Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen — “Complicit Or Just An Idiot”? You Decide.

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Stephen Ames Berry

“Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken under color of state law.”  United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326

Herkimer police officer Jason Crippen, again! Suddenly he’s in our driveway and faces, hectoring and lying and rude. Summoned, per Herkimer normal, by yet another thug playing the victim. This time it’s our latest neighboring drug trafficker, Kim Vargas. We’ve written a lot about her harassment and trafficking. She’s a peach.

“I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.”

We’ve been subjected to Crippen’s abuse of power multiple times over the last six years. In all instances, Crippen has malfeasantly supported our criminal neighbors, using his office to intimidate us and deny us the protection of law.  It’s obvious when you speak with him that Crippen’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. As I said to a state police investigator when he raised the subject of Crippen’s conduct, “I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.” There’s enough material in this post for you to decide for yourself. Certainly, the performance Crippen puts on here would discourage anyone but a criminal from calling the Herkimer police.

Here’s his pattern: Crippen responds to a 911 complaint from one of our trafficking gang neighbors. He advises us that their accusations are valid, that we’re in violation of criminal law, and threatens us with arrest. He either ignores anything the complaining thugs have done to us or says their actions aren’t subject to criminal law.

On one occasion, Crippen refused to accept a complaint from us while he was manning the desk at the Herkimer police station.  The complaint was carefully written and supported by video evidence. (See below,  “Another Crippen Encounter”.)

This most recent incident on 6/16/22 is classic Crippen. The video should be used in police training classes as an example of intimidation under the color of law.

Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch.
Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch. Small children come and go. Vargas says she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.

Our Latest Thuggish Neighbors, the Kim Vargases

Kim Vargas has lived next door at 328 Pleasant Avenue for two years–the Doolen gang’s most recent placeholder. Afternoons she holds court on her front porch, along with her supposed brother-in-law, a heavy-set, low-browed antisemite.  The two chain-smoke the day away. A bong is sometimes shared. In the afternoon small children come and go–Vargas’s latest lie is that she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.

The porch people’s chain-smoking quickly fills their porch ashtray. In the morning, we often find cigarette butts heaped in our driveway, next to Vargas’s patch of paradise.

The Right Response To Outrageous Behavior Is Outrage

On June 16th, wife Linda had had enough of the butts and spoke to Vargas firmly, in words typically used by Vargas, to drive home her point. Vargas, horrified by the foul language coming from our driveway, called 911, falsely stating that she was a licensed daycare provider and that children were in danger. Vargas is not a licensed daycare provider. You can cuss in your driveway all you want.

“Crippen…stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation of the law

Children in danger, Officer Jason Crippen immediately responded, followed shortly by two other Herkimer PD officers, seemingly as adult supervision. (The sight of Crippen armed with pistol and taser is as worrying as the sight of Vargas caring for children.)

6.16.22 Hekrimer police officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their driveway as Kaidan challenges him to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses6.16.22 Herkimer Police was officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their 330 Pleasant Avenue driveway. Kaidan repeatedly challenged Crippen to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she’d used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses in front of children. 

Crippen quickly stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation. Below are listed highlights drawn from our video. (A detailed timeline is in the video’s description on our Herkimerpost.com YouTube channel.

Here’s my bodycam video preceded by a brief street cam clip. 

Video

Caught In The Act: Highlights of Crippen’s Attempted Intimidation

In this last lie, Crippen seemed to be referring to our herkimerpost.com articles exposing Herkimer’s booming child trafficking trade, which we alleged was long conducted out of landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, about 50 yards from our house. Coincidentally, 341 Eureka Avenue was alleged child trafficker Little Mama’s house. It was to her complaint Crippen responded in his 2016 attempt to intimidate us, and inspiration for our dubbing him Herkimer’s dog enticement officer.

Also discussed was our perception of Officer Jason Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama.

