Friday, June 14, 2013

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Public Safety Director Guerra Resigned Today Says RIOC Press Spokesperson

Received the following Statement From Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Press Spokesperson:

Please be advised that Keith Guerra has resigned from his position as Director of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department to pursue another job opportunity. His resignation is effective June 14, 2013. We have taken appropriate steps to ensure continuity of services at PSD.
UPDATE 12:25 PM - In response to my inquiry, RIOC President Charlene Indelicato adds:
For now, Deputy Director Renee Bryan will be in charge.
UPDATE 11:30 PM - Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Chair Erin Feely-Nahem provides the following statement:
Statement from the RIRA Public Safety Committee On the Resignation of Keith Guerra

"Without struggle, there is no progress." -- Frederick Douglass

The resignation of Keith Guerra as Director of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (PSD) is a major victory for the residents of our beautiful, multinational Island community. It is especially a victory for all opponents of police brutality and defenders of constitutional rights throughout New York City. It is the major first step towards a complete transformation of the top leadership of the PSD. The Roosevelt Island Residents Association Public Safety Committee (RIRA PSC) continues to press for the removal of those PSD officers who engaged in unprovoked violence against peaceful residents and visitors to our Island.

We commend the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board under new President Charlene Indelicato, and Commissioner Darryl Towns for overseeing this breakthrough. We appreciate greatly the support we received from our elected representatives, Micah Kellner, Jessica Lappin, and Jose Serrano. We further note the excellent comprehensive coverage of this issue in our Island media.

This victory is also a lesson on how to win. The RIRA PSC is proud of the campaign that we organized. We took the moral high ground. We investigated and documented our grievances. We were factual and educational. Our protest actions were legal and peaceful. We appealed to the public opinion of the community with reasoned arguments. Our public rallies were inspiring and educational and gave residents a voice, making it easier for others to step forward and share their experiences.

We can now, with a real spirit of community unity and optimism, move forward to forging a PSD we can be proud of, with a legitimate authority based on earned respect.
Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney adds:
Since the deeply upsetting incident during which Anthony Jones was critically injured in a confrontation with Public Safety Department officers, Roosevelt Island residents have repeatedly demanded new leadership. Everyone has a right to feel safe where they live, and for too long, many Roosevelt Islanders have not. I am confident that RIOC will select a Director who will restore a positive relationship between residents and the Public Safety Department.
Ben Kallos, a candidate to represent Roosevelt Island in the NYC Council adds:
Today's resignation of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director demonstrates that the concerted efforts of Roosevelt Islanders who bravely rallied, testified and spoke out to reform the Public Safety Department can achieve results. Residents no longer have to rely on empty political promises, instead taking action to better our community. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee led by Erin Feely Nahem, who had to make personal sacrifices and faced adversity for her tireless efforts. We eagerly await the results of the investigation into Public Safety Department by the Inspector General who can create an oversight board of resident to prevent future misconduct.
UPDATE 6/16 -According to Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Micah Kellner, John McManus, will be named interim Roosevelt Island Public Safety (PSD) Department Director for a 3 month period starting tomorrow. Mr. McManus will be given the job of cleaning up and fixing PSD's culture and transitioning PSD for the naming of a new permanent Director.

Mr. McManus is currently a Senior Consultant with Bresnan Risk Consultants and formerly a NYPD Assistant Chief. His bio at Bresnan Risk Consultants states:
John McManus brings twenty-six years of prior police management and supervisory experience in the NYPD, where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief before retiring to become the Director of Security at the World Trade Center/Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. In that capacity, he was responsible for all security operations and emergency planning during the initial rebuilding phase at Ground Zero.

While at the NYPD, Chief McManus served as Executive Officer to both the Chief of Department and the Internal Affairs Bureau. He also served as the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Operations Division which has responsibility for the planning of all major events in New York City including the NYC Marathon, New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the U.N. General Assembly, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and N.Y. Yankees World Series and the N.Y. Giants Super Bowl parades on Broadway. A recognized expert in special event security planning, Chief McManus was charged with the massive and complex planning and operational coordination of the Republican National Convention in 2004. The huge undertaking went off without a hitch, reinforcing New York City's reputation as the safest large city in America. He also served as the NYPD Coordinator/ Liaison to the Office of the Mayor for the NYC 2012 Olympic Bid....
I asked RIOC for comment yesterday but have received no response yet. Will update if more info received.

UPDATE 6/27 - 6/17 Press Release from RIOC:
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation today announced the appointment of John B. McManus as Interim Director, Public Safety Department (PSD). Mr. McManus began his new position today.

