6 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • FEBRUARY 2021
IN THE NEWS
WEB BRIEFS LI AT A GLANCE
LI REPS SPLIT ON IMPEACHMENT
Long Island’s five-member congressional delegation
voted along party lines during the unprecedented
second impeachment Jan. 13 of President Donald
Trump for inciting a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol.
The three Democrats who represent the Island voted
to impeach the president and the two Republican
congressmen from LI voted against the measure,
charging Trump with inciting an insurrection in
last month's violent rampage in the Capitol that left
five dead, including a police officer.
“While I fully condemn the domestic
terrorists that stormed the Capitol
last Wednesday, and I believe
the president bears some responsibility,
cannot and will not vote
to impeach,” U.S. Rep.
(R-Bay Shore) said. “I
upheld my Constitutional
duty to count and certify the results
of the presidential election. Which is why today, I am
abiding by the Constitution and voting against this
Trump became the first president in U.S. history to
be impeached twice, as 10 of his fellow Republicans
joined Democrats in the House of Representatives to
vote for impeachment.
2 MORE WIND FARMS OFF LI
Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed on Jan. 13 two more
offshore wind farms off the coast of Long Island as
part of a broad increase in renewable energy planned
across New York State.
One will be located more than 20 miles off Jones
Beach, the other will be more than 60 miles off Montauk
Point, and each will have more than 90 turbines
for a combined output of about 2,500 megawatts, the
“Don’t worry, neither will be visible from the shore,”
Cuomo said in part three of his four-part State of The
State address, which was broken up into chunks this
He called it the largest production of renewable
energy by any state in U.S. history.
The transmission line for the turbines off Jones Beach
will connect on land at Oceanside and the line for the
Montauk wind farm will travel 200 miles under the
Long Island Sound to Astoria, Queens.
MS-13 CHARGED ON LI WITH TERRORISM
The United States has charged 14 leaders of the international
criminal gang MS-13 on terrorism charges,
the U.S. Department of Justice said on Jan. 14, part of
an intensified crackdown on the group.
The indictment, filed in Central Islip, charged the
individuals with conspiracies to support terrorists,
commit acts of terrorism, and finance
terrorism, according to the department.
“The indictment announced today is the highest
reaching and most sweeping indictment targeting
MS-13 and its command and control structure in
U.S. history,” acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen
said in a statement.
The department said that Borromeo Enrique Henriquez,
considered the most powerful member of
Ranfla Nacional, which the U.S. government said
comprises the highest level of MS-13 leadership, as
well as 10 other people were in custody in El Salvador.
The United States would “explore options for their
extradition,” it said.
Three of the defendants, Fredy Ivan Jandres-Parada,
Cesar Humberto Lopez-Larios and Hugo Armando
Quinteros-Mineros remain at large and should be considered
armed and dangerous, the department said.
NCPD REFORMS PITCHED, ADVOCATES BALK
Use of body cameras, more police officer training,
a mentorship program to increase diversity in the
ranks, and an emphasis on transparency are all part
of the Nassau County Police Department’s newly
unveiled proposed police reforms.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder outlined
the draft list of reforms during a public hearing held
by the Nassau County Legislature’s Public Safety
committee on Jan. 7. Some advocates criticized the
process by which police gathered public comments
on the proposed reforms. The reforms are among
those that Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated police
departments statewide undertake in response to
nationwide protests against police brutality.
“The communities that put their trust in law enforcement
are asking for change and reform,” Ryder said.
“We are listening, and we can always do better for
Ryder reviewed the draft of procedural changes and
programs, which must be approved by the county
legislature and filed to the state by Nassau County
Executive Laura Curran by April 1.
NYPD COP FROM LI RETIRES
AMID RACISM PROBE
A formerly high-ranking New York
City police officer from Long Island who
was accused of anonymously posting racist rants
online has retired after reportedly being suspended
for 30 days without pay.
Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel, a 30-year
veteran who was serving as commanding officer
of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity
(EEO) within the department’s Office of
Equity and Inclusion, was previously transferred to
the transit bureau while the subject of an internal
“Deputy Inspector Kobel is entitled to due process
as is anyone,” said Det. Sophia Mason, an NYPD
spokeswoman who confirmed that he retired. “These
allegations will go through the disciplinary process.
We will not comment while these proceedings are
WNBC-TV New York reported that Kobel was suspended
shortly before he retired. He was initially
placed on modified duty amid an ongoing internal
affairs probe. The allegations, which were first reported
by The New York Times, were later detailed
in a City Council investigative report in November.
The Times reported Monday that the NYPD has
concluded Kobel was behind the posts.
Kobel allegedly used the pseudonym “Clouseau”
to post more than 500 times on the board, known
as “Law Enforcement Rant,” between July of last
year and September of this year. Among the many
examples, he allegedly described Bronx District Attorney
Darcel Clark as a “gap-tooth wildebeest” and
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, also of the Bronx,
as a “savage.”
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), who led the city
council probe before being elected to Congress, said
the probe shouldn’t stop with Kobel.
Torres tweeted, “There are untold numbers of
officers lurking on these online message boards,
trafficking in the vilest forms of bigotry.”
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