For FOP President Dean Angelo and his staff, panic has set in.
Blue Voice candidates in the upcoming FOP election have done their homework and assembled the relevant facts of Angelo’s administration, citing carefully the disparity between Angelo’s promises and his actual deeds. It’s what people do in an election. They compare facts of an administration with its promises.
In response, Angelo’s supporters have gone berserk, stalking social media and viciously condemning Angelo’s challengers. Here are a few examples.
From Greg Bella, recording secretary in Angelo’s administration (unedited):
I have tried to bite my tongue but Kevin Graham has gone to far. He is running for FOP president. I am running with Dean Angelo Sr. I just saw Grahams site where he bashes Dean with lie after lie and then he outright lied about me. Unlike this puke we were brought up knowing all you have is your reputation…
Vote for these ass clowns and this is the crap the members will get. The members deserve better than this band of losers.
From Kevin Kilmer, Financial Secretary:
During this time when the police are blamed for so many things, it sickens me that police officers would assassinate the character of fellow coppers just to get elected.
Blue Voice Candidate For President Kevin Graham
How dare challengers in an election point out the shortcomings of their opponents? The outrage. The injustice.
It’s all bluster. With a dismal record representing members, Angelo’s team is left with little more than bellicose, baseless name-calling on social media that avoids answering the questions.
Clearly, the Blue Voice team has hit a nerve. The members of this slate call themselves the Blue Voice because they want both to speak for the members and keep them informed.
In light of that, consider some other relevant background on the Angelo administration.
Let’s go back to 2002, an election year. In 2002 something happened that has not taken place before or since: An entire slate was voted out and replaced by another.
Why was this slate, headed by the Bob Podgorny, who was taking over from President Bill Nolan, voted out? The reason is that members were furious over a provision in the healthcare that forced members to pay a percentage of their pay for insurance, not a flat rate. This meant that the more a police officer got paid, the more he had to pay for insurance. This in and of itself angered members. But it was also the manner in which the FOP under Nolan negotiated it. To the membership, it seemed like a backroom deal, away from the watching eyes of the members.
Sound familiar? It should. As of January 1 of this year, members are now seeing their healthcare costs rise on a percentage basis.
But it wasn’t just the rise in insurance costs that infuriated members in 2002. There was more to it. When confronted by angry members, the Nolan/Podgorny team dodged the truth until they were finally compelled to fess up.
In other words, an entire slate of the FOP, an incumbent slate, was wiped out because members felt as if they had been lied to.
The Blue Voice Candidates
Well, guess who was a key member of the Nolan/Podgorny’s team?
You got it, Dean Angelo. Angelo was Chairman of the Trustees and Field Rep at the time, working closely with Nolan.
After getting smeared in the election, Angelo took a bunch of guys out to Hooter’s to lament their loss. Angelo picked up the tab. Nice gesture, right? Well, it turns out Angelo used the FOP credit card to pay for the night out. He was later forced to repay the Lodge.
But to his credit, Angelo did not pass out golf shoes.
So after losing the election, Angelo rolled up his sleeves and helped out members in other ways, right? He was like Blue Voice candidate Kevin Graham, working in peer support or helping members as a Unit Rep, right?
Angelo was rarely heard from in the three terms Donahue ran the Lodge.
Fast forward to 2014, the first election after the Shields’ administration. Here was Angelo’s chance to get back in the game, and the manner in which he did so is crucial for all members to understand.
In the 2014 election, Angelo couldn’t get the requisite 50 percent of the vote, so there was a runoff between his competitor, Bill Dougherty, and him.
The third-place candidate was Tom McDonough, running with Greg Bella.
McDonough and Bella approached Dougherty and said that he would throw his support to Dougherty in exchange for a job at the FOP. Dougherty didn’t blink. He said he couldn’t do that to the members and to the people who had supported and worked with him.
Next thing you know, Angelo wins the runoff. Guess who is hired at the FOP for a lucrative spot in the office?
Guess who also got a job at the FOP?
Now you’re catching on. None other than Greg Bella.
Now pay close attention. Here’s an important subplot.
After Shields won and took office, Shields filed a lawsuit against Bella, disputing legal payments approved by Bella, some $140,000 that was in dispute. This lawsuit was hanging over the head of Bella. But when Angelo won, guess what happened?
That lawsuit just went away.
This is just one story of the backroom dealing and patronage that permeate Angelo’s rise to power and the running of his shady administration that he and his supporters don’t want members to know about, so much so that they are getting on social media and viciously attacking anyone who dares bring it up.
But in these attacks, Angelo and his supporters are badly mistaken. The Blue Voice is not comprised of members who are easily intimidated. They are not the kind of Reps who will fly to Washington and ask the Department of Justice how they can facilitate an investigation that will vilify their own members.
Far from it.
Whether it is a washed-out union boss like Angelo or Bella, or contract negotiations, or a meeting with IPRA/COPA trying to frame a police officer, Blue Voice won’t be silenced.