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Sunday, January 20, 2008

[NY] DV? Sofia refuses to testify against Police Union President Tancredi

... HE [TANCREDI] IS A PLAINTIFF IN FOUR FEDERAL LAWSUITS AGAINST HARRISON POLICE, AND A DEFENDANT IN THREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES INVOLVING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND... TANCREDI ACKNOWLEDGED STOPPING SAENZ IN HER CAR, SMASHING HER WINDSHIELD, THROWING HER INTO HIS CRUISER AND HANDCUFFING HER...

Lawyer: Ex-girlfriend of Harrison cop won't testify against him
The Journal News / Lohud.com, NY (Westchester County, NY)
Rebecca Baker
January 18, 2008
The key witness in the domestic violence trial against former Harrison police union President Ralph Tancredi will not testify against the officer, her lawyer said yesterday. The witness, Tancredi's ex-girlfriend, will invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if forced to take the stand, Jonathan Lovett said. As a result, Lovett - who also is representing Tancredi - and police union attorney Gustavo Vilo want the Westchester County District Attorney's Office to drop all charges against Tancredi. Tancredi appeared in state Supreme Court in White Plains yesterday on criminal charges that he harassed and menaced his ex-girlfriend, Sofia Saenz, and her new boyfriend last year. Justice Sam Walker consolidated all charges against Tancredi into one case, allowing Lovett and Vilo to work together in his defense... Saenz has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming she was coerced to file an order of protection against Tancredi by Barbara Egenhauser, the chief of the District Attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau, and Harrison police...

EXCERPTS FROM OLDER ARTICLES:

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE SUCCESSFULLY ARGUED THAT SOFIA SAENZ WAS AFRAID OF TANCREDI... HE [TANCREDI] IS A PLAINTIFF IN FOUR FEDERAL LAWSUITS AGAINST HARRISON POLICE, AND A DEFENDANT IN THREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES INVOLVING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND... [THE] CHARGE OF CRIMINAL CONTEMPT EMANATES FROM TANCREDI'S ALLEGED VIOLATION OF A TEMPORARY ORDER OF PROTECTION ISSUED IN THE HARASSMENT CASE REQUIRING HIM TO STAY AWAY FROM AND NOT COMMUNICATE WITH [EX-GIRLFRIEND SOFIA] SAENZ. COURT PAPERS INDICATE THAT HE HAD HIS MOTHER CALL SAENZ SEVERAL TIMES IN AUGUST ASKING HER NOT TO SEEK AN ORDER OF PROTECTION AND THAT HE SENT HER FOUR TEXT MESSAGES. THE OTHER CHARGES LEVELED FRIDAY - THIRD-DEGREE MENACING AND PETTY LARCENY, MISDEMEANORS, AND SECOND-DEGREE HARASSMENT, A VIOLATION - STEM FROM A JUNE 15 INCIDENT... TANCREDI IS ACCUSED OF PHYSICALLY MENACING SAENZ AS SHE WAS GOING OUT ON A DATE WITH ANOTHER MAN... AFTER BEING PROCESSED, HE WAS RELEASED WITHOUT BAIL... SAENZ HAS FILED A FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT, CLAIMING SHE WAS COERCED TO FILE AN ORDER OF PROTECTION AGAINST TANCREDI.. [IN 2005] TANCREDI ACKNOWLEDGED STOPPING SAENZ IN HER CAR, SMASHING HER WINDSHIELD, THROWING HER INTO HIS CRUISER AND HANDCUFFING HER...

Excerpt Sources:
  • Harrison PBA president charged with harassment, Lohud.com, Leslie Korngold, August 11, 2007.
  • Harrison police officer pleads not guilty in bar incident, The Journal News, Leslie Korngold, August 18, 2007.
  • Restraining order issued against Harrison PBA president, Lohud.com, Leslie Korngold, August 25, 2007.
  • Embattled Harrison police officer gets union lawyer's help, Lohud.com, Leslie Korngold, September 11, 2007.
  • Ex-girlfriend of Harrison cop says prosecutor forced her to file protective order, Lohud.com, Rebecca Baker, December 7, 2007.
  • 2007 a year of lawsuits for Harrison police, Lohud.com, Rebecca Baker, December 29, 2007.

3 comments:

  1. 2007 a year of lawsuits for Harrison police
    The Journal News / Lohud.com, NY
    Rebecca Baker
    December 29, 2007

    In the Harrison Police Department, 2007 may be remembered as the Year of Tancredi.

    Officer Ralph Tancredi has given police brass and town officials a yearlong headache with his legal battles, both in and out of the department. He is a plaintiff in four federal lawsuits against Harrison police, and a defendant in three domestic-violence cases involving his ex-girlfriend.

    Police Chief David Hall said Tancredi's lawsuits and other legal problems have hurt the department by creating tension among groups of officers.

    Tancredi, who was suspended in July, became a Harrison police officer 10 years ago this month.