State Police Investigation and Officer Jason Crippen

Our Herkimer Child Trafficking went viral, helping bring over a quarter-million combined views to our posts and videos. Apparently, many folks read our cornerstone child trafficking post after  Facebook News picked it up. (It’s taken on a life of its own. Surprisingly, it’s big in China.) Many readers expressed their concern about Herkimer child trafficking to New York state authorities in Albany.

Albany dispatched a state police investigator to discuss Herkimer child trafficking with us, as well as our reports of the years-long poison gas attacks on us by traffickers.

The investigator raised the subject of our perception of Officer Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama, as seen in our YouTube video about him entitled Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer. (Included in one of our child trafficking posts read by the state police.) I said I couldn’t decide if Crippen was complicit or just an idiot. (Later it occurred to me that he just might be a useful idiot.) That 2016 incident was our first exposure to Crippen’s trying to intimidate us under the color of law.

Another Crippen Encounter–Failure to Protect: Crippen Defends Drug Thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen

Also in 2016, Crippen, manning the desk as duty officer at the Herkimer police station, refused to take a well-documented harassment complaint about a  drug-trafficking neighbor, Vargas’ predecessor at 328 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer’s notorious Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen.  From the post: “Officer Crippen said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s 10 minutes of menacing and 7 threats of grave bodily harm by making a nanny nanny nanny boo gesture from our driveway at Cool as he peppered us with taunts and obscenities.” (See our post Officer Jason Crippen, Curtis Cool, And The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo) Here’s an extract of the video viewed by Crippen, who then blamed us for provoking Cool’s threats. (Cool called the police to protect him from us.) 

The Nanny nanny boo boo exculpatory in Herkimer NY shoudl one use it in rpsone to harassment and threats of bodily harm, per Herkimer Ofrficer Jason Crippen
2016, Linda Kaidan makes the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo at neighboring drug thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment in Herkimer New York, per Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen.

Has Crippen Intimidated Others Under the Color of Law?

Surely we’re not the only ones Officer Crippen’s intimated under the color of law?  According to Chief Michael Jory’s report to the Village Trustees and Mayor, Herkimer Village Police respond to about 500 phone calls a month.  How many of these calls have been complaints Crippen has suppressed?

Not everyone’s a pigheaded blogger and filmmaker with a well-established social media presence. Confronted by a belligerent, bullying Crippen, most folks are going to fade. No wonder the local gangers strut about with such an air of entitlement.

Below is my complaint about Crippen to Chief Jory. There’s at least one other current complaint about Crippen in the police database, according to the Herkimer Times Telegram, but you won’t be able to read it: After the Village refused to make its police complaints’ records available, as required by New York law, it was sued by the Gannet Organization, owner of The Herkimer Times Telegram and the Utica Observer. Rather than releasing the records, The Village of Herkimer hired a law firm to keep this public resource from the public. 

Herkimer Village won the first round in its attempt to avoid fully complying with New York’s Freedom of Information Law as it pertains to police discipline reports. The matter is on appeal.

We wondered the other day, as we tottered over Herkimer’s heaving stretches of ancient broken sidewalks, how our impoverished Rust Belt village justified spending an unpublicized amount of money to flout state law. But then, to quote The Herkimer Post, “‘It’s Herkimer,’ folks say with a shrug.” 

Herkimer Only Releasing Recent Substantiated P0lice Conduct Complaints: Jason Crippen’s Released

Many local police agencies are refusing to comply with the new FOIL requirements regarding police discipline complaints. Here’s the stonewall you hit when you query Herkimer County in the database.

Interviewed by the Herkimer Telegram’s Donna Thompson for her excellent coverage of Herkimer Village’s FOIL non-compliance, Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory expressed his support for the law. One reason for that may be that, as it stands now, bad apples can be passed from Herkimer County police agency to police agency, inflicting their bad behaviors on unsuspecting communities, with the county’s police chiefs unaware until the complaints start coming in.

