TELEPHONE 212-825-5900
SUSAN

E. SHEPARD

CDMXJSSIONER

Office of the Inspector General Department of Environmental protection 51 Chambers Street, Room 1032

DATE t

HARCH 4 , 1992

I .

INTRODUCTION

In November 1991, the Department of Investigation issued a report concerning the management of the Bureau of Water Supply police ("BWSPn), a unit within the Sources Division of the Department of Environmental Protection (nDEPn) The report concluded that there were serious, longstanding management problems within the BWSP. In response to the report, DEP transferred the Police Administrator for the BWSP, Patrick Murphy, to a nev position in DEP and began the process of finding a replacement. In the interim, DEP Commissioner Albert Appleton appointed DEP's Director of security, Frank Xunari, to the position of ~ c t f n g Police ~dministrator. soon after he assumed his nev duties, Munari, during the course of a review of BWSP investigative files at the Beerston Precinct on January 10, 1992, learned of what he described as a R e ~ o r t on the Enforcement Activitv and Overtime practices of the Department of ~nvironmentalProtection Bureau O< Water S u ~ ~ l v ice. Pol
1

A

*confidential, covert investigationm of a Muslim community residing on 55 acres of land they own in Delaware County. The site (hereinafter referred to as nthe compound*) is approximately two miles, on a down slope, away from the Cannonsville Reservoir, in the Town of Tompkins. During Munarits review of the investigative file folder and conversations with the BWSP personnel involved, Sergeant James Van Tyle and Officer Mark Benedetto, he became concerned with the conduct of the investigation because he was unable to ascertain an acceptable reason for its inception. It was Hunarirs initial impression that the basis for this investigation may have been solely because of the fact that the community is made up of Black individuals. Munari notified DEP Deputy omm missioner Iris Weinshall of the BWSP investigation. Weinshall instructed him to report his findings to DOIts Off ice of the Inspector General for DEP ( n O I G m ) . Subsequently, commissioner Appleton directed that DEPts Disciplinary Counsel assist the OIG in determining whether there vas a legitimate basis for initiating the investigation and whether the investigation was properly conducted and supervised.
11.
A m

SUMMARY OF I W E B T I G A T I V I FINDINGS

~xaminationof BW8P f i l e

w07248811

On January 22, 1992, Munari provided the BWSP file folder identified as "072488" to the OIG and was interviewed. Munari said that the BWSP investigation was being supervised by BWSP Sergeant James Van Tyle and the officer assigned was Mark Benedetto. Hunari said that he has directed that the BWSP investigation be halted until further notice.

Within the file folder are typed notations which report that interviews were conducted with the following six persons:
1 . The Superintendent of the Hancock Central School system, evidently to learn if children from the compound were attending school2;

2. The Tompkins Town Clerk, to learn if taxes were being paid;

According to Munari, VanTyle and Benedetto told him that the School Superintendent said that the Muslim community sent boys to the public school and educated girls at the compound; that the boys were exemplary students; and that several inspections at the compound determined that the education of the girls was being properly conducted.

3.

The Tompkins Town Building Inspector, evidently to learn if inspections had been conducted at the compound;

4.

The Fire Chief of the Town of Deposit, to learn about a fire that occurred at the compound in December 1988;

5 . A neighbor of the compound, who may have reported hearing gun fire at the compound;

6 . A reporter for the Walton Re~orter, which published an article in February 1988 under the headline, nSunni Moslems Found Peaceloving Community in Tompkins."

The notations reporting these interviews are very brief and void of great detail. They do not indicate who conducted them and where and when they were held. With one exception, they are not signed or initialed by a BWSP officer, or in another way indicate who prepared them. Documents in the file also indicate that the BWSP contacted an ammunition company. In addition, the file shows that BWSP officers on at least one occasion stopped and detained a person from the compound.
On another occasion BWSP officers, according to notations in

the file folder, entered the compound on the pretext of responding t o a complaint from a neighbor regarding a group of dogs running around the area. The 'report describes a black male, Ifwho appeared to be very nervous and uneasy with their presenceow During this visit the unidentified officers recorded license plate numbers and later conducted DMV and name checks with the aid of the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. The report does not provide a time or a date for this activity. The file also contains the following external documents: Four envelopes containing aerial photographs of the compound, some of which were enlarged;
1 .

