Above: Harley Doles, Monroe’s Town Supervisor, is interviewed by Blaise Gomez of News 12.
Harley E. Doles III is the Town Supervisor of Monroe, New York. A man that a high ranking law enforcement official in Orange County just described to me as “The most investigated man in the Hudson Valley”.
Who Is Harley Doles?
Harley Doles first moved to Monroe, New York, in 2004 and was appointed to the Town Board in May of 2006 after a vacancy was created by the departure of Lori Currier Woods. He is married to Maria Vazquez-Doles, a recently elected Supreme Court judge for New York’s 9th judicial district. Before that, Vazquez-Doles was a town justice and private practice attorney, but she is more known locally for this viral video where she can be seen shouting at Mr. Doles outside a town board meeting.
At the time of his appointment in 2006, Doles was the sole Democrat on the board with four Republicans.
In 2010, Harley Doles received the endorsement of the Orange County Democrats and the Ulster County Democrats to run against State Senator Bill Larkin for his seat in the 39th Senate District. Senator Larkin, a Republican, has been in office forever, having first been elected to the seat in 1990. This year, despite running for re-election, Larkin is 86. If he survives for the entirety of another term, Larkin will rival Ruth Garner, Deputy Mayor of Potsdam, New York, who is currently one of New York (and potentially, America’s) oldest, active, elected officials. (Garner is 99 this year.)
As an interesting note about the race between Larkin and Doles, Larkin would go on to vote against the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, which legalized gay marriage in the state of New York. Harley Doles, running as a Democrat and on the Working Families Party line in 2010, also came out against gay marriage. As his reasoning for this, Doles stated: “When I understand the issue of gay marriage, I certainly understand the need for him to pursue what he considers to be a right that he believes he is entitled to.”Mine as a State Senate district candidate is to represent the majority of the people in this community.”
Doles would lose the contest to Larkin, 24,077 to 36,936, in a race described by the incumbent as the worst mud-slinging he’s ever seen on the state level. As you’ll see below, this claim concerning the Doles campaign is heavily substantiated.
Finally, after serving as only a town councilman since 2006, Mr. Doles decided to run for town supervisor against the former town supervisor and political rival, Sandy Leonard. The 2013 race also saw a run by upstart candidate, Emily Convers, who ran on behalf of the grassroots organization, United Monroe. Convers ran on a series of issues, but among them was a concern that Doles had made a back room deal where Leonard would continue to draw her Town Supervisor salary despite no longer being in office, meaning in effect, that Doles paid off Leonard to take her seat as Supervisor. This claim has since been verified as accurate by documents obtained in a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request from the town and have been submitted to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.
Like the Doles campaign against Larkin, the 2013 Town Supervisor race was characterized by cartoonish accusations of anti-semitism and rampant (and verifiable) voter fraud in the voting districts located within the village of Kiryas Joel.
Kiryas Joel is a large and growing village within the town of Monroe where the residents are Satmar, a branch of Ultra Orthodox Judaism that abides only by strict adherence to the Torah. Since the election, numerous members of the Kiryas Joel community have confirmed how the voter fraud occurred on Election Day 2013 to tip the election for Doles, whose difference between Convers in votes totaled roughly 700 votes.
Today, Harley Doles serves as Town Supervisor in Monroe, whose term expires in 2017.
Harley Doles’s Paranoia And Hate-Baiting
Harley Doles has an extensive history of claiming to the media that there have been threats made on his life, and that his political rivals are anti-semitic. There have also been numerous reports of Doles “finding” racist or anti-semitic literature, within weeks of Election Day, and then using it to call his rivals out.
1. In 2008, an unidentified volunteer found a racist and anti-semitic pamphlet located at the headquarters for the Monroe Democrats during the week of October 30th. The volunteer claims to have thrown out the first flyer “in disgust” but then brought the next one to the attention of the local police. The local Monroe paper, The Photo News, reported that Doles often frequented the headquarters, and was quick to bring the flyer to the attention of the Town Board, all of whom besides Doles was Republican at the time. Doles is quoted in the story as saying, ”The reference to the Holocaust, to Hitler, to the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution’ is terrible. As a community, it cannot be tolerated.”
If this incident had occurred and there was nothing else like it to follow, it would be reasonable for any of us to assume that the flyer was indeed the work of some racist idiot. But then …
2. In 2010 during the race against Bill Larkin, another shady flyer appears, within weeks of the election, where Larkin is accused of passing legislation and favoring the village of Kiryas Joel, giving Larkin credit for helping the village construct an almost $12 million dollar women’s center and approving a controversial water pipeline. The flyer is presented as if the village of Kiryas Joel is endorsing Larkin in an effort to persuade voters outside the community not to support him. Neither claim made about Larkin was true, according to published reports.
Doles denied to The Times Herald Record any involvement with the flyers, but the Record pointed out that Doles’s campaign had made posters making similar inaccurate claims about Larkin and the women’s center. The payment for the flyer’s Brooklyn-based postage was linked back to Congregation Baruch Tamm, which shares its mailing address with Kiryas Joel resident Bernard Tyranuer. Tyranuer and his group were backing the campaign of Harley Doles.