Herkimer Village won’t release any unsubstantiated complaints made about officers, and then will only release substantiated ones filed since the FOIL was amended. This means the copies of complaints of the two officers it did release were substantiated complaints. One of those officers was Patrolman Jason Crippen. Perhaps someday we’ll get to read it, or them. 

It took the Village a year to provide those records to Gannet-Herkimer Telegram. Which can publish them as it sees fit. But only here on the doughty Herkimer Post can you read the most recent complaint against Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen. Or you can request a copy from the Village, and if it’s substantiated, wait a year or so to receive it. (All our PDFs are downloadable.)

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“Other Complicit Cops”

As I noted to Chief Jory in my complaint, in a heated part of my exchange with Officer Crippen I refer to “other complicit cops.” To the best of my knowledge, those who abused their authority to intimidate us are gone. Since Chief Jory took command, all of his officers but Crippen have been very supportive of us and often gone out of their way to offer encouragement and advice during some very stressful incidents, treating us as concerned citizen partners.

Digging Deeper: Jason Crippen And Revamp Fitness

Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, 131 East Albany St., Herkimer, NY

Officer Jason Crippen came to widespread attention in Upstate New York during the pandemic threatening to reopen his Herkimer Revamp Fitness facility in violation of state law.  “Those are only civil penalties that result in fines, not laws being broken.,” He was quoted as saying about possible fines  “This is America … We’re not a communist country.”

Crippen and a staff of six opened the spacious  9,000-square-foot facility in January of 2018, financed by a combination of public and bank loans, and help from unnamed “private investors,” according to the  Herkimer Times-Telegram.

Crippen’s spiffy modern gym boasts a lot of gleaming top-of-the-line equipment, which he’s rumored to lease. If so, with 30-40 pieces of equipment at $60 – $100 a month per piece of equipment, the leasing fees could easily be $3,000-$4,000 a month.  But at $35 a month, membership is amazingly reasonable, and the place never looks crowded. Then there’s the cost of maintaining the building and paying the property tax and staff.

Respect

“Members enjoy being part of a private and respectful community,” says the gym’s website.  Respect is what I think of when I think of Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen.

Looking spotlessly new and unused, gleaming equipment abounds in Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, Herkimer.

 

Somangshu Mukherji and Herkimer’s Rogue CPS Workers

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Stephen Ames Berry

In March of 2018, in an outrageous violation of New York law, two rogue Herkimer CPS workers, Sara Riente and Lisa Bates, abused their positions and took a malicious hand in a child custody court battle in another state. They acted so brazenly, so unprofessionally and so illegally under the color of authority that we think this sort of malfeasance has long been tolerated in Herkimer County.  

“Herkimer! Protect My Precious $on!”

In January of this year, we were subjected to false allegations of child abuse by our son-in-law, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national, as he tried to gain sole custody of our two-year-old  grandson Avram. Custody of Avram would preclude his having to pay  child support. 

Our daughter fled to our home with our grandson to escape the alleged abuse and neglect of the two of them by Somangshu, a very glib professor of music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Avram’s not his natural son. According to our daughter’s Ann Arbor MI family court filings, (Case 19-352-DC), in which she alleged spousal abuse and neglect, Somangshu never bought the child clothes or toys, and called him “the little bastard.”   Our daughter alleged Somangshu disposed of everything we ever sent her and Avram, and held her incommunicado, not permitting her to speak to us. Here’s our grandson Avram in our home last January, with his first-ever new clothes and toys:

Somangshu Mukherji son's first toys everHad our grandson remained here with his mother, the good professor might have ended up paying $1,000+ a month in child support until the child was 21. He seems to have done the math, as his feet barely touched the ground on his way to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody. To protect his “son”. 

“Somangshu …reported me to CPS as a pedophile and my wife as dysfunctionally  bipolar…Mukherji’s unrelenting use of the canard “pedophile” makes one wonder about his own childhood.”