One envelope containing printouts of Department of Hotor 2. Vehicles registration inquiries;
3.

Tax maps pertaining to the compound;

I

1

The file shows that BWSP conducted a Department of Motor Vehicle records check and, possibly, a criminal history records check on the person they detained through the Delaware County Sheriff 's Department.

4.

The newspaper article described above;

5. Additional handwritten notes concerning motor vehicles parked near the compound and other miscellaneous matters, including notes showing the phone numbers of lav enforcement agencies, including Interpol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the New York City Police Department;

The business cards and identity of two employees of a federal law enforcement agency.
6 .

B .

1nterview of Bergeant James Van Tyla
On January 27, 1992, Sergeant Van Tyle was interviewed.

Van Tyle said that the investigation of the Muslim community started as the result of a request from Officer Mark Benedetto. He said that Benedetto had learned from a neighboring property owner to the compound that an employee of a federal law enforcement agency had left his card with the neighbor and requested information such as plate numbers of vehicles from the compound. He said that the federal employee never returned numerous calls made by him and ~ e n e d e t t o and that he never learned the basis or purpose of the federal employee's inquiry. Without any further information, Van Tyle said that he authorized Benedetto to commence an investigation. This occurred Van Tyle required no documentation of activities in mid-1988. conducted by the BWSP and failed to assign an official BWSP case number. The matter was and still is referred to by the date it began, "Report: 072488 Confidentialem Van Tyle said that he is not aware of any criminal allegations having been made against the Muslim community. He said that after the investigation began, the BWSP received a report by a neighbor of hearing gun fire and marching songs. Up t o and including the day he was interviewed, Van Tyle was unable to describe any information obtained by him or any other BWSP officer that indicates that the Muslim community was involved in activities which posed a threat to the reservoirs, the BWSP or anyone else. Van Tyle described a fire which occurred on December 24, 1988, in a trailer at the compound, which he said went unreported until a neighbor saw the smoke and called the fire department. According t o Van W l e , the fire department was denied access and reported hearing live ammunition discharging as a result of the fire. The Fire chief also reported seeing, mapproximately 150 to 200 Black men and women running around the area. Van Tyle stated that he was aware that on December 28, 1988, Police officer Caspere Caratelli, then a member of the Town of Deposit police Department, entered the compound posing as a helper
4

of the local sanitation truck which is owned by Caratelli's neighbor, Donald VanDuser. Van Tyle said that he believed that VanDuser was also one of the volunteer firemen who responded to the fire o n December 24, and it was he who told Caratelli about the exploding ammunition. Van Tyle said that Caratelli, who has no jurisdiction in the Town of Tompkins, convinced VanDuser to allow the officer to accompany him into the compound to ngather evidenceou Van Tyle said that VanDuser complied with the request since he normally goes there to remove garbage. (In August, 1989, ~ a r a t e l l ibecame a member of the BWSP.) Van Tyle said that Caratelli, while in the compound, searched the remains of the trailer involved in the fire and discovered a notebook which he placed under his jacket and removed from the property. Caratelli also spoke into a tape recorder that he secreted in a pocket as he moved about the compound. Van Tyle does not know where the original recording is. He said .that the notebook was given to Benedetto and eventually to Van Tyle who said it was kept in an unsecured locker at the precinct. Van Tyle said that he was unaware of the contents of the notebook because he never read it and added that he does not think Benedetto did either. No report exists which describes the contents of the notebook.
I I