Doles raised $77,469 for his campaign against Larkin. Of all the municipalities reported, Doles raised the most from Brooklyn ($24,524), which is not located within the borders of New York’s 39th district. The main Kiryas Joel political group attributed the flyers to “The KJ Alliance”, who had backed Doles in previous elections and who are followers of Zalman Teitelbaum, the Brooklyn-based Rabbi who oversees Satmar followers who do not follow his brother, Aaron. Aaron Teitelbaum oversees the followers based in Kiryas Joel, where Zalman’s followers are the (often repressed, in their words) minority.
In fact, it was with the backing of The KJ Alliance that Doles was able to remove two Republican rivals on the town board in 2009, Donald Weeks and Peter Martin. As part of the changing of the guard, current Councilman Rick Colon was also elected to the board.
3. In 2011, Doles is up again for election, and another mysterious flyer again is circulated just before election day. The Monroe Democratic Committee, of which Harley Doles is a member, hilariously states as part of its response, “We do not hide behind unsolicited flyers trying to twist political outcomes”.
It’s not clear what was in this particular flyer as The Photo News story is vague; however, it’s implied that the flyer was playing up the KJ vs. Everyone angle that previously Doles-linked flyers and signage have done in the past, wherein reverse psychology is used. In other words, by suggesting a candidate is backed by Kiryas Joel (often referred to as “The Bloc Vote”), there’s an implication that you shouldn’t back that candidate because they don’t have your best interests in mind.
4. In early April of 2013, a van of local teenagers are driving around Monroe’s famous Millponds and are throwing onions at anyone they set their sights on. One of the individuals hit with an onion was a resident of Kiryas Joel. Upon hearing the news, Harley Doles promptly assembles a special meeting of the town board on April 10th, 2013. Doles demands that Chris Mckenna of The Times Herald-Record be present at the meeting. The minutes of which can be found here.
During the meeting, Councilman McQuade states that he too found an onion on his front step and mentions he lives near where the incident occurred. McKenna quoted McQuade as suggesting the onion he found on his front stoop due to his support of Kiryas Joel during his run for state assembly. Believing the onion incidents are connected. Doles suggests McQuade file a police report, which he does after the meeting.
Above is a robocall recorded and released by Gerard McQuade during his run for assembly stating that he is “blessed with the Rabbi’s support”.
A couple of things are worth noting here: First, two of the teenagers and their parents have stated they have no idea who Councilman McQuade is, nor do they know where he lives.
Also, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but if a bunch of teenagers threw an onion at my house out of reprisal for my political beliefs, I would probably call the police the first chance that I got. At the time of discovering the onion, McQuade did not file a police report. It was only after he was prompted at this meeting by Doles that one was filed.
I believe that Mr. McQuade filed a phony police report based on statements by the teenagers, the lack of response to allegedly finding an onion on his porch, and the prompting by Doles to file a complaint with the police. Enforcing a penalty against someone for filing a phony police report can be either a felony or a misdemeanor and is entirely at the whim of the police and prosecutor to pursue.
Specifically in NY there are three sections in the Penal Code concerning filing a phony police report. They are 240.50, 240.55, and 240.60. Most relevant here is NYS Penal Code Section 240.50, that states in part:
“A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, he: 3. Gratuitously reports to a law enforcement officer or agency (a) the alleged occurrence of an offense or incident which did not in fact occur; or (b) an allegedly impending occurrence of an offense or incident which in fact is not about to occur; or (c) false information relating to an actual offense or incident or to the alleged implication of some person therein.”
During the meeting, Doles goes on to state that a young man was beat up and that the police were looking to make arrests, but he does not mention if the individual was Satmar, nor does he mention any sources for this information. He also states that a fifteen-year-old had his payos forcibly cut off but that he could not confirm any details about the incident or knows if it even occurred.
The board requested a FOIL attempt be made for information on the onion incident and of the teenager attacked, but made no mention of the payos incident (which, if that specific incident was real, would fall under the NYS statute for a hate crime, which is what the Town Board was trying to indicate was going on around Monroe by holding the “special meeting”.)
5. As part of an affidavit provided to the FBI concerning an ongoing investigation, Monroe resident Jim Hall recalled that around election time in November of 2013, he was followed and harassed by Harley Doles and Councilman McQuade. Doles was spotted by Hall placing signs around the town indicating that the Village of Kiryas Joel backed Myrna Kemnitz, the Orange County legislator for District 7, where Monroe is located. If this false claim sounds familiar by now, it should, as it is literally the same tactic Doles used in 2010 and 2011.
Hall claims in the affidavit that he saw the sign fall over, and that he was simply picking it backup to put it back into place. Spotting this, Doles then followed Hall to the local Stop & Shop. There, Doles blocks in Hall’s car, and begins to shout and swear at Hall while recording him. Councilman McQuade, according to Hall, then enters the store and publicly confronts Hall about removing campaign signs. Jim Hall then filed a police report against Doles and McQuade with the Monroe Village Police.