Our daughter had barely filed her child support payment application before husband Somangshu reported her and us for child neglect and abuse with New York.  Herkimer Child Protection Worker Sara Riente promptly came to our house and advised us that Somangshu had reported me to CPS as a pedophile and my wife as severely bipolar. Mukherji’s frequent use of the canard “pedophile” make one wonder about his own childhood.

CPS worker Riente then spent fifteen minutes investigating our grandson’s safety, offered no criticism and left. She made one even shorter follow-up visit a month or so later.

In March, we received letters from New York Child Welfare exonerating us of our son-in-law’s baseless accusations: “Unfounded” was the official finding.  Yet this was not the end of the matter.  Sara Riente and her colleague Lisa Bates then came to our son-in-law’s Somangshu’s aid in his Michigan custody case, providing him with a document that was as defamatory of our family as it was illegal:

“At this time Avram does not meet the [standards of abuse or neglect]. [However] it does appear that it would be in the child’s best interest to be in the care of the parent who can provide access to regular medical care, a stable and sufficient and living environment and age appropriate supervision and care for a young child. Based on the evidence gathered during this investigation, this Department’s decision would be that [the mother] is not providing the above-mentioned care.”

Herkimer CPS Workers Riente and Bates Go Rogue

Apparently dismayed at finding our grandchild healthy, well-fed, well-clothed and safe with family of whom they seemingly disapproved, Herkimer CPS workers Riente and Bates went rogue, colluding with our son-in-law: at his request, they wrote him an “official” Herkimer County Social Services letter, falsely stating that “it is the opinion of this Department” that our grandchild would be better off with his father. Our daughter only became aware of their poisonous letter when she received a copy of her husband’s public court filing, in which their illegal letter was offered as evidence of our daughter’s unfitness as a mother and of our home as” [not] stable and  [in]sufficient.”

Bogus Herkimer Social Services’ Letter Key Exhibit

In their venomous and illegal letter supporting our daughter’s husband, Herkimer CPS workers Riente and Bates threw aside any pretense of impartiality and professionalism. They miscast their libelous opinions as “the finding of this Department.”

Seemingly not liking the “Unfounded” decision they were required to render under NY law as child protection workers, they magically morphed into Herkimer county workers to express a different “official” finding,  malfeasantly subverting the law they were supposed to uphold. 

Our son-in-law’s attorney cited their letter as key evidence that our daughter was an unfit mother and ours “not a loving home, Your Honor.”  Their treachery  helped allegedly abusive and neglectful “dad” Somangshu Mukherji retain custody of “the little bastard.”

Herkimer CPS Workers’ Riente and Bates Defamatory Letter In Support Of Plaintiff Somangshu Mukhjeri

Somangshu Mukherji sneering
Somangshu Mukherji Sneering

Here’s Riente and Bates’ letter to my son-in-law, Somangshu Mukherji. I’ve redacted just about all the confidential information they malfeasantly  revealed, except for their conclusion on page 2, in which they dispute the lawful conclusion New York law compelled them to reach. They falsely present their scurrilous opinion as an official finding of Herkimer County Social Services. 

Despite our daughter’s request that the Ann Arbor Family Court disregard the Herkimer CPS’ workers’ letter as a violation of New York law, the court did not exclude it. It ignored the official New York State letters exonerating our family of Mukherji’s bogus charges.

After several court appearances, our daughter lost custody of her son and he was returned to Somangshu Mukherji in Michigan–a process that was yet another instance of Herkimer County employees playing fast and loose with the law.   Mukherji later successfully moved to have the Ann Arbor Family Court strip our daughter of the right it had granted her to visit her son in Michigan, arguing she was danger to the child. The order, crafted by his attorney and hired social worker and rubber-stamped by the court, bristles with an array of absurd preconditions which can only be met in Michigan.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Craftily-Won Green Card
CompressedMukherji Green Card Cropped

Reporting New York Child Protection Workers’ Malfeasance

New York law enforces the right to confidentiality by those investigated by social services workers. It is one of the strongest in the nation. CPS workers Riente and Bates’ letter is a violation  of confidentiality under 18 NYCRR 432.7 and Social Service Law §§422(4)(A) & 427- a(5)(d)], and the New York’s Child Protective Services Manual. It’s a Class A Misdemeanor. The only information that should have been released to the father was whether his complaint was “indicated” or “unfounded”.  Anything beyond that is a breech of confidentiality under New York law. New York has an excellent and concise guide to the procedure.