I

I

I
I

Van Tyle said that on January 11, 1989, the sanitation truck owner, VanDuser, returned to the compound alone, having been hired by the Muslim community to remove rubbish, and recovered a wooden box of spent shell casings and live ammunition. Van Tyle said that VanDuser turned his find over to Caratelli, who gave the box and its contents to Benedetto. Van Tyle said that the box was placed in the-same locker with the notebook. At the time of the interview, Van Tyle produced the box of casings.' Van Tyle stated that neither the notebook nor the casings were vouchered. Van Tyle said that under normal conditions items such as this would be vouchered at the BWSP precinct. It is not clear what he meant by the term, "normal conditionsen Subsequent to this interview it has been determined from other BWSP personnel that there is no vouchering system at Van Tyle's precinct. Van Tyle said that he had informed his superior, Captain James severing, that he was engaged in this investigation. He could not remember when or what he told Severing or what Severing said to him. Van Tyle made no record of this notification. Van Tyle said that he personally informed Patrick Murphy, the Deputy Chief, Sources Division, early in 1988, and again on at least two other occasions about the investigation of the Muslims. The last time Van Tyle recalls talking to Murphy about this Munari, who was present dying the interview, discovered live ammunition with the empty casings much to Van Tylets surprise.
4

investigation was in June or July 1991, during a helicopter flight over the compound with the Air National Guard for the purpose of taking aerial photographs. This was done in conjunction with a search for illegally grown marijuana on a nearby strip of NYC land known as wJohnny Brookew BWSP Officer Darwin Finkle took the photographs. The cost of the film and developing was accomplished at City expense. Van Tyle does not know if the City paid for the helicopter fuel or if the cost of the flight came from State coffers. There are no records to confirm Van Tyle's description of these events. Van Tyle could not provide an explanation for the need of a second set of aerial photographs which merely duplicates pictures taken by Pinkle from a fixed wing aircraft in January of 1989. Van Tyle said that the purpose of taking the aerial pictures was to nlearn the lay of the land in case they had to go in. There were no reports prepared regarding Van Tyle's notification to Murphy or the taking of aerial photographs and the pertinent expenses involved. (No marijuana was found. ) Van Tyle does not know if Murphy's boss, George Mekenian, Chief, Sources Division, or Joseph P. Conway, Assistant Commissioner, knew of this investigation. According to Van Tyle, a DO1 investigator assigned to the OIG upstate Gardiner office was made aware of this investigation sometime in January 1989, when BWSP asked him to obtain night vision equipment for use during planned surveillance operations at the compound. There are no BWSP records or reports reflecting this matter. Van Tyle said that the investigator, William Pomeroy, was unable to secure the requested equipment. Subsequent to the Van Tyle interview it was determined from a review of OIG upstate files that on July 26, 1988, Van Tyle had telephoned Pomeroy and advised, "for informational purposes, there is a black Muslim community living within 1 1/2 miles of City property near the Pepacton Reservoirem r his matter, carried under IG# C51/88U, was closed on intake on the same date. There was no accompanying information that indicated why the BWSP were interested in the Muslim community. The OIG file folder contains a copy of the previously mentioned news article and a copy of a BWSP report signed by Benedetto, which was also found in the BWSP file. Van Tyle said that to the best of his knowledge no other records existed regarding this matter. When asked about notes that may have been taken during this investigation, he replied that he was unaware of their present location and indicated that as a general practice they are not kept. (Subsequent to this interview, it was determined that Van Tyle directed Officer Benedetto to nclean-up the file and throw away the notesen The destruction of these notes probably occurred after, the OIG asked Acting Police ~dministratorMunari to obtain the file from Van Tyle.)

When asked why h e had n o t assigned an o f f i c i a l case number t o t h i s m a t t e r , Van Tyle r e p l i e d t h a t he d i d n o t consider t h i s a c r i m i n a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n and t h e r e f o r e d i d n o t s e e t h e n e c e s s i t y of e a s s i g n i n g a c a s e number. H a l s o s a i d t h a t there a r e no BWSP r u l e s which r e q u i r e t h a t a l l of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s be documented and r e p o r t s prepared. Van T y l e was asked s e v e r a l times t o j u s t i f y t h e a c t i o n s of the BWSP r e g a r d i n g t h i s matter i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e i r mission of p r o t e c t i n g t h e reservoirs. A t one point h e placed h i s hand on t h e ammunition removed from t h e compound and s a i d , n I n order t o contaminate t h e r e s e r v o i r s you must have t h e w i l l t o do so, t h i s s t u f f (meaning t h e s h e l l casings) t e l l s m e t h e y had t h e w i l l . m It is p o i n t e d o u t t h a t t h e s h e l l c a s i n g s were n o t obtained u n t i l a f t e r h e a u t h o r i z e d the s t a r t of the BWSP i n q u i r i e s ,
C.

