Your Crime & Courts news is made possible with support from: Kelsey O’Connor Kelsey O’Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor. More by Kelsey O’Connor Tagged: Matthew Pinney, Scott Walters, Tompkins County Court A trial has been delayed while the appellate court decided who should prosecute the case: Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten or Joseph Fazzary, district attorney for Schuyler County. The case was initially assigned to a special prosecutor due to a potential conflict of interest of the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office prosecuting a sheriff’s deputy who regularly worked with the office, court records state.Attorney Edward Kopko, who is representing Pinney, argued in an appeal that a special prosecutor should not have been assigned, but the court did not agree. In January, an appeals court ruled that Fazzary’s appointment was appropriate.Walters has been on paid administrative leave since the initial charges in December 2017, according to Sheriff Derek Osborne. According to SeeThroughNY, which lists the salaries of public officials, Walters made $71,727 in 2018.Pinney and Walters are technically charged under different indictments and will therefore have separate trials, but each indictment alleges that they acted with the assistance of the other defendant, according to Fazzary. He said Walters is expected to face trial in September.Jury selection in Pinney’s trial begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Tompkins County Courthouse. ITHACA, N.Y. — The trial for Matthew Pinney, who was indicted in late 2017 on charges of rape and sexual assault, begins Thursday with jury selection in Tompkins County Court. Pinney will stand trial for rape along with Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Walters, who will face a separate trial later this year, for an incident that allegedly occurred at Walters’ residence in 2013.Pinney and Walters’ cases are finally moving forward after an appeal was denied earlier this year. Though the case involves Tompkins County defendants, it will move forward with a special prosecutor from neighboring Schuyler County, District Attorney Joseph Fazzary. A special prosecutor was assigned due to Walters’ status as a Tompkins County deputy.On the left is Deputy Scott Walters while Matthew Pinney is on the right. (Provided photos in 2017)Pinney and Walters were charged in December 2017, but the charges stem from an investigation into an incident on Feb. 2, 2013. According to the accusations in court records, the two men allegedly raped and sexually assaulted a woman who could not consent “by reason of being physically helpless” while at Walters’ home in Lansing. According to court documents, the woman had a sexual assault evidence collection kit done after the incident because she believed she’d been drugged. The men have denied the claims against them.Related: Court documents: Tompkins deputy accused of rape appeared ‘visibly nervous,’ denied claims
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Details After many years partnering with credit unions on improving branding and member experience programs, a number of commonalities have emerged. Amongst these is a strongly recurring theme —that in order for a credit union to truly and fully embrace a new brand and member experience program, more than likely it must first go through some internal healing.This is not to say the cultures of all credit unions pre-brand and member experience program implementation are entirely toxic or poisoned. However, experience increasingly teaches credit unions with an eye for an improved brand and a dynamic member experience program must acknowledge and address a number pre-existing communication and cultural conditions first. Consider the following:Healing Status Quo MentalityThe dictionary definition of status quo is ”the existing state of affairs.” Colloquially, the status quo represents an old foe of credit unions large and small — that of doing things a certain way because (for lack of a better reason) “that’s the way we’ve always done them.” This type of sedentary and backwards thinking will cripple your credit union in a number of ways, particularly when it comes to brand and member experience. The retail environment in which we now exist is dramatically different than that of even ten years ago. Credit unions that opt to rest on their laurels and maintain the status quo run a significant risk of backsliding and losing out to a variety of competitors. The strategic planning, initiatives, technology and brand culture that got you where you are today are unlikely to propel you to the growth and heights to which your credit union aspires tomorrow. In the current uber-competitive financial products and services retail environment, there is no such thing as stasis. You are either growing or you are shrinking. Until your credit union is prepared to deal with a status quo mentality and heal beyond it, you are unlikely to develop or launch a successful brand or member experience program.Healing Past Failed InitiativesDepending on how long certain staff members have been with your credit union, it’s likely they’ve seen the executive team trumpet a number of past initiatives including marketing campaigns, cultural realignment, sales and service training and potentially even brand efforts. If every one of your past such initiatives was a total homerun, congratulations – you’re in a minuscule minority. Most credit unions have, at some point, rolled out some kind of staff initiative only to see it dissolve for any number of reasons. Rest assured your staff, especially those with longer tenure, recall these. You can also rest assured these people will readily share stories of past shortcomings when a new initiative like brand or a member experience program is introduced. It is absolutely critical for the success of your brand or member experience program to strongly inform all staff that it has no connection to past failed initiatives and, more importantly, isn’t going away like previous programs may have. You run the risk of staff members thinking (and sharing out loud with their peers) something along the lines of “we’ve all seen this kind of thing before; the leadership team just has another cultural bee in their bonnet; if we can just ride this out for a few months it will go away like all the others, etc.” It’s dangerous enough when tenured staff share such opinions; it’s even more problematic when you allow this type of cynicism to infect the hearts and minds of less-tenured staff. In many ways, your rookies will look to the thoughts and opinions of “old-school” credit union employees for their cues on what works and what does not in your culture. If you allow the negative taint from past failed initiatives to infect your new brand or member experience program, you doom it to failure from day one. The past is the past and you must ensure all staff, regardless of tenure, understand this and approach a new brand or member experience program with open hearts and minds.Healing Interdepartmental AngstEvery retail environment has its own version of the gossip mill, internal communication challenges and cultural obstacles. Credit unions are not unique in this. In some ways, it’s the classic credit union “front line versus back office” clash. In others, there may be unresolved issues between departments and/or individuals that go back for years (think your own version of the famous Hatfield vs. McCoy Feud). Some departments may be tagged, fairly or not, with labels such as “don’t bother calling them, you’ll never get any help” or “they get away with everything so why should we bother trying.” These fractures between departments, branches and even different segments of your organizational chart must be addressed if you expect your brand or member experience program to succeed. Going into such an initiative with unresolved past issues and dissatisfaction between teammates is like jumping into a pool of sharks wearing a swimsuit made of bait fish. In other words, you’re just asking for it. Tackle these challenges head-on rather than putting your faith in a fools gold philosophy like “it will take care of itself.” Without direct intervention, existing interdepartmental angst will most certainly not take care of itself and, if allowed to fester, will begin the slow decay process of a doomed brand. In medicine, some wounds have to bleed a little in order to heal. In house renovations, sometimes termites have eaten away at so much wood that it’s better to replace it. The same principle applies to your credit union. Far better to address the root causes of interdepartmental conflict now than to let it cripple and destroy your brand and member experience program in the future.As retail entities, credit unions striving to improve their brand and member experience must heed these lessons of healing. For any brand to work externally with members, it must first (and successfully) work internally, with staff. They are the standard-bearers and keepers of your brand and member experience. Don’t allow a status quo mentality, past failed initiatives or interdepartmental angst to rot the roots of your fledgling brand or member experience program.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDid you know that New York state has a moratorium on fracking? Most of us haven’t had to think about it because we believed that we had been protected from fracking’s harms. But there are other activities related to fracking that are still allowed. We import fracked gas in pipelines through our state from Pennsylvania. This means that people living in Pennsylvania are hurt by fracking so that people in New York and beyond can have the advantages of natural gas products. There are dangerously noisy and polluting compressor stations in some New York state communities. When this infrastructure is not in our neighborhood, we can ignore it.If we continue to allow these ancillary activities, it puts us behind in working towards a future run on renewables. The industry and our government say that natural gas is a clean-burning fuel.They say it’s a cheap fuel. Drilling and other activities are only cheap because subsidies exist; health and safety impacts aren’t figured into the price we pay when the natural gas is delivered to our homes.Some of the people most affected are children, the elderly, the chronically ill, and poor and minority communities. We pay for it one way or another.Google the Solutions Project to see what a 100 percent renewable energy mix would look like for New York and the 260,000 jobs that going renewable would create. Even Forbes magazine finds that solar energy employs more people in the United States than oil and gas combined. You can’t beat that.Florence CarnahanSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions