Abrams Seeks to Halt Child-Abuse Prevention Group Whose Memb

For those absolutely devoid of scruples, charity fraud is the field par excellance, in which you can simultaneously harvest kudos for your humanitarianism and make off with vast bundles of untaxed cash. Convictions for charity fraud are so rare as to be nonexistent, so any criminals operating in other fields of endeavor are incurring unnecessary risks.

Abrams Seeks to Halt Child-Abuse Prevention Group Whose Memb

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:53 am

Abrams Seeks to Halt Child-Abuse Prevention Group Whose Members Are Armed
By David W. Dunlap

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Published: August 31, 1987

Charging that the Sullivan County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is a ''sham'' whose only purpose is to make it easy for members to carry guns, the New York State Attorney General said yesterday that his office had filed a lawsuit to dissolve the group.

"Nicky Guido's resolve to stay away from New York proved to be transitory. Drawn to crime like a moth to a flame, Guido came back to Brooklyn and got involved in a huge cocaine distribution network. The outfit he attached himself to was importing thousands of tons of coke from Colombia. The mafia end in New York City was run by the Genoveses and Lucheses. Four tons were seized in a container ship traveling between Honduras and the Everglades. The container was filled with wooden patio furniture and cocaine. It was the largest cocaine bust ever at the time. The operation used a civilian police administrative assistant in the 60th Precinct in Brooklyn as its own inside source -- a pale version of Casso's insiders. Guido was carrying a concealed handgun at the time of his arrest. He claimed he was able to legally carry a pistol because he was a member of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children of Sullivan County -- a mob front designed to let gangsters carry guns."

-- The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia, by Guy Lawson & William Oldham


The Attorney General, Robert Abrams, compared the Sullivan County group with the Richmond County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which was dissolved by court order last May.

''Some 60 people did nothing relating to abused children,'' Mr. Abrams said about the Staten Island group. ''They merely joined the S.P.C.C. to be able to carry guns and bypass the requirement of applying for a gun license.'' Targeting Shams

''We're now about to clamp down on another one in Sullivan County,'' Mr. Abrams said. ''We feel it's very important to snuff this out.''

Mr. Abrams made his remarks on the WABC-TV program ''Eyewitness News Conference.''

A telephone call yesterday to the office of the Sullivan County society, in Monticello, was picked up by a woman who said she worked for an answering service and could not provide any further information.

Mr. Abrams said his office was investigating another such group, which he declined to name.

The Legislature authorized the establishment of societies for the prevention of cruelty to children in 1875, before there were government agencies to investigate and prevent child abuse.

The private societies are allowed by state law to confer peace officer status on their members, who might face dangerous situations. This allows the members to obtain and carry firearms without going through the normal permit process, including checks for fingerprints and criminal records.

''Some of these chapters do important work,'' Mr. Abrams said. ''There are 18 entities in New York State. We're now trying to separate the real ones from the ones that are nothing more than sham front operations.'' Inquiry Into One Case

The lawsuit was filed in State Supreme Court in Sullivan County and seeks to dissolve the society, to prevent its president, identified as Louis Ferrara, from granting peace officer status, and to bar members from carrying guns solely on the basis of their membership.

Besides Mr. Ferrara, who is identified as a Brooklyn resident, the suit names 11 other defendants. Six of them live in Brooklyn and the others live in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Glen Cove, L.I., and Central Islip, L.I.

The Sullivan County group was incorporated in 1982 and did not have an office until July 1985, according to the Attorney General's office. It has no administrative or professional staff in the county, the Attorney General's office said, and has received ''no gifts, grants or funding from any foundation, corporation or public agency.''

The society investigated only one complaint of child abuse in the last five years, the Attorney General said.

Earlier this month, Mr. Abrams said, Governor Cuomo signed a law, effective Nov. 1, that requires members of these societies to obtain appropriate licenses before they are allowed to carry handguns.
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Re: Abrams Seeks to Halt Child-Abuse Prevention Group Whose

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:06 am

STATE WILL SUE CHILD-PROTECTION ORGANIZATION

Monday, November 23, 1987
The Gazette

Image

New York (AP) -- The state attorney general's office said yesterday that a suit would be filed against a Westchester County child-protection organization amid reports that its leader has exceeded his authority as a gun-carrying peace officer.

Attorney General Robert Abrams, accompanied by Westchester County District Attorney Carl Vergari, planned to announce today the suit against the Westchester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

According to an announcement yesterday from Abrams' office, the suit alleges that the society's agents "operate as a private secret police force and are accountable to no one."

"We will be looking to strip them of their power," said Lanie Accles, a spokesman for Abrams.

A report in yesterday's Daily News said officials, suspected the society's head, Kenneth Ellman, has mistreated drug-selling suspects.