Filing Complaints About Herkimer CPS Workers’ Illegalities

If we tolerate outrageous and lawless conduct, it will continue.  Complaints about Herkimer Child Protection Workers’ actions should be sent to:

Sara Simon, Director
Syracuse Regional Office
NYS Office of Children and Family 
The Atrium, 100 S. Salina Street, Suite 350
Syracuse, NY 13202

New York Attorney General,  Bureau of Public Integrity

New York Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad St., 19th Fl., New York,
NY 10004. Telephone: 212-607-3300

Sue Them

You can also sue.  In a case like our daughter’s, where the evidence of malfeasance is low-hanging fruit, an attorney might take the case for damages on a contingency fee basis. Herkimer CPS workers are probably not worth suing. New York State is a sovereign entity and can rarely be sued. But Herkimer County can be sued.

This is New York, not Alabama. We have laws to protect us from illegal actions such as those of Herkimer’s rogue CPS workers. Make the law work for you. 

Child protection workers who engage in lawless vendettas against struggling parents and families simply because they disapprove of them should find another vocation. 

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A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff

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Stephen Ames Berry

“A child is not a dog. No matter whose child. It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer.”

Look no further than Herkimer, New York, USA, to see the illegal taking of a child from his family.  On 4/24/19, Herkimer County sheriff’s deputies entered our home and took our two-year-old grandson Avram from his mother. They didn’t have a warrant. They didn’t have a valid court order. They said they had “verbal permission.” 

A Herkimer Kidnapping – In The Tradition of Schindler’s List

It  was kidnapping under the color of law. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. We’ve seen Herkimer Child Protection Workers violate state law as they go the extra mile to denounce parents and families they don’t approve of. And Herkimer long shrugged off poison gas attacks on us, our pets and our home. So why not, also in the tradition of Schindler’s List, an armed, uniformed squad taking a child from his bed? They even wore brown. What made it especially heinous was their acting for an out-of-state foreign national seemingly desperate to avoid paying child support. 

Even In Herkimer A Child Is Not A Dog

It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer. No matter how inconvenient. No matter whose child. New York’s Domestic Relations Law  governs the return of  a child to a parent in another state. It incorporates the provisions of the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The law requires registration of an out-of-state custody order with the local family court, due notice and a hearing. Then the custody order can be legally enforced. It only takes a few days. Apparently too cumbersome for scofflaw Herkimer.

Herkimer Family Court Involvement?

The deputies said they had “verbal authorization” [Video, below: 1:56] from Judge John Brennan of the Herkimer Family Court to take our grandson. If so, Brennan played fast and loose with the law. New York’s family courts are notoriously packed and dysfunctional. Scooping up a kid without a warrant for an out-of-state return and whisking him to the waiting parent avoids further clogging the court calendar with the tedium of due process. Especially when the outcome appears predetermined. In an extrajudicial kidnapping like this–in legalese, “an illegal taking”– speed is of the essence: Not much a parent can do when the kid’s back in the other state. It seems a cynical practice encouraged by long success. Had our daughter been known to have an attorney, and lived at a better Herkimer address, the law might have been followed.  

Anonymous Herkimer Sheriff's Officer during extrajudicial kidnapping
4/24/19 “We have verbal authority [to take the child.”] Intentionally anonymous Herkimer Sheriff’s officer during extrajudicial kidnapping. Refused repeated demands to identify himself. WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS? Herkimer, apparently.

“2:41: Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer.”