    The year of legal fights began in February, when Tancredi joined three other officers in suing Hall, Capt. Anthony Marraccini and the town of Harrison in federal court. The officers accused the top officers of secretly planting a video camera inside the men's locker room at police headquarters, then retaliating against union members who demanded an investigation.

    A second federal suit came in April, when Tancredi and nine other officers sued Hall, police Lt. Lawrence Marshall and the town for banning discussion of an investigation into how the chief handled a $2,500 donation. Hall was never charged, but a federal judge refused to dismiss the case.

    Tancredi found himself on the other side of the law following accusations that he physically menaced his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Sofia Saenz, as she was about to go on a date with another man.

    While on Woodside Avenue on June 15, Tancredi was accused of stealing the keys to a car registered to him but which Saenz used, and taking her cell phone. Legal papers allege he fought with her, pulled her top down and drove off, leaving her stranded. He was charged with menacing, petty larceny and harassment.

    Tancredi was charged with harassment again after a confrontation with Saenz's current boyfriend over Tancredi's persistent attempts to talk to her as she left Annie's Cafe on Aug. 8, authorities say. He is accused of slapping the 26-year-old Mamaroneck man on the arm.

    Tancredi alleges the man came after him with a bat, and that the charges against him for the slap were a direct retaliation for union activities, including the federal lawsuits. He filed another federal civil-rights suit against the Police Department, accusing them of coercion and false imprisonment.

    Around that time, Tancredi was charged with criminal contempt, accused of violating a court order not to communicate with Saenz in any way. Court papers allege that Tancredi had his mother call Saenz several times in August asking her not to seek an order of protection and that he sent her four text messages.

    Tancredi went on the offensive again in October, when he and eight other officers sued Hall, a police sergeant and three police commissioners for allegedly recording conversations at the police desk. Mark Reinharz, the lawyer representing Harrison police in federal court, said no one was intentionally recorded and that a loud noise would turn on the microphone. He said the recording devise has since been fixed.

    Adding to Harrison police's legal woes, Saenz recently filed a federal lawsuit against the department and Barbara Egenhauser, the chief of the District Attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau, alleging they pressured his ex-girlfriend into filing an order of protection against Tancredi.

    Reinharz described all of the federal lawsuits against the department as "total nonsense." But Tancredi's attorney, Jonathan Lovett, chastised the town for having a "bunker mentality" and said the department's legal problems may be just beginning.

    "I have no doubt there will be more lawsuits," he said.

    Tancredi will be back in court on Jan. 17. State Supreme Court Justice Sam Walker is considering a request by prosecutors to consolidate Tancredi's criminal cases.

    Reach Rebecca Baker at rebaker@lohud.com or 914-694-5064.





    Lawyer: Ex-girlfriend of Harrison cop won't testify against him
    The Journal News / Lohud.com, NY (Westchester County, NY)
    Rebecca Baker
    January 18, 2008

    The key witness in the domestic violence trial against former Harrison police union President Ralph Tancredi will not testify against the officer, her lawyer said yesterday. The witness, Tancredi's ex-girlfriend, will invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination if forced to take the stand, Jonathan Lovett said.

    As a result, Lovett - who also is representing Tancredi - and police union attorney Gustavo Vilo want the Westchester County District Attorney's Office to drop all charges against Tancredi.

    Tancredi appeared in state Supreme Court in White Plains yesterday on criminal charges that he harassed and menaced his ex-girlfriend, Sofia Saenz, and her new boyfriend last year.

    Justice Sam Walker consolidated all charges against Tancredi into one case, allowing Lovett and Vilo to work together in his defense.

    Walker will hear the district attorney's application to give Saenz a court-appointed attorney on Feb. 25. But since she won't testify, Vilo said, the request is unnecessary.

    "Now we have to waste taxpayer's money, and for what?" he said.

    Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Westchester District Attorney's Office, declined to comment, citing the open nature of the case.

    Saenz has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming she was coerced to file an order of protection against Tancredi by Barbara Egenhauser, the chief of the District Attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau, and Harrison police .

    Tancredi's alleged transgressions grow out of his tumultuous relationship with the 25-year-old Saenz. Egenhauser has characterized Saenz as the sole witness who is the core of the case.

    Lovett has claimed that the charges against Tancredi for slapping a man on the arm who is alleged to have come at him with a bat in July were a direct retaliation for union activities, including a federal lawsuit filed by Tancredi and nine other officers against Harrison Police Chief David Hall.

    Tancredi also has been charged with criminal contempt; he's accused of violating a temporary order of protection requiring him to stay away from Saenz and not communicate with her in any way. Court papers indicate that he had his mother call Saenz several times in August asking her not to seek an order of protection and that he sent her four text messages.

    Reach Rebecca Baker at rebaker@lohud.com or 914-694-5064.

    http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080118/NEWS02/801180354/1018/NEWS02

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    Dilauria V Town Of Harison.still in the courts

    ReplyDelete
  3. "[NY] Without Sofia's testimony Harrison Police Officer Ralph Tancredi walks"
    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2008/05/ny-without-sofias-testimony-harrison.html

    ReplyDelete

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