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I'm No. 2 and trying harder

Uh-oh, it looks like the FBI is engaged in "dirty politics" as Byron Brown perceives it, but before I get to that bit of news I'd like to share that Outrages & Insights has been selected as the second-best newspaper blog in the state.

The New York State Associated Press Association announced the winners of its annual journalism contest today and Outrages & Insights placed second among newspapers with a circulation over 125,000, which includes the dailies in New York City and Rochester.

While Rochester Slept, by Chad Roberts of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle placed first while Inside Pitch by Mike Harrington of The News was awarded third.

Mel brooks

My posts submitted for consideration included mini-exposes on Tom Golisano's and Steve Pigeon's slime job on Sam Hoyt and the Buffalo Police Department's suppression of crime reports, and, my favorite, the ongoing efforts by village mayors -- including the leader of Farnham, population 322 -- to save their "phony baloney jobs," in the legendary words of Governor William J. LePetomane.

To paraphrase the Elvis album, I guess 629,735 page views can't be wrong.

My live blogging of the crash of Flight 3407 was included in package that took first place for spot news coverage, although I was a bit player in the Herculean task by our staff to cover that tragedy. In all, The News won nine first-place awards.

In the print competition, the AP honored the One Sunset investigation Patrick Lakamp and I did as the top business story of the year in the large newspaper category.

My coverage of the New York Power Authority -- including this story on NYPA bonuses and this piece on how the authority is profitting at the expense of Western New York  -- placed third in the business reporting category.

But enough about me.

Back in City Hall, the FBI delivered a letter to Common Council President David Franczyk on Tuesday that many are reading between the lines to mean the Eliot Ness crowd is looking into the mayor's interceding into the police department's handling of Leonard Stokes when he was ticketed for having a stolen handicapped parking permit on his car.

We already know that the FBI has interviewed at least one of the police officers who was involved in questioning Stokes. Phil Fairbanks, in his story today, reports:

A number of Council members speculated privately that the FBI is probably not interested in the permit issue per se, but may be looking into what the handicapped parking issue reveals about Brown's relationship with Stokes. The question, they speculated, is whether that relationship influenced the city's handling of One Sunset.

 Fairbanks also reports that the city's Ethics Board has swung into action.

In a related matter, the city Board of Ethics voted unanimously Tuesday to ask Brown to respond to a separate Franczyk letter about Stokes and the handicapped permit.

 Board Chairman Douglas Coppola said the request is part of the normal process for reviewing any alleged ethics violation. Brown has repeatedly refused to comment on the permit allegations.

As I said the other day, this story is not going to go away, and the appearance of a coordinated effort by Brown and Co. to "disappear" the incident is only piquing curiosity.


City Hall | Media | One Sunset
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