HERKIMER KIDNAPPING – VIDEO
A Herkimer Kidnapping
play-sharp-fill

A Herkimer Kidnapping

Video Timeline 001-1:05 Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies, accompanied by Herkimer police officer, arrive at our house. (Police here to protect deputies from us.)
1:06-1:14 I foolishly let them in without asking for a warrant or court order. I assumed they were acting lawfully. Never assume this in Herkimer County.
1:15-1:15 One deputy identifies himself as Sgt. George. The other merely says “Herkimer County Sheriff.” (He’s not the sheriff.)
1:20 – 1:55 Sgt. George reads the order to our daughter. It’s quickly apparent it’s a Michigan court order. George states it authorizes them to take our grandson for return to his father in Michigan. It doesn’t. I  object, citing New York law and the procedure necessary to lawfully execute an out-of-state custody order in New York. Sgt. George says they have verbal permission from Herkimer County Family Court to enforce the Michigan court order. I continue to dispute their authority. 2:41 – 2:54 Deputy(?) Nameless tells me to “go argue the order” with Herkimer County Family Court Judge John Brennan if I don’t like it. I point out that I can’t, it’s a Michigan court order. Judge Brennan is a New York judge. He has not issued an order in this matter. Nameless Deputy repeats that they have verbal authority from Judge Brennan to take our grandchild. Seems hostile.
3:14 – 3:20 “Where is the child?” they demand.
3:21 – 3:45 Little Avram taken. Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer. She hesitatingly does so.  May know we’d recently reported Herkimer CPS workers Sara Riente and Lisa Bates to NY authorities for malfeasance.
3:46 – 4:36 Avram passed to unidentified woman wearing unviewable badge driving unmarked car. 
4:37 – 4:56 Grandma gives kindly Herkimer Police Officer Holt clothes and shoes for shoeless Avram, who takes them to the sheriff’s deputies.
End: Unknown woman in unmarked car makes good her escape with our grandson. 

“Sometime after regaining our grandson, Mukherji surreptitiously placed him with a couple in Providence, Rhode Island and got on with his life back in Ann Arbor.”

A Herkimer Kidnapping Finale

A gloating email later that evening from Mukherji to our daughter saying he was at a Herkimer motel and that Avram had been returned to him. He’s refused all attempts at contact by our daughter.

Sometime after regaining our grandson, Mukherji surreptitiously placed him with a couple in Providence, Rhode Island and got on with his life back in Ann Arbor. Neither we nor our daughter have been allowed to see our grandson or speak with him since he was taken. 

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Backstory

In late January 2018, our daughter escaped with our grandson from her allegedly abusive and neglectful husband, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national. As she attests in her custody case court filings, he’d allowed her no contact with us for years and kept her in almost complete social and physical isolation.  Mukherji’s a nontenured assistant professor of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s not the child’s birth father. Our daughter alleges in her custody case filings that Mukherji signed Avram’s birth certificate to enhance his status with US Immigration. 

The trigger for our daughter’s flight to Herkimer was Mukherji’s announcing the three of them were going on a trip with him to Turkey, along with his equally abusive mother. The US State Department advises against travel to Turkey: “terrorism, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions.” Anything could happen, especially to a toddler. Sounded like it might be a one-way trip for the “son” our daughter alleges Somangshu calls “the little bastard.” Somangshu’s vigilance slipped for a moment and our daughter and grandchild bolted for here. Penniless, she took a cab across several states, paying with the Uber account Somangshu kept on her phone for his convenience. 

Somangshu Mukherji – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Somangshu Mukherji raiding
Somangshu Mukherji sneers at me as he trespasses on our porch.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Green Card and his well-paid professorship were made possible by his marriage to our severely bipolar American-born daughter.

And we took a hand, too, having earlier and foolishly helped him stay in the US. In 2003, we sponsored Mukherji after Harvard dropped their sponsorship of him as  grad student, alleging “academic dishonesty,” according to our daughter’s court filings. (Mukherji had earlier been a research assistant to Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser, who was found guilty of scientific misconduct and served a sentence on federal charges.)

