Because this information has always been of vital importance to the health, safety and welfare of our village, I believe the following must be as widely dispersed as possible. It has already been sent out on the CCC1 newsletter.
By now you have heard that Judge Nicolai has granted Metro Enviro a temporary stay. Given Mr. Nicolai's previous ruling in this affair, a ruling which was found to be erroneous by the high court, I am not surprised. Metro Enviro, having fought to keep their special permit--and having lost--is now claiming that they need no permit to operate in our village at all.
It's the kind of maneuver that is far too often the hallmark of an industry whose practices are seldom compatible with sound ethics and environmental law, but wholly compatible with maximum profit. Metro Enviro's record in this village makes that much clear, the comments of its few anonymous supporters notwithstanding.
Over the course of the last three days--with the promise of more to come---an unfolding criminal investigation involving federal authorities has been the subject of extensive press both here and in Connecticut. The investigation has centered around the carting industry, certain individuals, possible political corruption, etc. The Journal News, the News-Times, and the Hartford Courant have reported that warrants were executed to seize records at various waste and government facilities in Westchester, Putnam, and Connecticut.
A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor would only confirm that an investigation is underway, but refused to provide any details about it. The press has stated that among the companies being investigated are those owned by an individual that collectively make up one of the largest trash hauling concerns in the greater Danbury area--and which ship a substantial portion of their waste to our village--and then on to suffering landfill communities in Ohio. The FBI also had no comment and several of the agents involved appear to be from Connecticut, New York, and as far away as Virginia. Specifically, the Journal reported that agents from the New Haven office, assisted by agents in the New York division, carried out searches at the Putnam county executives office in Carmel, at Allied's Suburban Cartings offices in Mamaroneck and at another undisclosed Westchester location. Today both the press and the county confirmed that this other undisclosed Westchester location wa s the Allied facility in Mount Kisco. We do not know if Metro is next, although it will not be the first time the FBI has been there.
Since the Metro Enviro permit was issued in 1998, this village has struggled to protect itself from an industry that has been entrenched in this community for well over seventy-five years and to assert its right to self-governance. It has been the subject of reports by now Congressman Maurice Hinchey and the federal monitor Walter Mack from as far back as the 1980's to as recently as last year--perpetually linking it with the seedier aspects of the waste business. It is a reputation no community deserves. And those of us who love our village and its children needed no court decision to understand the threat that it poses to us all, although we got one.
I believe that Croton will inevitably prevail in this sorry affair, and I am grateful for the unwavering support of my neighbors. We have worked together despite the very real physical threats, the costs, and the occasional fear that comes from standing up against an industry like this one. We will continue to do so.
The temporary stay issued by Judge Nicolai is allegedly to August 5th.
Please keep the following quote from one of the articles foremost in your mind: "Records in New York and Connecticut show a complex web of connections among Galante, Milo and Allied Waste, the nation's second-largest garbage handler."
Several of us are maintaining ongoing contact with all appropriate law enforcement agencies. There will be more to come in the day ahead.
-- Maria Cudequest