From The New York Times (Part I)


Andreoli’s Investigations Stir a Debate in Syracuse

By Charles Kaiser, September 3, 1979

SYRACUSE—Since 1976, when Governor Carey made Peter D. Andreoli the special prosecutor for Onondaga County, three special grand juries have indicted the County Executive, a former district attorney, the Republican county chairman, a former assistant district attorney, a current assistant district attorney, a former Republican election commissioner, a Republican state senator, the former county attorney, three insurance agents, a deputy county comptroller, a former town supervisor, a truck manufacturer and the nation’s largest insurance brokerage.

The grand juries charged that county employees had been victimized for decades by a conspiracy that compelled them to contribute percentages of their salaries to the local Republican Party.  A similar relationship was alleged to exist between the county and many of its contractors.

Appointment Stirred Uproar

From the moment Mr. Andreoli’s appointment was announced, the local Republican establishment has been in an uproar over the decision of the Democratic Governor to supersede the authority of the local District Attorney, a Republican, for an investigation of political corruption in one of the state’s most Republican counties.

There are nearly twice as many registered Republicans as there are Democrats in Onondaga County.  In the last six elections, no Republican candidate for Governor or President has ever carried the county by a majority of less than 14,000 or about 10 percent of the total vote.

John H. Mulroy, a Republican, has held the office of County Executive since it was created 18 years ago.  And, while the Democrats did gain control of the County Legislature last year, winning 14 seats to the Republicans 10, it was the first time that had happened since the county was founded in 1794.

Two months ago, Ralph I. Greenhouse, former county attorney [who became the “former” when he resigned the day before he was sentenced], pleaded guilty to coercion, conspiracy and attempted grand larceny.  He implicated three other prominent Republicans in the alleged conspiracy:  Mr. Mulroy, Richard Hanlon, the Republican Party chairman, and Richard Hennessy Jr., the District Attorney.  Mr. Hennessy has not been formally accused of any crime.

The cases against Mr. Mulroy and Mr. Hanlon have not yet come to trial.

Despite Mr. Greenhouse’s confession, many people in the county say they think Mr. Andreoli’s appointment was a mistake, and believe he is unnecessarily blackening the city’s reputation.

No ‘Major Revelations’ Seen

Russell Carlson, president of the Onondaga Savings Bank, said the special prosecutor’s allegations “are very serious,” but added, “there haven’t been any major revelations.”

“What has been proven seems to me to have been rather scant,” the bank president said.

When Robert Abrams came here last year in his election campaign for Attorney General, the questions that local newspaper editors asked first was, “Will you fire Peter Andreoli if you are elected?”

Mr. Abrams resisted these pressures and now praises Mr. Andreoli as a “highly professional prosecutor.”

For three years in a row, the Onondaga establishment has prevailed upon the Republican-controlled State Senate to eliminate the budget for Mr. Andreoli’s 23-person staff.  To keep the office operating, Governor Carey has financed the special prosecutor through grants from the Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, making Mr. Andreoli the only assistant state attorney general with a staff paid entirely by the Federal Government.

Mr. Mulroy also filed suit in State Supreme Court in an effort to have the Governor’s executive order creating Mr. Andreoli’s office declared invalid.  When that was rejected by the state courts, Mr. Hennessy filed a similar action in Federal Court.  It was also unsuccessful.

Judge’s Comment Stirs Dispute

Some figures in the local criminal justice establishment have expressed hostility toward Mr. Andreoli.  One of them, Patrick J. Cunningham, a local County Court judge, noted in passing while sentencing a sex offender: “We need another sodomizer in Attica like we need another Peter Andreoli in Onondaga County.”

All people share the right and the responsibility to make the decisions that affect their lives together.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in Onondaga County, political corruption, Power, Powerlessness, Republican Party, Values and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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