In 2003, at Mukerhji’s pleading,  we posted a $40k bond for him with the U.S. Department of State so that he could remain in the US. (17% of our total assets at the time.)  Mukherji’s repaid us by allegedly exploiting and abusing our daughter, misusing his medical guardianship of her and denying our grandchild clothes, shoes and toys. “Never a dime,” alleges our daughter in her Ann Arbor MI Family Court custody defense filings. (Case 19-352-DC )

“Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as one proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.”

Somangshu Mukherji in Pursuit

Upon their arrival at our home, I texted Mukherji that his missing wife and her two-year-old son were safe with us in Herkimer. No reply, but his feet must not have touched the ground as he raced to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody of the son he’d always allegedly neglected—the son of his wife and another man–and for the child’s immediate return to him in Ann Arbor. Doing the math he may have suddenly realized his love for the boy and wanted him back: child support would cost him over $1,000 a month.

After a long court battle in Ann Arbor, Somangshu Mukherji was awarded sole custody. (He had a lawyer, our daughter didn’t. Ann Arbor Legal Aid, which is partially supported by U. Mich Law School, wouldn’t represent her.) My summary of his lengthy case and filings: Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as one proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.

Here are our daughter’s Michigan court filings in the case. It’s the sad and probably all too common tale of how an unscrupulous foreign national can exploit a mentally ill American to jump the Green Card queue and secure a good job.  And then escaped unscathed by taking advantage of America’s patchwork of child custody laws and fragmented family court structure. 

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Somangshu Mukherji Schmoozes the Sheriff

Mukherji apparently established a cordial relationship with Herkimer  County Sheriff’s personnel during his 4/11/19 trip to Herkimer, likely through then Herkimer Undersheriff Scott Scherer. His Michigan court approved visitation of that date seemed to me a transparent attempt to nab our grandson on the cheap. He may have convinced the sheriff’s staff that his “son” was in grave danger from the psychotic mother, loony grandmother and pedophile grandfather. (From his slanderous Child Protection reports, since dismissed.)  The day before the kidnapping, Mukherji won sole custody of Avram in an Ann Arbor court.  Victorious at last, he immediately flew to Herkimer to take possession.

Michigan court order in hand, Somangshu was but one step from obtaining a lawful custody order, one issued by a New York court, which the Herkimer county sheriff could legally enforce. He needed only to register his Michigan order with the Herkimer Family Court, which could, after a hearing for all parties, issue a New York order mandating the return of the child to Michigan, all  required by New York law. Of course, it would have cost Mukherji more money. Instead, Herkimer County cut him a break him by skipping past New York law and sending its deputies right over to take Avram from his nap. I’ve known Somangshu since 2003–he can be very charming when he wants something.

Preventing A Herkimer Kidnapping: “Get A Warrant”

I suspect the  Herkimer Family Court and the Herkimer County Sheriff get away with this all the time, possibly by saying that the parent voluntarily consented to accept service of the out-of-state custody order. As the video of this illegal taking shows, our daughter did not do that. The Herkimer sheriff’s officers presented her with the Michigan court order, which without a New York order had all the validity of a Post-It-Note. I contested their authority and cited the UCCJEA and applicable New York law. They didn’t care. Told me to “get a lawyer.” [video-2:41] “We will now take the child” said they. And they did. This extrajudicial kidnapping spared Professor Mukherji the bother and expense of obtaining a legal New York custody order.

What country is this?

No Happy Ending

Somangshu Mukherji And The Little Boy Who Wasn’t There

Reporting Malfeasance by New York Public Officers 

New York Attorney General, Bureau of Public Integrity

Reporting Civil Rights Violations in New York

New York Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
125 Broad St., 19th Fl.
New York,  NY 10004.
Telephone: 212-607-3300

“Unlawful discrimination that reflects a policy or practice of discrimination:”
The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office

Is a judge involved? Allegedly involved?