Mr. McManus has extensive public safety, security, and management experience. He served in various roles at the New York Police Department between 1994 - 2006, including Commanding Officer at three precincts, Commanding Officer for the Operations Division, and as Executive Officer to the Chief of Department where he assisted with personnel management, staff deployment, developing and monitoring operational budgets, and analyzing the effectiveness of departmental and operational plans and major new crime fighting initiatives. He began his career at the NYPD in 1979.

Mr. McManus most recently served as Director of Security for the Time Warner Center where he supervised 100 security guards. From 2007-2009, he served as the Director of Security for the World Trade Center where he managed 150 guards daily. In both positions he created and oversaw disaster-related plans including disaster response and evacuation plans.

Mr. McManus will serve as the Interim Director through a contract with Guidepost Solutions LLC, a global investigations and security company. RIOC is initiating a search for a permanent PSD Director. The position was previously held by Keith Guerra. Mr. Guerra resigned Friday to pursue another job opportunity.

“Maintaining safety for our 14,000 residents, our businesses and visitors is a top priority. I look forward to working with Mr. McManus who is an accomplished manager and a near 20-year security forces veteran,” said RIOC President Charlene Indelicato.


Frank Farance said...

Great: Gutless Girly-man Guerra, Gone for Good, but a Group of Goofballs Gotta Go. We shouldn't sing Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, because there is still much more work to do. For example, Bryan is in the same league as Bad as Guerra is, but Bryan is much less smarter than Guerra. And many of the problems don't get fixed because Guerra is gone.

So the Group of Goofballs that Gotta Go include Bryan, Suarez, Yee, Hernandez, and others. And speaking of Gutless, RIOC Board members Mike Shinozaki, Margie Smith, David Kraut, and Howard Polivy were just as wimpy in addressing the residents' and merchants' needs as well as their poor handling of their fiduciary responsibility to RIOC.

So be (a little) happy with an important success, and he happy that it was prompted by residents' complaints (we have some power), but remember there is still lots more work to do with Public Safety.

CheshireKitty said...

Thank God! Roosevelt Island: Free at last!

Century21 said...

Good luck Mr. Guerra. I know I'll be in the minority on this blog, but in the majority on the island - when I say, "You are a good man and will be missed by many."

Frannie Fran said...

ding,dong the witch is dead...

Steelers Nation said...

Lots of luck in your new endeavor.

Shabazz said...

I don't know about Girly-man but
So now Bryan is in charge. Is that good or bad?
What about that Youth Officer that doesn't do squat with the youth?
What about Erica Wilder? Some Community Relations person.
What about others at ROIC?
What about those Board Members you mentioned?
You think you could hammer all of 'em so they all decide to leave?

Bill Blass said...

It seems that the people in eastwood and 2 4 River rd are happy and the rest of the island are upset he is gone why

rilander said...

Once again you are lumping everyone who is not in Eastwood or 2/4 River Road together and against you. I'm in Rivercross and I'm glad to see him go, as are many of my neighbors. I hope he is followed by Yee. Those are both very dangerous men and do not understand this community and what we are about. They only exist, in my opinion, to drive a wedge between people and don't value what most of us care about and why we moved here, which is having a real community and a sense of what a real community is all about. They don't like kids and don't know how to deal with teens and youth without being confrontational. They think their reason for existence is to issue tickets and harass people. They are wannabe cops, or as my kids said when they were growing up, they got their badges as prizes in cracker jack boxes. By the way, Rene Bryan is not as bad as those two and at least you can talk to him, and in my experience he doesn't tell lies either.

rilander said...

One other thing: thank you Makeva Francis!

Frank Farance said...

Shabazz: Bryan is old-school no good, he has little management chops, but he is just a placeholder until a new director comes in. I've heard Guerra had no prior supervisory experience for patrol (which seems to match the kind of problems he/we had). A new director will come in, my money is on Cirabisi (present commander for 114 Precinct). I've heard he's been interested in the position since January, and some RIOC Board members have already met with him.

Once we have a new director, hopefully they'll get rid of Bryan and Suarez and replace them, possibly, with a single person.

The next person to get rid of is Hernandez, a really Bad Egg.

And if we're really picking other positions, here's my guesses for the RIOC board, which will be completely replaced (except for David Kraut):
- David Kraut will be kept, not because he does good stuff, but he has convinced people that his historical knowledge of RIOC is valuable.
- Charlene Indelcato, will become an Island resident, and the RIOC By-Laws permit her being President and Director. Some residents will be foaming at the mouth that she has filled one of the five resident board member positions.
- Larry Parnes, reasonable knowledge, a reasonable fit for RIOC.

- Cathy Dove, or some other Cornell person who lives on the Island.
- Bill Long, who has connections in one of the State agencies. Note: Although I've disagreed strongly with Mr. Long on many points, I think he'd make a good RIOC Director.
- Non-Resident Political Appointee #1: hopefully, someone who understands state financials.
- Non-Resident Political Appointee #2: hopefully, someone who understands operations.

