Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Words About the Commissioner at the Council

In today's Register-Star, there's an article by Roger Hannigan Gilson about the response to Gary Graziano's resignation as police commissioner: "Graziano's resignation greeted by mixed emotions." Had Gilson been at the Common Council meeting last night, he might have added a few more reactions.

At the beginning of the meeting, Council president Claudia DeStefano made a statement in which she thanked Gary Graziano for his service as police commissioner. She went on to summarize his years of serving as police commissioner, during several different administrations, and concluded, "Gary has been an asset to the City of Hudson and has won the respect of the men and women of the Hudson Police Department and of the community."

At the end of the meeting, Alderman Henry Haddad (Third Ward), who chairs the Police Committee, expressed his disappointment in the way Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton had handled the situation. Haddad acknowledged that Graziano's comment in an HPD press release had been inappropriate but called the mayor's action "erratic and foolish" and suggested that it was also "calculated to some degree" because soon after accepting Graziano's resignation, Hamilton appointed a new commissioner. He went on to say that he had "lost a little bit of faith in her ability to conduct business" because she had chosen to "throw away a lifetime of institutional memory." He asked rhetorically "Where is the standard of judging?" and made reference to the budget mismanagement in the Youth Department, which has not brought about any requests for resignations.  

Haddad's allusion to the Youth Department and its financial woes provoked audience member Nick Zachos to protest, "Why are you always trashing the Youth Department? The Common Council treats the Youth Department with no respect." Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) responded to Zachos: "If you think we are disrespecting them, we are. They do not deserve our respect. Respect is earned. Trust was invested, money was invested, and the trust and money were squandered."

When the squabble about the Youth Department subsided, Don Moore, former Common Council president and now Third Ward supervisor, rose from the audience to speak of Graziano, whom he called "one of the most honorable and hardworking police commissioners the City has ever had." He described Graziano and Tim Hutchings, the Fire Commissioner, as "two commissioners who have defined how well commissioners can function in these jobs."


  1. When is the US Congress hypercritical of presidential appointments which don't involve Congressional participation? Anyone with common sense would ask, don't they have enough to do? Also, don't they all live in glass houses?

    Consequently, despite the usual grumbling, such appointments are accepted as the privilege of the executive office.

    Advice to Common Council members: respect the office. In turn, you will help earn residents' respect for the council.

  2. I'm sure that Mr. Graziano is a fine man, and skilled at his job, but he chose to resign rather than apologize for his comment. Sometimes it is not appropriate to say what you think, particularly if a legal process is in progress. Just my opinion. It is very unfortunate about what happened.

    1. You mean a legal process like a grand jury investigation. True, indictments can be tossed out when a jury's neutrality is in question.

    2. Grand jury, and then if indicted, the trial jury (with perhaps a motion to change venue being in play due to prejudicing the jury pool, to a place outside the Registar-Star media market). And the refusal to apologize suggests that perhaps such behavior might be repeated. So it is something to take seriously in my opinion.