Oct 1, 2018 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Digging deeper into police, city documents re Darryl Mount case

Darryl Mount is treated by emergency workers in Saratoga Springs on Aug. 31, 2013. Mount eventually died from his injuries. The photo is an exhibit in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Mount’s mother.

The other day Saratoga Springs resident John Kaufmann wrote an updated report on the city’s handling of the Aug. 31, 2013 incident involving a police chase and death nine months later of then-21-year-old Darryl Mount, which I reported extensively this past AugustHere is a John’s piece, which includes correspondence related to his research and response to his post.

In response to an email to Kaufmann from then-Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen, I am asking Dr. Mathiesen for documents to support his statements. Also, today I filed a Freedom of Information request with the city for documents pertinent to the insurance company’s investigation of this case and the police department’s practices regarding the investigation of misconduct complaints. Dr. Mathiesen has stated that investigation cleared the police of any wrongdoing, but no such report has been made public. I emailed him about this earlier today and he thoughtfully and promptly responded, but his reply sheds no new light for lack of documentation to support his assertions.

Here is a copy of my email to Dr. Mathiesen followed by his response this afternoon and, below it, my FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request to the city for documents.

Dear Chris,
I appreciate your responsiveness to questions relating to the Darryl Mount case. I read with interest your email exchange on Sept. 22, 2018 with Jo

hn Kaufmann, which was posted on his blog, and I have questions related to two points that you raise.
In one paragraph you wrote: “I later found out that both the DA and the Attorney General were aware of the incident, had been contacted about doing an investigation and apparently decided that the investigation conducted by the SSPD was satisfactory.”
My questions: Could you please provide any documentation that indicates the D.A. and Attorney General were contacted and decided the SSPD investigation was satisfactory? When did you learn this, and from whom?
A couple of paragraphs later you wrote: “One of the investigations that were done is often ignored.  Traveler’s Insurance investigated thoroughly and decided that the Mount family allegations are baseless.  Otherwise, they would have settled a long time ago to limit their expenses.”
My questions are: Could you please provide me with a copy of the Traveler’s Insurance investigation? Who conducted this

Thank you.
Sincerely,
Barbara Lombardo

Oct. 1, 2018 response from Dr. Mathiesen to me:

Barbara,
Question #1.   I can only say that I learned this from a source outside of our department and well after I had been pressured by the Mount family and declined their demand that I call for an  investigation by an outside agency.  I was told that both agencies, as well as possibly others, had declined to initiate an investigation and it was inferred that, after looking into it, they found no reason to do so.
Question #2.   I don’t have a copy of the Traveler’s investigation.  Sometimes cases are settled rather than going to trial because the company feels that there is not enough evidence to predictably defend the City.  I was told that the reason that they were not doing so in this case was because the insurance company found no evidence to undermine the assertion that the police were not at all responsible for the injuries suffered by Darryl Mount.  That would not be surprising given that the facts gathered in this case are overwhelming consistent.
Chris Mathiesen

HERE is the Freedom of Information request I emailed to the city the morning of Oct. 1, 2018:

1. The report prepared for the city in the Traveler’s Insurance investigation of the Aug. 31, 2013 incident in which Darryl Mount was injured.
2. Any correspondence or communications between anyone in the city and the insurer related to the aforementioned incident, beginning with the time of the incident to the present.
3. Any complaints of police misconduct recorded by the city police department from 2011 to present.
4. Records of internal affairs investigations conducted in accordance with General Order 25 from 2011 to present.
5. Any correspondence or communications between the city and the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office referencing the Darryl Mount case from Aug. 31, 2013 through 2014.
5. Any correspondence or communications between the city and the New York State Attorney General’s Office referencing the Darryl Mount case from Aug. 31, 2013 through 2014.

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