A clean sweep keeping Kraut and taking one RIOC Nominee Election candidate (Parnes) so the Governor can say he didn't completely ignore us. The remaining RIOC elected nominees are problematic or unqualified.

Don Lewis will stay. And Steve Chironis will stay because he's a competent financials person who takes his accounting profession seriously. Erica Wilder, probably won't stay because Community Relations is a political position and a new team is arriving.

At that point, we'll have some fresh thinking and RIOC might realize, just like when the Outsourcing Lightbulb turns on in other companies: Hey, we (RIOC) can save lots of money outsourcing to NYPD, we get higher quality officers, we get the CCRB for free, PSD union problems go away, and we have a great solution that makes RIOC look like they're doing something competent. And we'll have Cirabisi (former NYPD) leading an organization of NYPD officers ... not bad, right?

Lastly, on the Girly-Man stuff, it had its intended effect: to make you think of Arnold and laugh out loud. However, my gripe about Guerra had a serious side: for someone who came into PSD with high ideals and a willingness to fire officers that didn't meet the standards, in the end he completely wimped out ... a complete disgrace with officers like Hernandez and Veras kept on for so long. Look at NYPD and how their Commissioner handles these kinds of things: at a distance, but represents the force and presents the facts, as reported to him by officers. Guerra held no such stature with the community. Initially, Guerra might have given that impression, but after the stories got out on what the real truth was, it was just Guerra blindly defending his officers, regardless of their misdeeds. As RIRA Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feely-Nahem said: there was never any acknowledgement by Guerra that his officers we even a tad wrong.

And over time, the PSD connection with Urban American evictions became a clearer pattern, which Guerra supported. In other words, the whole Public Safety picture became a lot more complex then just a bad arrest or two.

As per your request, I will continue to Hammer Away. :-)

Steelers Nation said...

Wow. You almost had me...but then you thanked Makeva Francis - so that just showed your true colors. I heard she wanted guerra gone because her sons kept getting arrested and she thought she was going to lose her section 8 apartment. Officer Dino told me they get arrested by NYPD too.

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Bill Blass said...

The main street wire will not have the story about guerra until two weeks from today in which it will be old news.this is just one of mañy reasons why it is no longer.needed. We just need the roosevelt islander for all the lastest news as its happending now
The wire is a rag
They need to get rid of it noe

Frank Farance said...

Disagree with part of RIRA PSC's statement: "We commend the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board under new President Charlene Indelicato, and Commissioner Darryl Towns for overseeing this breakthrough". That's pure political-speak make nice-nice baloney because the RIOC Board (who waited five months or five years, depends on how you count it) was terribly irresponsible, and Mr. Towns was uninvolved (really, ya think Mr. Towns was running the show while the RIOC Board (measurably) sat on their hands?).

The Lappin, Kellner, Serrano took a while, but were helpful. Indelicato and Guerra had the most influence: Indelicato didn't need the headache (Guerra had no upside, only a downside) and Guerra probably felt (with RI day and uniform opposition) that he should do something to help his officers.

Beginning of the End: Anthony Jones incident.

Middle of the End: Guerra threatens legal action against WIRE, RI Blog, and myself -- a huge display and projection of Guerra's weakness (as supported by RIOC itself).

End of the End: PSD work slowdown. This brought in a whole new demographic of people against Guerra's PSD.

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Up_Front said...

Frank, over the many years ... you have spoken for (some) of us who have no VOICE for fear of reprisals. While many assume that a tranquil atmosphere exists. Have lived here since 1984 it was a beautiful place ... alas, bad stuff happens to the best of us. In any event, thank you very much indeed. Have a pleasant day!

YetAnotherRIer said...

How am I not surprised?

Zoupa de Pesche said...

What a bunch of malarky.
I don't know who is more full of manuer, Erin Feely-Sharpton or the always vote-seeking politicians.
Dudes, the Director of Security left the building - not Elvis.

Cuba Libre said...

How dare you disagree with the RIRA PSC.
We're getting stuff done including getting our local kids jobs.
Get off the pipe, put your helmet on and get on the little yellow bus.

rimom said...

Erin F. brought dignity and force to

a situation that needed resolving, always took the high road. The above comments about Makeva are inane and juvenile. It is evident you know little of who she is as a mother,a member of this community or a friend. You both do realize that the way you slander her says a whole lot more about your character than hers.

Try to follow Erin's lead and show some class.

CheshireKitty said...