xnterview w i t h BWSP O f f i c e r Caspere C a r a t e l l i
BWSP o f f i c e r Caspere C a r a t e l l i was interviewed on January 29,

1992

C a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t he h a s been a member of t h e BWSP since August 1989. P r i o r t o t h a t he had been employed by t h e Town of Deposit p o l ice Department f o r t h r e e years. ~ a r a t e l l s a i d t h a t he learned of t h e Muslim community when he i n o t i c e d " s t r a n g e r s w shopping i n t h e Town of Deposit. He r e c a l l e d being t o l d by t h e Fire Chief and h i s neighbor, a volunteer fireman, about a f i r e i n a t r a i l e r on t h e compound grounds during which ammunition was going off and t h a t t h e r e s i d e n t s would n o t l e t t h e f i r e t r u c k s on t h e property. C a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t he t o l d these f a c t s t o t h e BWSP p o l i c e "because they have j u r i s d i c t i o n i n T o m p k i n ~ . ~ C a r a t e l l i could n o t explain t h e authority f o r t h a t jurisdiction. C a r a t e l l i described how h e accompanied h i s neighbor, Donald VanDuser, i n t o t h e compound a c t i n g a s a helper on VanDuserts garbage removal truck. C a r a t e l l i t o l d how he had placed a tape r e c o r d e r i n h i s pocket and t a l k e d i n t o it a s he proceeded through t h e compound i n search of wevidence.w C a r a t e l l i could n o t explain H f o r what purpose he was i n need of " e v i d e n ~ e . ~ e a l s o described how, w h i l e searching t h e f ire-damaged t r a i l e r , he discovered a notebook t h a t he secreted under h i s c l o t h i n g and removed from t h e compound. When asked why he neglected t o o 6 t a i n a search warrant before t a k i n g t h i s action, C a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t he did not require H e s a i d t h a t t e c h n i c a l l y he was n o t acting a s a police one. o f f i c e r s i n c e h e was working a s a helper on t h e garbage truck. H e explained how it was proper t o remove t h e notebook because VanDuser had c o n t r a c t e d with t h e Muslim community t o remove d e b r i s from t h e compound.
<

I

C a r a t e l l i was shown a typed r e p o r t from t h e f i l e f o l d e r which h e s a i d is a r e p o r t c o n c e r n i n g h i s v i s i t t o t h e compound. He v o u c h e d f o r i t s a c c u r a c y b u t he could n o t i d e n t i f y who p r e p a r e d it. H e said t h a t he p r e p a r e d h i s own h a n d w r i t t e n r e p o r t , u s i n g t h e t a p e r e c o r d i n g h e made t o a i d h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n , which h e gave t o B e n e d e t t o . (That h a n d w r i t t e n r e p o r t is n o t i n t h e f i l e . ) C a r a t e l l i s a i d " t h a t he could n o t produce t h e o r i g i n a l t a p e c a s s e t t e because h e r e t u r n e d it t o t h e Deposit P o l i c e Department and t h e y o n l y have t h a t o n e c a s s e t t e , which t h e y u s e over a n d o v e r a g a i n o n

I

C a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t he decided t o e n t e r t h e compound without c o n s u l t i n g Benedetto o r Van Tyle and t h a t no one a c t e d as h i s b a c k u p w h i l e he was i n t h e compound. ( T h i s s t a t e m e n t is n o t c o n s i s t e n t with s t a t e m e n t s by Benedetto, who t o l d O I G s t a f f t h a t C a r a t e l l i met w i t h him and Van Tyle before h e e n t e r e d t h e compound. ) c a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t s e v e r a l d a y s a f t e r he e n t e r e d t h e compound, VanDuser found s h e l l c a s i n g s a t t h e compound i n a d i s h w a s h e r , which h e s a i d was going t o be d i s c a r d e d a s r u b b i s h , and g a v e them t o C a r a t e l l i . C a r a t e l l i s a i d t h a t he gave t h e s h e l l c a s i n g s and t h e notebook t o Benedetto. c a r a t e l l i , i n j u s t i f y i n g h i s a c t i o n s a t t h e compound, which w a s o u t s i d e of h i s g e o g r a p h i c a l a r e a of employment, s t a t e d t h a t he h a d a n o b l i g a t i o n t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h i s community b e c a u s e they f r e q u e n t t h e Town o f Deposit and shop i n t h e l o c a l s t o r e s . C a r a t e l l i does n o t r e c a l l t a k i n g a n y o t h e r a c t i o n i n connect i o n w i t h t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e Muslim community.
D.

