MINEOLA - The Nassau police merger study that has prompted calls for an investigation contains wording that is "almost identical" to one that was produced by a California firm about the feasibility of merging New Jersey police departments.
As News 12 has reported, Nassau County contracted former NYPD Detective Richard "Bo" Dietl for $24,000 and received a 13-page report on the feasibility of folding Freeport and Hempstead village police departments into the Nassau County Police Department. News last week of the 2014 study sparked outrage from village officials who say they were left in the dark about it. The $24,000 total for the study meant it didn't need Legislature approval; nor did a second $24,000 study Dietl's firm did on security at Nassau's Cedar Creek Sewage Treatment Plant.
Some lines in Dietl's police study appear to have been copied verbatim from a separate study done by a California consulting firm in 2013. News 12 sent the Nassau report to the California firm's president, Richard Brady, for examination.
"I have no idea why they felt it necessary to plagiarize our report," Brady told News 12 over the phone. When asked if there was any possibility that it was a coincidence, Brady replied, "No, absolutely none at all."
Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas was stunned. She notes that while it's not criminal to look to other reports for guidance, she says, "In this kind of case it seems like the work just wasn't put into it."
Singas' office says it is already investigating the county's contracting practices, and says Dietl's police study contract is being reviewed. "If there's criminality here we will find it, investigate it and prosecute," Singas says.
Dietl told reporters last week that he still has not been paid by the county for the study. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said in a statement, "The report is incomplete, a number of questions remain unanswered, and therefore the contractor has not been paid."
News 12 reached out to County Executive Ed Mangano for comment, but was told he could not comment because he has not seen the report, even though the cover page of the Dietl study is addressed to Mangano's office. News 12 sent copies of both reports to the executive.
News 12 also contacted Dietl for comment on the allegations of plaigiarism, but has not received a response.