Guards' Mailer Generates Apology to Senator
he state corrections officers union has apologized to Sen. Michael Nozzolio for information in a flyer that gave the impression he may not understand the repercussions of closing the Butler Minimum Security prison.
New York State Corrections Officers and Police Benevolent Association mailed literature to residents of Nozzolio’s district last week, imploring them to inform the senator it was critical to public safety to stop the closure here, as well as at several other annexes and work camps throughout upstate New York.
The postage-paid cards, which residents were asked to mail back to NYSCOBPA who would then share them with Nozzolio, contained a pre-printed message that was construed by some to indicate Nozzolio favored the consolidation.
In fact, Nozzolio, the former chairman of the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, has been adamantly opposed to Gov. David Paterson’s prison consolidation plan as a cost-cutting measure. He warned Paterson before the 2009-10 budget was adopted that closing the facilities would put the safety of corrections officers and inmates in danger and jeopardize the rehabilitation process.
Given his position, it was somewhat of a surprise to Nozzolio to hear about the NYSCOPBA mailing. Instead of asking his constituents to convince him of something he already supports, the grassroots support might have been better directed at Paterson, Nozzolio indicated.
After several residents of his district inquired about the NYSCOBA literature, Nozzolio called union president Donn Rowe.
Rowe said he apologized to Nozzolio; noting that union has always worked closely with Nozzolio and has a good relationship with him.
The union sent out mailers in senate districts throughout the state that would be affected by the closures, but weren’t geared toward specific areas, Rowe said. Except for changing the name of the elected officials, the mailers were identical and did not differentiate between representatives who favored the closures, and others, like Nozzolio, who opposed them.Louise Hoffman Broach | Wayuga Editor
Tuesday, May 26 2009