Pesche - and not Joe Pesci: It is a big deal for any cop to go following brutality complaints - and here, the Director of Public Safety was forced out! Here's the story about it from today's Post
entitled Roosevelt Island security chief quits amid lawsuits alleging officer brutality

CheshireKitty said...

"Overseeing the breakthrough" applies excellently to the catatonia displayed by the RIOC Board and Towns. Like assembled silent obelisks, month after month they watched the drama unfold at RIOC meetings.

Indelicato was the key player in finally getting a grip on the PSD situation - i.e. showing the door to Guerra. If anything, it's "charitable" to include RIOC Board and Towns in the same sentence as Indelicato. How the Board's performance (or lack thereof) the past five months with regard to the PSD fiasco will figure in Cuomo's decision-making process regarding Board member re-appointments remains to be seen.

I don't see that Guerra "fell on his sword" for the sake of his officers.. he never struck me as that kind of guy. Guerra was a vain, arrogant man - for him, when his world began collapsing (i.e. he lost community support when every Island media lined up against him, he lost RIOC support when new rules such as the force-escalation rule were imposed and cameras were mandated, finally he lost the support of politicians when Serrano, Kellner and Lappin came out against him) he saw the handwriting on the wall and began making plans to leave. How this will all play out vis-a-vis the lawsuits facing RIOC remains to be seen.

CheshireKitty said...

The Wire updated its website with the Guerra quitting story but there is sparse traffic to the website since most associate the Wire with the paper Wire. The Wire isn't perfect - but what is?

You have complaints about RI life, Bill? Run for RIRA Pres - then you get your own biweekly column in the Wire, and a chance to influence RI decision-making as well!

The last time there was a RIRA election, the Pres was elected by default since they ran unopposed. How is that possible on an island as contentious, or at least, home to as many interesting personalities and differing viewpoints as ours!

CheshireKitty said...

Hey Steelers - or are you the reincarnation of the former blog "fascist" George Prozakis?

Did you know that there's an unwritten policy to target minority youth with bogus arrests who reside in Eastwood units partially underwritten by Sec 8 vouchers as a way of removing the entire family from the unit? This policy explains many of the controversial PSD actions over the past five years.

UA is trying its damnedest to "elevate" the "tone" of Eastwood (so as to turn around and sell it for a gigantic profit before the real estate market collapses again).

You know what that means: Gentrify, gentrify, gentrify - even if you are getting the exact same rent from Sec 8 tenants as from market rate tenants, the market rate tenants (read: mostly white, but definitely more "elite" "educated" "tend to be in white-collar jobs") are preferred over Sec 8 tenants (read: mostly minority, "working-class" "may be disabled" "may be elderly" "powerless" "not many funds to hire lawyers").

PSD, under McManus, must sit down with Doryne and the Eisenbergs to read *them* the riot act: No-one must be targeted solely because of their color, socio-economic class, disability, age, and so forth! The PSD will not be an extension of the UA Legal Dept - fabricating arrests that the UA Legal Dept uses in Housing Court to evict these vicimized families. The State will not be the willing hand-maiden to the Eisenberg family's unending thirst for profit - New Yorkers have had enough. Leave Makeva and the hundreds of Eastwood families in her exact same situation alone, Mr. Eisenberg.

RI Dad said...

If you believe everything the NY Post writes, I have a Beige & Brown bridge close-by to sell you.

Happy Father's Day to my fellow island dads.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Of all things you quote the NYPost.

CheshireKitty said...

It's a huge win for the RI community no matter who reports on it! Indelicato is now the most popular woman on RI!

CheshireKitty said...

Yes, Happy Father's Day to all the dads. RI Dad: Believe it! Guerra is history - and we have Indelicato, correctly interpreting long-standing community dissatisfaction with him finally culminating in an explosion of activism in response to the Jones case, to thank for it!

Frannie Fran said...

I happen to know Makeva Francis and her boys. They are a very nice family and so are her children, whom are both in college and doing very well. Her boys does not have criminal records and her youngest son volunteers in our community.

Yes it's unfortunate that her son was harassed by PSD in the famous deli video and Urban American is trying to put her out of her apartment because of that case but she will get get big money when her law suit settles because PSD and Urban American are wrong.

You should not listen to gossip and repeat it, try getting to know people before spreading trash and then make up your mind...

Frank Farance said...

RI Dad: Could cite inaccuracies in the Post article?

YetAnotherRIer said...

You guys are funny.

Frank Farance said...

Cuba Libre: Could you explain "getting our local kids jobs" reference? With the RIOC summer jobs available, I'm curious about your insight.

LoveMeSomeRITram said...

Her sons are low-lives. They're also criminals. Both of them. The older one probably had a chance to turn out well at one time. The younger one will be a lifelong criminal though.

RooseveltIslander said...

Please stop the anonymous personal attacks.