BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
The brazen legal persecution of former Rockland COBA union leaders who opposed the reelection of their boss Sheriff Louis Falco in 2015 continues unabated as Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe and prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran have chosen to play along with Falco rather than deal with opposing him on a sensitive issue.
The DA has moved to indict CO Jacquelin “Jack” Millien on felony “falsification” and “tampering” charges, claiming he wasn’t looking at an inmate at a time he logged himself in a log book. The first hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Millien claims he had, in fact, performed his duties as trained and questions why if he did something wrong he was not subject to normal job-related disciplinary measures?
Millien has served as a CO for over a decade without disciplinary issues and prior to that worked with troubled youths, helping many young persons turn their lives around. Millien has by all available evidence been a productive member of society and has raised six children of his own. He has received honors for his community service and even been recognized by former County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.
Now he faces felony charges.
Is it because of a log book practice or because he voiced an unpopular political opinion? Millien and his allies say the latter is the reason and he is vowing to fight the case until justice is his. Over a dozen retired COs and others from the correctional and law enforcement community signed their name to a letter claiming the charges against Millien are baseless, and that Millien had been doing his job as trained.
One-by-one, Sheriff Falco’s regime has pressed criminal charges or other extreme sanctions against former top union brass over issues typically dealt with verbally or in disciplinary forms. Falco has cut deals with most of the men and women, dropping the charges if they resigned from their jobs.
Falco’s strategy has worked quite well to this point. COBA union members will no longer speak their minds for fear of being arrested.
But Falco now faces one man who vows to fight back. The results of the battle will compel the attention of all Rockland County.