NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department
Home Page
All Columns
Contact Leonard Levitt
Search this site

Guardians' boss is making waves

March 4, 1996

Elected president of the Guardians Association of black police officers just two months ago, Eric Sanders is making big waves.

Last month, he called for the suspension of the organization's first vice president, Terrance Wansley, and its treasurer, Jacqueline Parris. Their transgression: writing checks without his authorization.

"I don't even know for how much," said Sanders. "And if a president has no idea of what or how much they are signing for, then the corporation is in trouble."

Over the past decade, the Guardians have suffered declining membership and influence. As Sanders wrote to his membership on Feb. 12, "Over the years many members raised legitimate concerns about the management or lack thereof, which is one of the primary reasons why the membership and corporate credibility suffered dramatically."

Among the problems, Sanders says, are that board members have refused to relinquish financial records, preventing him from evaluating the non-profit corporation's fiscal status. "It looks suspicious when the president doesn't have access to records that he has an unqualified right to," Sanders says.

Specifically, he's demanded information to determine the number of shares the corporation owns in SNAIDRAUG, Ltd. (Guardians spelled backwards), a Guardian subsidiary that purchased the group's former Brooklyn clubhouse on Marion Street. The building was sold last year to the Soul Harvest Evangelistic Center for $150,000 and SNAIDRAUG failed to recall the securities for payment. "We still don't know how much stock we own in SNAIDRAUG," he says.

Last month, Sanders rescinded a resolution proposed by his presidential opponent Noel Leader increasing the number of trustees and appointing a chairperson of the board. "They were trying to replace my position of president," says Sanders.

The lost step. While the fate of the police department's remaining borough commanders remains unknown, pending a resolution between Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton, the fate of Brooklyn North's borough commander Benny Foster has been sealed. On Thursday, his office was taken over by Chief Joe Dunne, who will run the high-profile Brooklyn North narcotics offensive with 1,000 extra cops assembled from around the city.

The department's rationale is that Foster, a 40-year veteran, had lost a step and was no longer a "dream team" player for Chief of Department Louis Anemone, who hand-picked Dunne to replace him. Friends of Foster contrast his Printable versiontreatment to that of 31-year veteran, Captain George Farrell of Highway District 2, whose transfer last Christmas was rescinded by First Deputy Commissioner John Timoney so that Farrell would not retire "with a bitter taste in his mouth."

Farrell, who termed his Christmas problem a mere "conflict in vacation schedules," didn't retire and remains in Highway. Foster's not retiring either and will work under Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman, a benchwarmer himself on Coach Anemone's squad. Says Chapman of Foster, "If he's lost a step, I haven't noticed."

Ghost watch. While Police Commissioner Bratton still searches for someone to ghost write his auto-biography, two beleaguered figures from the Mollen Commission on police corruption have had no problem finding writers to whom they can relate their troubles. The discredited ex-cop and Mollen informant Barry Brown is describing his life to Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena. And the commission's tender counsel Joe Armao, skewered by Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau for stealing his cases and taking them to the U.S. attorney, is talking to Joe Conason of The New York Observer.

Full circle. Forty-one-years ago, a rookie cop named Anthony M. Lopez pounded a beat in the 23rd Precinct. He subsequently spent 20 years in the Intelligence Division, protecting former Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev and once helping astronaut Neil Armstrong into his space suit. Last Friday, Lopez retired after the second longest department tenure. His last command was back at the Two-Three, as lieutenant commander of its detective squad.

No oyster. Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple's face may have wandered into someone's fist as he attempted to stop a fight outside Elaine's restaurant but contrary to what this column reported, the Dapper One does not appear to have suffered an oyster in the keister - a black eye.

Mape the Drape was viewed in his office last Wednesday, smoking a cigar and sipping an espresso after having just trimmed his few remaining strands of hair with a scissors over the sink adjacent to his punching bag. "Just write this column has egg on its face," spoke the hard-boiled Jackster.

« Back to top

Email Leonard Levitt at llevitt@nypdconfidential.com

© 1996 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.