Thursday, December 19, 2013

Innocent Victims . . .

$2 Million settlement reached in Longo lawsuit
A $2 million settlement has been reached to resolve the wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Utica stemming from police Investigator Joseph Longo's murder of his wife in 2009. . . .

The lawsuit stems from Longo's killing of his wife, Kristin Palumbo-Longo, before he stabbed himself to death Sept. 28, 2009, inside their Deerfield home on Cosby Manor Road.
Mr. Longo's actions left his 4 children motherless, fatherless, and without a means of support. This is a real tragedy. One's heart cannot help but to go out to the innocent victims, the children.

But now the Taxpayers of the City of Utica are somehow on the hook for $2 Million. That's over $30 for each resident, over $100 for each family.  How did this happen?   What did UPD do wrong?  UPD took Inv. Longo's guns. . . . UPD confined him to a desk job . . . UPD insisted on counseling . . . But the Longo family insists that UPD did "not do everything it could."  But what more could UPD have been done? What more was UPD obliged to do?

The article speaks of cronyism . . . but that's nothing new . . . or unusual in any government agency. How did cronyism cause these deaths?

The article suggests that UPD could have done an internal investigation regarding allegations of officer-involved domestic violence . . . But what would have been the outcome? How would that prevent what happened?

The article suggests a "fitness-for-duty psychiatric evaluation" . . . But how would that have changed things?  Assuming that Mr. Longo was unfit for duty, what would have been the result?  Discharge from his job?  How would that have helped the marital maelstrom seemingly at the center of this sad story?

Somehow the UPD is the target of the suit.  But the UPD was merely Mr. Longo's employer.  The crime occurred in Deerfield.  UPD has no jurisdiction in Deerfield.  Other police agencies cover Deerfield.  If someone feels that he or she is in danger from another person, and no satisfaction is obtained from the other person's employer, should not he or she have taken other measures of self-protection?

When does the Taxpayer become responsible for the criminal acts of another person?  

Perhaps the Mayor is right to have settled this suit.  With four innocent children, who knows what the outcome of a trial would have been.  The damages could potentially be a lot higher.  But does that not say something troubling about our legal system?

Utica Taxpayers did not cause the Palumbo-Longo dischord.  Utica Taxpayers did not cause Mr. Longo's mental state.  Utica Taxpayers did not give Mr. Longo the knife.  And Utica Taxpayers did not commit the stabbing.  But Utica Taxpayers are now forced to pay for this crime.

Evil created innocent victims here: The four children . . . And the Taxpayers of the City of Utica.  


Becky Wittman said...

I believe the children are entitled to every penny. I also believe it should be paid by LaBella, and Roefaro for making him chief. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

A can of worms has just been opened , this is the opening act.

Anonymous said...

so if they got the fitness eval then fired him , that would have only served for longo to have killed her sooner perhaps...but her money grubbing sister would still look to have the city held liable. joe and Kristen together created this mess she tortured him as much as he her should she have been killed no, but she is certainly complicit in her own death

Strikeslip said...

Anonymous 8:38: With four children to be raised, your characterization of seeking money may be harsh. . . But with what has been published, it is hard to see where city taxpayers could be held liable. As far as complicity, the real dynamics would be speculation.

I know that if I felt threatened and did not get satisfaction from the UPD, I would have gone elsewhere such as engaging the police responsible for covering Deerfield... I have not see any reports on whether or not an attempt at that was made.

Generally speaking, people do have a certain responsibility for self-protection, orders of protection or no. Avoid situations and places (perhaps even your own home) . . . get a gun or training in self-protection. It may be unfair, but the government cannot be counted upon to be in all places at all times. . . . and should not be responsible for not doing so.

Unknown said...

strike im a retired leo and a current firearms trainer,the supreme court has ruled in 4 separate times since 1849 that police are only responsible for investigation of crimes and apprehension of criminals in order to protect the public at large,,they are not liable for protecting individuals even in light of an order of protections I can refer you to resources if need be and this should have been the cities defense I think thr family and friends plan kicked in inorder to keep labella from paying anything /// and how far can an employer go if joe were to be fired she would lose the alimony child support and house payments she was awarded by the couts on the day she was killed she would also not be entitled tohalf of his pension...the real culprit here is divorce and family court

Anonymous said...

Apparently, you're more worried about a lousy $30.00 than you are in seeking justice for the innocent victims.

As far as I'm concerned the city settled the case in part to cover the behind of LaBella who failed in his duty to protect Mrs. Longo. Apparently you choose to ignore the opinion of the judge who basically agreed with the plaintiff's attorney in regards to Labella's culpability.

Strikeslip said...

Thank you, Mr. Perritano, for your informative post.

Anonymous 603 - no judge found Mr. Labella culpable.

I understand the fingerpointing at Mr. Labella by several commenters given the circumstances of his appointment which upset many - - - But, really, what exactly did he fail to do that would have prevented this tragedy? He seems to have become a convenient scapegoat because some people have an ax to grind with him, there is a visceral need for "justice," and no one else is around to nail. That's mob rule!

The responsible party is dead. Period.

Unknown said...

the "victims" were created by their parents not the police department not mr labella and certainly not the tax payers of the city of utica

Anonymous said...

Will not the city's insurance pay for the settlement? In this sense, the taxpayer is only on the line fpr the cost of insurance. Please clarify.

Strikeslip said...

Utica, like many other municipalities, is self-insured, meaning the cost of the settlement will fall on the taxpayers. My understanding from news accounts is that the city will bond for this -- meaning that interest will be added to the $2 million.

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