Felton Retires (resigns)

State Police Superintendent Preston Felton is “retiring” from his position, and “retiring” effective April 4th.  Some seem surprised by this, I am not.  Felton has had a mixed record while executing his duties as Interim Superintendent.

Felton is leaving after 22 years as a State Trooper.  Up until his appointment as Superintendent, his record had been solid.  A career Trooper, he came up through the ranks, and got where he did on his record as a Trooper.  But, in recent years, he had become very political, and at times acted as a political operative for Spitzer and other allied politicians.

Felton, while acting as Superintendent, did some things to improve the lot of the rank and file Troopers.  They got better equipment, ranging from body armor to hand guns, and made sure that those who shot at, or killed Troopers were fully prosecuted.  He made sure that the people of the State of New York knew who each and every Trooper who fell in the line of duty were.  He put what the Troopers go through on the front page, and made sure it got the right attention.

However, there was another side to Felton.  One where he curried political favor (perhaps for his own ambitions), and potentially abused his position, and dishonored the State Police as a whole.  Felton will be inextricably linked to Eliot Spitzer and his scandals.

First there was “Trooper-gate,” where according to the State Attorney General (Andrew Cuomo, Democrat), Felton acted in co-operation with Spitzer and his aides to leak information to the press about Joe Bruno.  While not charged, the investigation into this affair is still on going between the Senate Investigations Committee and the Albany County DA.  Felton is still facing possible charges stemming from this.

Then came “Hooker-gate.”  Felton was, and is, a Spitzer partisan.  He owed his ascension to the Superintendent’s post to Spitzer, and had a working relationship with him from Spitzer’s time as AG.  But with Spitzer’s illicit and illegal affairs, the too often unasked question is “where was Spitzer’s State Police guard detail?”  Either the detail was incompetent in allowing Spitzer to give them the slip, or they were party to Spitzer’s illegal activities.  Either way, Felton had to know, and did nothing about it. 

One last note, and this is more rumor than substantiated fact.  It may be the Fleton was involved with, if not the source, of the release of a complaint and incident report on former Congressman John Sweeney, conerning a domestic dispute call.  And internal investigation by the State Police ended with Sweeney being ousted, and Spitzer’s ascension to the throne…errrr…Governorship.  This one got “dead letter filed,” but may come to light again as the investigation into Trooper-gate continues.

So, in light of all this, I am unsurprised that Felton is leaving.  He was facing a potential scandal of his own, one which would have cut the State Police to the core.  In one last act of trying to protect the State Police, Felton is giving it up.  As he will be out of his position by the time everything comes to the fore, it will minimize the impact on the rank and file officers of the State Police.  While Felton is not out of the woods yet, he won’t be bringing down the entire organization with him.  And that’s a good thing for the State of New York.

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6 thoughts on “Felton Retires (resigns)

  1. Man you are right on. I have been saying this all along. Unfortunately, many of our State Police are no real role model in my opinion. Anyone who knows anything about State Police Spitzer Gov. duty knows the real truth. They knew about every move the man made. Not only that I am sure they were tearing off a piece as well. Take it from someone who knows ..cops are pretty much scum bags when it comes to dogging woman. Not all of them but 80% I would say…So it does not surprise me they were covering up for him. Maybe some can be appoint to Super-intendant that has some scruples.

  2. Well, I must differ on the nature of the State Police. As I work with the SP on a dialy basis, I know for a fact that the vast majority of them are solid people. The Governor’s detail is “special duty,” and 90% of those selected are chosen for political “reliability,” as well as time served on the force. I know of one member of the detail who, if he was aware of all that was going on, would have said something up the line (but not gone public). This is one of the reasons why I suspect Felton knew that something illicit was going on, and did nothing about it.

  3. Reply to Deacon Blue …There in lies the problem as Bruno has said, “Gone up the line when they saw something wrong and not go public.” What be investigated by internal affairs? Oh boy ..that is agreat solution. The boys covering Spitzer deserve to be prosecuted as well. Have you looked at their oath as a law enforcement officer.

    Go see American Gangster. The NY State Police are supposed to be the best on duty. Remember that ..not cover crap up so save their high priced pensions. Did Felton loose his job..? Wake up ! Remember my damn taxes pay for their salaries.

  4. I have to add..go look at Felton’s Pension and compensation package …I think you will agree he will not be hurting too much. He deserves to step down along with everyone else who was involved.

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