I

I

I
I

I n t e r v i e w w i t h BWSP 0 f P i c e r Darwin P i n k l o

BWSP o f f i c e r Darwin F i n k l e was i n t e r v i e w e d on J a n u a r y 29, 1 9 9 2 , w i t h Frank Munari p r e s e n t .
w a s employed by the

F i n k l e h a s been a BWSP o f f i c e r f o r 1 9 y e a r s . P r i o r t o t h a t he Delaware County Sheriff's Department.

F i n k l e s a i d t h a t he first heard of t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n a couple of weeks p r i o r t o b e i n g d i r e c t e d t o t a k e a e r i a l photographs by B e n e d e t t o i n J a n u a r y 1989. Finkle r e c a l l s being t o l d about ammunition being found at t h e compound, b u t h e s a i d h e was n o t s u p p l i e d with d e t a i l s .
w i t h a DEP employee by t h e name of Donny J a c o b s , who owns a fixed w i n g a i r p l a n e k e p t a t the Downsville A i r p o r t , which is n e a r t h e compound. P i n k l e s a i d that h e was accompanied by BWSP O f f i c e r P a t Gorman. H e s a i d t h a t t h e t r i p took about a n hour. H e d i d n o t know how J a c o b s was compensated f o r t h e f u e l . F i n k l e s t a t e d t h a t he was

B e n e d e t t o made arrangements t o t a k e t h e a e r i a l photographs

n o t a s k e d t o t a k e t h e photographs because o f any e x p e r t i s e on h i s p a r t b u t o n l y because Benedetto knows t h a t h e owns a camera. F i n k l e s a i d t h a t i n t h e summer o f 1991, h e was a g a i n asked t o t a k e a e r i a l photographs by Benedetto. However, h e s a i d t h a t t h i s t i m e h e was t a k e n up i n an A i r National Guard h e l i c o p t e r and accompanied by t h e t h e n B S P o l i c e Administrator, P a t r i c k Murphy, WP who s a t i n t h e r e a r and had no c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h him. F i n k l e d i d n o t knov why Murphy was aboard. P r i o r t o t a k i n g a e r i a l s h o t s a t t h e compound, F i n k l e s a i d an a e r i a l s e a r c h was conducted i n a n o t h e r area f o r i l l e g a l l y grown marijuana. F i n k l e s a i d t h a t t h e h e l i c o p t e r p i c k e d u p Murphy and him a t t h e BWSP h e a d q u a r t e r s i n Walton and, a f t e r b e i n g u p f o r about 4 0 minutes, landed a t White Bush Airport. F i n k l e s a i d t h a t Benedetto m e t them a t White Bush w i t h Murphy's c a r . F i n k l e s a i d t h a t Murphy t h e n l e f t i n h i s car, and B e n e d e t t o g o t i n t o t h e h e l i c o p t e r and went t o check on o t h e r p o s s i b l e marijuana f i e l d s . F i n k l e confirmed t h a t h e took t h e N o photographs were photographs contained i n t h e f i l e folder. t a k e n i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e s e a r c h f o r marijuana.

.

