Nassau affirmative action project
Box 2033 Point lookout ny 11569-2033
March 18, 2011
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Pat Dellatto 516-587-0527
Rally to hold Acting Sheriff Sposato Accountable//demand for corrections
center visitors’Review Board
Acting Sheriff michael sposato disobeys subpoenas //ordered to show cause at nassau county
Nassau County Community organizations rallyed at the Nassau County Supreme Court,
Friday, March 18th at 9:30am to hold Acting Sheriff Sposato accountable.
Mike Sposato who heads up the Nassau County Corrections Center has evaded numerous subpoenas on the advice of his General
Counsel Elizabeth Locosolo and the Nassau County Attorney’s Office. Acting Sheriff Michael Sposato is directed to show
cause at the Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola, Part 8, on March 18th, 2011, for his willful disobedience
of a subpoena which directed him to appear and testify under oath before the New York State Labor Board in an unemployment
complaint brought by Dr. Joseph Volker, former Nassau County Sheriff Department’s Affirmative Action Specialist.
Community organization representatives are to supporting Dr. Joseph Volker, who was wrongfully terminated last March
from his position as Special Assistant to the Sheriff in charge of the Department’s Affirmative Action Unit.
Dr. Volker insists that he was fired for doing his job. Community Human & Civil Rights organizations, African American
and Latino associations have taken up Dr. Volker’s cause to hold the Acting Sheriff and General Counsel accountable.
According to Pat Dellatto, a spokes person for
the Nassau Affirmative Action Project, supporting organizations are demanding that County Executive Edward Mangano re-activate
the Correction Center Visitors Review Board as specified in the Nassau County Charter.
Affirmative Action Specialist position was imposed on the Sheriff’s Department by a Federal Court decree in response
to a civil class action suit by the Sheriff Department Guardians in 1998. Dr. Volker over a two and a half year period documented
the adverse illegal actions of the Department’s General Counsel and the County Attorney’s Office in marginalizing
and nullifying the Federal Court’s Consent Decree and in interfering with and obstructing discrimination and bias complaints
by officers and civilian employees in the Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Sposato’s disregard of subpoenas has galvanized the effort to restore the Visitor’s Review Board,”
Dr. Volker said, “He is not above the Law. Whatever the General Counsel is telling him, just like every other government
official he is subject to the law!” Acting Sheriff Sposato, Dr. Volker’s direct supervisor until March of 2010
when he fired him, implemented retaliatory disciplinary charges that led to Dr. Volker’s termination.
The Nassau County Correctional Center Board of Visitors is cited in the December 2007 Nassau County Charter (see
# 2004). The last Board members were assigned under County Executive Gulatto. Under County Executive Suozzi the Board was
inactive. The purpose of this seven member committee is to oversee the Correctional Center. The Board’s broad powers
include the investigation of inmate grievances, access to the Correctional Center’s records and data, and the right
to develop and propose programs designed to improving inmate care, treatment, safety, rehabilitation, recreation, training
and education. Board members appointed by the County Executive must be confirmed by the County legislature, which provides
the opportunity for community participation and input.
The Sheriff Department Guardians has brought a class action
suit against the Sheriff’s Department’s non–compliance with the Federal Consent Decree establishing Dr.
Volker’s position. Acting Sheriff Sposato and General Counsel Loconsolo are directly responsible for the mismanagement,
malfeasance and negligence that characterize the Nassau County Correctional Center. They have usurped the authority of the
Deputy Sheriffs, Under sheriff and Commissioner having fired them or forced them to retire. There have been 4 recent suicides
over the past year among inmates. When direct lines to the Nassau County Human Rights Commission that inmates previously used
for complaints were discontinued. inmates had no recourse but to direct their complaints to a grievance officer who is currently
facing charges that he required sexual favors from the complainants.
Dr. Volker joins with those in the
community who are calling for the reactivation of the Nassau County Correctional Center Board of Visitors. “This is
not political,” Dr. Volker said, “Tom Suozzi, the former County Executive, a Democrat, totally ignored the need
for the Visitor’s Review Board”. County Executive Mangano seems to share the same lack of concern, he said. Other
priorities include initiating the Affirmative Action Goals and Objectives Dr. Volker recommended for the Sheriff’s
Department. “But time has convinced me we must go much further”, he said. “The responsibility and duty of
the person who holds the position of Sheriff calls for an experienced competent professional corrections administrator who
is not a politically appointee. The Nassau County Sheriff, as the highest law enforcement official needs to be responsible
to the people, he or she needs to be elected!”
According to Pat Dellatto the Review Board would go along way
in righting the wrongs that are so evident in the Department today. If nothing else its re-establishment would alert the Sheriff
and the County Attorneys that they too are accountable.
Nassau County Sheriff Department Guardians
Nassau County Civil Liberties Union
NAACP Freeport Chapter
Grand Council of Guardians
Circulo de la Hispanidad
County MLK, Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee
Pax Christi LBI
Inmate Advocacy Group
Long Island Juvenile
Correction & Prison Fellowship