"Basically, he has over the last several suspects.

"Basically, he has over the last several years grossly exceeded his authority," Vergari told the newspaper. "He's done things that, if a regular police officer did, he'd be fired on the spot."

Ellman acknowledged he had held some suspects overnight.

"Our contention is that when we make an arrest, we should hold that person until a judge is available," said Ellman, who called himself the group's chief detective and child protective officer.

"Is there something wrong with arresting people who sell drugs to kids or beat their children?" he asked.

There are 17 private societies for the prevention of cruelty to children, or SPCCs, in the state. Under an 1875 law, society members may be designated peace officers, giving them many police powers and allowing them to carry handguns without a permit.

"They were originally created about a hundred years ago to handle cases of child abuse and neglect, more or less before social service agencies were in effect," Accles said.

Laws concerning SPCC were recently toughened. As of Nov. 1, society members must obtain permits to carry handguns.

Last Thursday, three men who said they were members of the Sullivan County SPCC were arrested and charged with participating in a mob-run cocaine ring. Authorities said the men used the organization as a front so they could carry firearms.

Ralph Abbondanza, a spokesman for the state Council of SPCC, said there was no official Sullivan County society.

The state sued the Sullivan County group this summer, calling it a "sham" that did nothing for the welfare of children, Accles said. The case is in the courts, she said.

Early this year, the state shut down the Staten Island SPCC. "They weren't doing anything for children," Accless said.

The New York County SPCC, created in 1875, has 15 peace officers, who have been barred from carrying guns for more than 25 years.

"It does not interfere with our ability as officers," said Anne Reiniger, the group's executive director. "When we feel there is a need, we enlist the assistance of the police."
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Re: Abrams Seeks to Halt Child-Abuse Prevention Group Whose

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:20 am

STATE ATTY GEN CALLS COUNTY CHILD PROTECTION GROUP VIGILANTES
MARLENE AIG , Associated Press
Nov. 23, 1987 1:20 PM ET

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) _ The state filed suit Monday to abolish the Westchester County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, claiming it operated as an armed secret police force accountable to ''absolutely no one.''

''They're a bunch of vigilantes running rampant and loose, creating havoc with the social services and criminal justice system of this county,'' Attorney General Robert Abrams said at a news conference.

Abrams alleged that agents inappropriately brandished weapons, made arrests and handcuffed and detained suspects for lengthy periods of time.

The suit seeks to permanently dissolve the agency; to bar its director, Ken Ellman of Yonkers, from serving as the director of any SPCC; and to require Ellman and all other agents to surrender handguns and credentials to a law enforcement agency.

Abrams said his office has just begun to focus on the state's 17 private SPCCs, which were chartered in 1875 and given limited enforcement power to combat child abuse. Members may be designated peace officers, which gave them the right to carry guns without permits until that right was revoked Nov. 1 by new legislation.

Abrams said his office investigated the Westchester organization after receiving complaints that its members used dangerous and abusive techniques during warrantless arrests and detainments, endangered the welfare of minors, made arrests bearing no apparent relationship to child protection, lied to the Westchester district attorney's office and built an arsenal of handguns ''far more powerful than those used by most police departments.''

The suit cited 20 handguns registered in the name of the organization or one of its members, including five 9mm automatic pistols and five .357-caliber Magnums.

Much of the information came from Westchester County District Attorney Carl Vergari, whose office severed relationship with the SPCC last March after receiving a compilation of questionable activities.

Vergari said his office tried for years to work with Ellman and urged him to process arrests through police departments.

Abrams' suit alleged that the organization shackled suspects to chairs overnight and cited a case in which its agents pointed handguns at a 16-year- old boy and allegedly handcuffed him to a chair for 14 hours in its Yonkers office.

The youth was denied the right to make a phone call and his family filed a missing person's report, Abrams said.

Other illegal arrests and detainments also were alleged in the suit.

The suit also charged that the Westchester County group routinely represented itself as a bona fide police department.

Ellman has called allegations against him a ''personal vendetta'' by Paul Scharf, the assistant district attorney in charge of the Yonkers bureau.

''He'd rather let a rapist go than prosecute a guy arrested by us,'' Ellman said.

He has acknowledged he had held some suspects overnight.

''Our contention is that when we make an arrest, we should hold that person until a judge is available,'' said Ellman, who called himself the group's chief detective and child protective officer.

''Is there something wrong with arresting people who sell drugs to kids or beat their children?'' he asked.

Last Thursday, three men who said they were members of the Sullivan County SPCC were arrested and charged with participating in a mob-run cocaine ring. Authorities said the men used the organization as a front so they could carry firearms.

The state sued the Sullivan County group this summer, calling it a ''sham'' that did nothing for the welfare of children, Abrams said.

Early this year, the state closed the Staten Island SPCC.
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