New York – Reporting Judicial Misconduct

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct Corning Tower, Suite 2301 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12223 If you videoed the incident, as we did in A Herkimer Kidnapping, either upload it to the agencies or send it in with your complaint on a thumb-drive.  Publish it on social media. It’s New York.  It’s your right. Use it or lose it.

How to Report Immigration Marriage Fraud

Anti-Copyright Notice

The author of this work hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and
moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, distorted or destroyed in any manner whatsoever without further attribution or notice to the creator.

Herkimer Malicious Trespassing – More Ball Games [VIDEOS]

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Herkimer Malicious Trespassing
In Herkimer, group vandalism helps build team spirit and fill pockets.


Herkimer, Where Criminal Trespass is a Team Sport

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in your driveway again, the team sport of Herkimer malicious trespassing takes the field again.
If you read my previous post about The Ball, you’ll know that earlier this summer my neighbors called the police on me when I refused to return a ball deliberately kicked at me with great precision from across the street. It was kicked by a beefy teen, striking me on the back of my legs.
The responding Herkimer Village Police Officer, the pseudonymous Officer Heist, threatened to arrest me for Petit Larceny, duped by this very old scam. He accused me of intending to steal the worthless ball used to assault me, the one I’d already tossed into the neighborhood’s adjacent playing area. It was outrageous!

Ball Harassment Continues
Malicious trespassing in Herkimer is  a popular team sport. The innocent children whose ball the Herkimer Police leaped to defend have taken to vandalizing our car under the pretext of retrieving their (new) ball. The ball rolls into our driveway frequently, although the street is perpendicular to the driveway. A baller retrieves the ball, off camera. During his or her stay, our car is scratched or sprayed with acid. Repeat. Repeat. Obviously it’s at their parents’ instigation. These kids are probably paid in cash or drugs. The State Police appear to have clamped down on their parents following their abusive mob interaction with us in the street. (Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is a quietly sanctioned haven of drug trafficking, its workers flush with drug money.  There are signs that things far more heinous go on here, also involving children. )
I ordered one girl from my driveway the other day, telling her she was trespassing and not to return. She screamed “Don’t you ever talk to me that way!” As you’ll note from the video clip of her departure, she was quite indignant and circled her hand about her head, indicating that any defiance to her outrageous behavior was insane.  Politeness and respect are obviously strangers in her family. Sadly there is an arrogant expectation that my home is a public way to be used however and whenever my neighbors see fit.
Additional cameras have been brought on line. More are coming. We live as I did in Cote D’Ivoire West Africa, where each home’s a fortress, and anarchy prevails.

What I’ve Learned from Herkimer’s Officer Heist and the Pleasant Avenue Ball Harassment
Shrugging our shoulders in helplessness because, Hey! It’s just Pleasant Avenue, ill-serves us all. There are two underlying problems here. The most important is attitude. As a community, we must provide basic services, or we’re not a community. If we can’t do this alone, we have to ask for help. To be a successful community rather than one in name only, we have to change to an “I think I can and I will try” attitude. Too often when problems are discussed here, even the best of Herkimer’s people sigh, shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s Herkimer.” (At some point, perhaps the citizens of Gomorrah probably did the same.)

Herkimer is crime-ridden and  plagued by poverty. Many of the children on our street are very intelligent, but they are not engaging intellectually – their education is pathetically inadequate. Some are reading grade levels below what they should.  It’s obvious the school system treats them as pariahs and tracks them as such. At least one middle school student didn’t know what the Atlantic Ocean is. One doesn’t know what an ocean is. A very bright and likable neighboring 9th grader  is periodically made campfires from his homework assignments.  He correctly determined that Herkimer considers him social junk that his school’s job is keep him off the streets during the day. Like many kids in Herkimer, he’s filled with rage and hopelessness.

We can do better than this, Herkimer. If not now, when?

Linda Kaidan