F i n k l e d i d n o t provide a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n concerning t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e Muslim community.
Interview of BIBP Officer Mark Benedetto

On J a n u a r y 27, 1 9 9 2 , BWSP O f f i c e r Hark Benedetto was i n t e r viewed. Benedetto i n i t i a l l y s a i d t h a t t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n of t h e M u s l i m community was based on a r e f e r r a l from O f f i c e r C a r a t e l l i of t h e ~ e p o s i t P o l i c e Department. Benedetto s t a t e d t h a t , based on i n f o r m a t i o n s u p p l i e d by C a r a t e l l i r e g a r d i n g t h e t r a i l e r f i r e a t t h e compound, ' I t h i s community posed a t h r e a t t o t h e c i t y and o f f i c e r safety." ( I t s h o u l d be noted t h a t t h e BWSP i n v e s t i g a t i o n began on 7 / 2 4 / 8 8 and, based on s t a t e m e n t s by BWSP p e r s o n n e l and r e c o r d s t h e y created, t h e r e was no i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e to them on 7/24/88 . . which would have reasonably i n d i c a t e d a t h r e a t . ) However, l a t e r i n t h e i n t e r v i e w , Benedetto s a i d he was u n c e r t a i n a b o u t t h e basis of t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n . H e appeared t o be c o n f u s e d and c o u l d not provide a s a t i s f a c t o r y e x p l a n a t i o n of why t h i s c a s e was s t a r t e d . Benedetto s a i d t h a t B S C a p t a i n Severing and t h e n B S P o l i c e WP WP ~ d m i n i s t r a t o rMurphy were aware of t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Benedetto s a i d t h a t C a r a t e l l i conducted t h e undercover o p e r a t i o n a t t h e compound on h i s own time. However, h e s a i d t h a t h e and Van T y l e m e t with C a r a t e l l f t o p l a n t h e o p e r a t i o n b e f o r e C a r a t e l l i e n t e r e d t h e compound.

B e n e d e t t o s t a t e d t h a t approximately t h r e e veeks to a month a g o , Van T y l e t o l d him t o clean-up t h e f i l e f o r t h i s case. Van T y l e t o l d him t o type t h e h a n d w r i t t e n n o t e s and throw t h e o r i g i n a l s away. I n a c o n t r a d i c t i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n p r e v i o u s l y s u p p l i e d by Van T y l e , B e n e d e t t o s a i d t h a t BWSP h a s n o vouchering system f o r e v i d e n c e . Benedetto s t a t e d t h a t i n t h e B e e r s t o n P r e c i n c t t h e BWSP has n o f o r m a l w r i t t e n p r o c e d u r e s i n p l a c e regarding i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , arrests, i n t e r v i e w s , t h e l o g g i n g of c o m p l a i n t s , the vouchering of e v i d e n c e , r e p o r t v r i t i n g , o r even a w r i t t e n mission s t a t e m e n t . H e e x p l a i n e d t h a t t h e o f f i c e r s " j u s t do what everyone else h a s always done. B e n e d e t t o explained t h a t t h e B e e r s t o n P r e c i n c t i n Delaware County s e r v e s as the l o c a l l a w enforcement a u t h o r i t y f o r t h e r u r a l areas. Therefore, h e s a i d , t h e BWSP d o e s n o t restrict its a u t h o r i t y t o t h e Cannonsville and Pepacton R e s e r v o i r areas or c i t y property. R e f e r r i n g t o BWSP o f f i c e r s , h e s a i d : "They are just w a i t i n g t o be d i s p a t c h e d by t h e s h e r i f f ' s o f f i c e o r t h e State police w e g e t bored j u s t d r i v i n g a r o u n d t h e r e s e r v o i r s . ~

...

According t o Benedetto, he and h i s f e l l o w BWSP o f f i c e r s b e l i e v e t h e y have t h e a u t h o r i t y t o i n v e s t i g a t e any m a t t e r brought t o t h e i r attention.

F .

