Today, Glenn Valle, the former Chief Counsel to the State Police from 1989-2009 and counsel to the governor’s deputy secretary for public safety from 2009 to 2010, wrote a letter to the editor in the Times Union blasting Cuomo for trying to evict the demonstrators. Noting that he has little in common with their cause, Valle said that the protesters have a “First Amendment right” to do what they are doing and that what Cuomo is trying to do is “repugnant and inexcusable“:
The Oct. 25 editorial, “Occupy Albany’s right to protest,” correctly criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an apparent political attempt to order the State Police to remove the “Occupy Albany” protesters from Lafayette Park. While I may share few of the protesters’ views on economic policy, those involved, under the peaceful circumstances of this protest, certainly had a First Amendment right that should not have, at this juncture, been disturbed by the police.
For an elected official to utilize a police agency to threaten peaceful protesters merely because they represent a political inconvenience is an egregious abuse of power. It is something that I cannot recall occurring in my 26-year tenure with the State Police. I believe, however, that your thoughtful editorial neglected to note one critical point: This is the very same Andrew Cuomo who, as attorney general, repeatedly criticized the supposed “political” involvement with the State Police of two former governors. If these allegations are true, it renders his insertion into this matter for political considerations all the more repugnant and inexcusable.
Occupy Albany is currently winterizing, digging in for a long struggle against Cuomo and for economic justice. “We’re committed to staying out here to defend our rights,” said protester Daniel Morrissey. “We’ve got to keep the people warm so they can hang out all day, all night.”