Blog Entry

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 3:23 pm
By Matt Norlander

Looks like Tuesday is going to be a pretty big day in the Bernie Fine case up at Syracuse.

UPDATE: The State Supreme Court Justice postponed this case until next Tuesday.

The District Attorney's Office from Onondaga County wants the police reports and records that relate to anything doing with the sexual molestation allegations against Bernie Fine -- plus any other publicly undisclosed records relating to Fine and what would be considered relevant to this case.

William Fitzpatrick, the county D.A., obtained a subpoena Monday, "requiring the police to turn over the records from 2002 to the present for presentation to a grand jury today, he said," according to the Post-Standard.

Police Deputy Chief Shawn Broton, according to the Post-Standard, reacted to being subpoenaed "with an obscenity."

The police didn't immediately oblige. Interesting, right? The fact this battle has also been so public -- and that the DA has been on the record about quite a few things from the get-go -- is also surprising. Now the two sides will go to court Tuesday to determine if the D.A. Office has the right to see the records, or whether the Syracuse Police Department gets to keep things in house now that this case has become warm again.

Fitzpatrick said he has been asking for the records since Thursday and nothing has been provided. “I pleaded with people to turn over the records,” he said. “I don’t understand this. I’ve heard three different stories about what they have and don’t have.”

Earlier Monday, Mayor Stephanie Miner issued a press statement saying no information would be shared until police complete their investigation. “I directed Chief (Frank) Fowler to allocate as much time and as many resources necessary to conduct a thorough, professional and complete investigation into this case from 2002 to the present,” Miner said in her statement.

“. . . The Syracuse Police Department will not be releasing information about the investigation to the media or any other entity in a piecemeal fashion,” Miner said. filed a request for certain records relating to this case under the Freedom of Information Act last week. We have not heard back from the Syracuse Police Department yet.
Fitzpatrick is adamant this is going to go his way, and soon.

“The records are going to be provided,” he told the Post-Standard.

Photo: AP


Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

I'm guessing the Mayor is just trying to put the brakes on another Mike Nyfong (you remember, the Duke Lacrosse DA - now disbarred).  Fitzpatrick is starting to behave a lot like Nyfong, going to the press with something that should be between the PD and the DA.  Fortunately, the Judge is having none of it, sealing the procedings.  Seems to me Fitzpatrick is a little too zealous here.  Perhaps planning to use (abuse) this case to further his political career.  My recomendation to the DA's office, get someone else to handle the case if you really want it handled fairly.

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: November 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

This is a local political turf battle between the mayor, the police chief and the DA. It doesn't help that the DA is known locally as a grandstanding publicity hog. That he is talking about this case so much while it is a police investigation and attempting to make a power grab tells you loads about his priority, national publicity for himself. He is over stepping his bounds at this point. Unfortunately those not fimiliar with the local turf wars and cast of characters may conclude, "Ah, ha, someone is trying to cover something up." More likely, this is part of the ongoing bickering of local pols who have a real dislike for each other, mostly the mayor and th DA. 

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 2:14 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

And lastly nearly everyone has a meth parties in the family now so drugs and lifestyle are not a logical reason to doubt the accuser!

Nearly everyone has meth parties in the family? Volfan, don't judge the rest of the country by Appalachian standards.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: November 23, 2011 2:09 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

This is kind of funny.Happening to 2 Staunch Republicans Schools

Only Reed College rivals Syracuse University as perhaps the most liberal school in the country.
Also, I do not recall Syracuse ever having a Republican Mayor either! The area is ultra left wing until you get out in the surrounding country.

Since: May 9, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:09 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

I thought when this case was brought up back in 2002 the complainants named names of people who could verify their story. These people were contacted but did not agree with the complaintants version of events. Sounds like a power struggle to me between the DA and the Police. The version given by one of the guys who lodged the complaint was the police told him the statute of limitations had expired. Does anyone else find this situation coincidental given it is coming to the forefront at a very timely time via the Penn State scandal? Why wasnt this complaint pursued again before now? Gotta wonder. A man's reputation is at stake here. Supposedly the fight over the records release will be settled Tuesday. The police have requested delivery of these records be provided once their investigation is complete.

Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:26 pm

Local Politics

The Republican DA wants to lead the charge and grab the spotlight and say "look at me" I am leading this investigation.

The Democratic Mayor is saying, "not so fast bub, go screw yourself."

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:52 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

Just hand over the records, right?  They obviously have reports/complaints/investigations from previous complaints lodged against Fine, so hand them over.  They have nothing to do with your current investigation.  Stop being obstinant, realize how it looks, and hand them over.

Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:16 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

Fine isn't, wasn't head coach material.    If you saw the 3 games he coached when JB was recovering from surgery, Fine looked more nervous than when Dennis Hopper's character took over the team for a game in 'Hoosiers'.    I think Cuse was 0-3.

Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:35 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

Why is someone else's opinion uneducated? Is it because we are not fans of Syracuse University?
Perhaps he and Sandusky can start their own coaches clinic, they can call it...
"World Famous Assistant Coaches who for some reason NEVER received ANY offers to become head coaches and the programs that empowered them to molest"

In all seriousness, he is innocent until proven otherwise but I think we're going to find that he and Jerry used their positions within the schools to enhance their positions behind the student's bodies..I mean student body.

Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:48 pm

Police resist releasing documents in Fine case

Did CBS hire Mark Schwartz ovvernight and not tell anybody?    Nobody has take the 'Cuse to court.    The DA is having a peeing match with the City of Syracuse police.   The headline is dumb and misleading.    The DA is also dumb.    Let the police finish their investigation.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or