~nterview with BWGP C a p t a i n Jamea Severing

On J a n u a r y 30, 1992, C a p t a i n James S e v e r i n g , who is ill and a t home o n extended leave from t h e BWSP, was i n t e r v i e w e d by t e l e p h o n e d u e t o h i s i n a b i l i t y t o a p p e a r a t t h e OIG. s e v e r i n g s a i d t h a t he d o e s n o t r e c a l l when he was first informed a b o u t t h e B S i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h e Muslim community i n WP t h e Town of Tompkins, b u t he d o e s remember t h a t Van Tyle t o l d him Severing s a i d t h a t Van a b o u t it w h i l e it was a n ongoing matter. T y l e t o l d him: "We got wind of a Black Muslim community adjacent t o city p r o p e r t y and want t o check i n t o i t o m Severing s a i d t h a t Van T y l e d i d n o t t e l l him t h a t t h e r e had been any a l l e g a t i o n s of c r i m i n a l a c t s reported i n connection with t h i s community. Severing said t h a t h e d i r e c t e d Van T y l e t o c o n t i n u e w i t h t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n and t o write him a memo i f manything" developed. s e v e r i n g s a i d t h a t t h i s t y p e of i n v e s t i g a t i o n was n o t unusual a n d i n f a c t t h e B S have conducted similar i n q u i r i e s i n the p a s t . WP H e s a i d t h a t they have i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e wWeathermen,n who were located n e a r t h e Ashokan r e s e r v o i r and t h e "JDL,' who were i n the Town of E l l e n v i l l e . When a s k e d t o produce t h e f i l e s f o r those i n v e s t i g a t i o n s Severing s a i d t h a t t h e r e were no r e c o r d s k e p t H e s a i d , "No f i l e s , so t h a t it does n o t r e g a r d i n g t h o s e cases. become a p o l i t i c a l f o o t b a l l . Nothing was supposed t o be i n w r i t i n g b e c a u s e it could h u r t a n i n n o c e n t party." Severing said t h a t

patrick Murphy decides what is and is not a npolitical footbal1.a However, Severing said that he does not remember talking to Hurphy or anyone above him regarding this investigation. severing could not recall when Van Tyle advised him of this matter. However, he said that after being told that the case was started on or about July 24, 1988, it was his understanding that the investigation only lasted two months and would have been concluded by September. Severing said that he had "heardn that aerial photographs were taken but he was never informed officially and he never asked about it. ~ccordingto Severing reports are made at the discretion of the precinct Commanders and they do not need his approval to start an investigation. Severing said that BWSP officers are not required to memorialize all of their activities with reports and other documentation. It is Severing's recollection that Investigator Pomeroy of DO1 was aware of this investigation but what he was told and to what extent he was advised, Severing could not say. . When provided with the scenario reflecting Caratellits warrantless search at the Xuslim compound, and asked to describe how he would have reacted had he known of its occurrence at the time, Severing said "1 would do nothing that would hurt the uniten
0.

Interview with Patrick Murphy, former Deputy Chief lourcea ~ivision

On February 7, 1992, Patrick Murphy was interviewed regarding this matter by the DEP Disciplinary Counsel.

Murphy was asked if he was aware that the BWSP had undertaken an investigation of a Black Xuslim community near the Cannonsville ~eservoir in Delaware County. Murphy questioned the use of the term "investigationn and explained that he was unaware that the activities of the BWSP had ever reached a level that could be characterized as an ninvestigation.a He added that he was aware since last summer that the Beerston Precinct knew of the presence of such a community and they had made occasional observations of the community. Murphy said that he had taken a helicopter flight some time within the last six months vhich took him over the Muslim community, He recalled that he made the flight with the Air National Guard and that Officer Finkle was probably present. Hurphy said that the purpose of the trip was to surveil the watershed area after BWSP received allegations of marijuana farming on NYC property.

Murphy stated that, after landing, there was a brief discussion among the people present that they had flown over the Muslim community, but, in his words, "no big thing was made of iton He could not recall who was present. Murphy thought he recalled that the discussion did arise that this community may be a i safe house.^ Murphy said that he had no knowledge of a previous flight over the community or any intrusions onto the property. Hurphy said that he had "heard" that the BWSP may have been recruited to participate in a federal program to monitor the location of certain subjects such as foreign diplomats from certain countries. Murphy said that Black Huslims may have been on that list. Accordingly, Murphy added that, although he was aware that the BWSP would occasionally run license checks on people from the ~ u s l i mcommunity, he believed it was part of this program. (No evidence was obtained to support Murphyfs claim that the BWSPfs investigation of the Muslim community is part of a federal program. )
H . ~nterview with George Hekenian, Chief, Bouraea Division

On February 7, 1992, George Mekenian, Chief of the Sources ~ivisionand Patrick Murphy's direct supervisor, was interviewed. The purpose of this interview was to determine to what extent ~ekenianwas aware of the BWSP investigation. ~ekenian said that he had never been informed of the BWSP investigation of the Muslim community in the Town of Tompkins. He said that his Deputy, Patrick Hurphy, should have informed him and had he done so, Mekenian would not have permitted it to continue. ~ekenian was shown a map from the BWSP case folder which identifies the location of the Muslim compound in relation to the Cannonsville ~eservoir. Mekenian indicated that the compound did not appear to be located within the watershed. ~ekenian does not know what procedures and criteria are required of the BWSP prior to the commencement of an investigation and he is not familiar with police investigative practices. He said that he has not met with Murphy on a regular basis to discuss the BWSP for the last seven years because of his other duties and responsibilities. He said he diJ not know that the BWSP, with Murphy's approval, had taken aerial photographs of the Muslim compound. However, when provided with the approximate date of those operations, Mekenian recalled that at the time of the second flight w i t h the Air National Guard helicopter, Hurphy told him that the BWSP was assisting another agency. Murphy also told Hekenian that the operation was being conducted at the request of the other agency and made no mention of taking aerial photographs of the Muslim compound. (No evidence has been obtained indicating that the

aerial photographs were taken at the request of or in cooperation with another agency.) Mekenian said that he was not aware that the BWSP had ever conducted investigations of organizations known as the "Weathermenn and nJDL.m To the best of Mekenian's knowledge, his supervisor, DEP . Assistant Commissioner, Joseph P Conway, has no knowledge of any of the previously mentioned matters because Xekenian did not tell him and it would be highly unusual for Murphy to have done so without informing Hekenian.
I .
Criminal Eistory Check.

Notations found in the BWSP file folder indicate that criminal history checks may have been conducted on members of the Muslim community. According to Van Tyle, Department of Hotor Vehicles, name checks, and criminal history checks are routinely done for the BWSP by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office without the necessity of providing the Sheriff with a BWSP criminal case number. He does not know what the Sheriff's Office places in its records as justification for a criminal history check, which, according to New York State Police Information Network (WYSPINR) regulations, requires an official criminal investigation case number. Van Tyle confirmed that he can obtain a criminal history check on anyone for any reason and no record would exist connecting him to that action.
I

CONCLUSIONS

The BWSP investigation lacked any reasonable factual basis. ~t was the product of irrational fears acted upon by a police unit suffering from inadequate training, ignorance of the law, poor management, supervisory paralysis, and boredom. The actions of the BWSP demonstrate a breakdown of acceptable for constitutional safeguards. Without benefit of a single allegation or complaint of criminal activity, the BWSP initiated an investigation, which included a warrantless search, aerial photography, and record checks on persons and vehicles believed to be associated with the ~ u s l i mcomunity.
law enforcement practices and a disregard

The OIG's inquiry was greatly hampered by the fact that Van Tyle failed to properly supervise the conduct of the BWSP investigation. Not only did he fail to ensure that accurate records were prepared by his subordinates but he also directed that handwritten notes, perhaps the only true record of what actions were taken, be destroyed.

The management of the BWSP in the Beerston Precinct is extraordinarily poor. Minimum standards of law enforcement work, from the preparation of reports t o the vouchering of evidence, are not followed. Criminal history checks have apparently been conducted in violation of strict federal and State guidelines. "Secret,@@ undocumented investigations, have been conducted. Supervision is equally poor. BWSP Captain Severing and Police ~dministratorMurphy knew of the ~ u s l i m investigation, but did nothing t o insure that it was being conducted properly and for legitimate reasons. Murphy's supervisor, George Mekenian, by his own account, has not found time in the past seven years to review the BWSP and its operations. The DO1 report concerning the BWSP issued in November 1991 recommended that DEP review the operations of the BWSP and the other enforcement, security and inspectional units devoted to the protection of the water supply system. The report suggested that DEP consider consolidating the BWSP and personnel assigned as watershed inspectors into a single security force under centralized command. DO1 made this suggestion because it was concerned that the management problems and unprofessional culture in the BWSP had become ingrained. The results of this inquiry have increased DOI's concern about the unprofessional conduct and poor management of the BWSP. It is recommended that DEP move quickly in carrying out the reform of the BWSP begun by the removal of Murphy and the search for a new BWSP Police Administrator.