There are numerous other stories like this involving Doles concerning the 2013 election, including video here from News 12 of Doles and alleged employees of his in less than 100 feet of polling locations in Kiryas Joel handing out ballots. Those stories are currently being compiled and provided to the FBI by Emily Convers’s United Monroe group, and will serve as the basis for a federal lawsuit.
In addition, Mr. Doles has yet to disclose his campaign finances for the 2013 Town Supervisor race.
Death Threats & Totalitarian Town Board Meetings
In addition to the shady campaign flyers that always appear around Election Day, Harley Doles often reports to the press, and state police, that he is subjected to threats on his life. He has made this claim in 2009, 2010, 2013, and most recently in 2014 on News 12 television.
Each time Mr. Doles has claimed there was a threat on his life to the media, he has mentioned that he has filed a corresponding report with the State Police. A FOIL request has been made to obtain any documentation concerning Harley Dole’s claims of death threats going back to when he was first appointed to the town board in 2006. When I went to speak with the state police two weeks ago, I was told no written record exists of the most recent death threat made against Mr. Doles.
These claims of threats against his life has lead the Town of Monroe to hire Mr. Joseph Brown as the Town’s public safety officer. Mr. Brown, according to the Town’s 2014 proposed budget, draws an annual salary of $37,368. In 2013, Mr. Brown’s annual salary is listed here as being $17,976. In 2014, Mr. Brown is currently receiving a salary listed as $49,920, an increase of $31,944 dollars.
The town also budgeted to purchase for Mr. Brown a gun at the cost of $687. There is also a line item for part time security officers at $14,088. Currently other members of the Town of Monroe’s security team are being paid at a rate of $96 per Town Board meeting.
Often at Town Board members, in addition to Joseph Brown, there are upwards of four armed security officials. Who paid for their weapons, whether or not they are licensed to carry those weapons, and whether or not they are trained to use those weapons is not clear. The only member of Monroe’s security detail to provide proof publicly that he is licensed to carry a firearm is Mr. Brown.
In addition to the four armed security officers, there is now a “permanent detail” (in the words of the state police) of four state police members at each town of Monroe board meeting. When questioned about the trooper presence, I was informed (as have others) by the troopers that they are there “for our protection” and that the reason for their presence is that Mr. Doles has reported threats are being made on his life.
But wait, this gets better: Town of Monroe meetings are filmed and aired on Channel 22 by a man named George Carney. Recently, another man has appeared named David Colodner, who has a camera fixed only on the audience. When questioned about his presence and the camera fixed on the audience in a recorded conversation, Colodner stated that he was asked by Mr. Carney to film the audience, but did not specify for what reason or how the footage would be used. Since then, there have also been other cameramen at Town Board meetings whose sole role is to film only the audience.
One local government official has informed me though that his private conversation in the audience during a Town Board meeting was filmed and that the footage made by either Mr. Colodner or one of the other men was shown to Doles, leading to a verbal altercation between Doles and the official. Who is paying the second cameramen is not clear, but Colodner claims the equipment he is using belongs to Mr. Carney and that he was a volunteer.
Mr. Carney has invoiced the town government in the past for the second, audience-focused cameraman, at a rate of $75 per meeting. Mr. Carney’s invoices are currently in the process of being FOIL’ed.
At the town board meeting on Monday, May 19th, Mr. Colodner was not present, but another second cameraman filming the audience was.
In terms of Doles’s threats on his life, we’re going to discuss them in reverse chronological order because the last one is the most important one.
1. In February of 2014, Blaise Gomez, of News 12, sits down for an extended interview with Town Supervisor Harley Doles. You can watch the extended interview here. In less than 24 hours after Harley Doles tells Blaise Gomez that there are threats made on his life, Doles claims that someone threw rocks through his windshield. News 12 reported that Doles did file a report with the State Police about the damage.
As far as the public knows, no arrests have been made.
2. In 2010, a month before the election with Larkin, according to The Photo News, Doles filed another report with the state police concerning a death threat he received in the mail. In a pattern incredibly similar to the mysterious flyers that always seem to appear around election time with Doles, the death threat reads in part, ““Councilman Doles,If you think being in cahoots with K.J is a good idea, think again. If you value your existence, think some more.”
As far as the public knows, no arrests are made.
3. Just before the election in 2009, Doles again mentions that his life has been threatened to The Photo News, this time in an article about how Doles had himself rushed to the hospital after another council member grabbed him by the shirt.
I’m not kidding. Let me explain:
In the only incidence of violence that would necessitate a police presence or armed security at a town board meeting, Councilman Doles and Councilman Jim Rogers get into an “altercation” on the morning of October 28th, 2009. That’s right. The only incidence of violence that has ever occurred since Doles was first appointed to office occurred between two councilmen. And the best part? Doles was the instigator.
Doles claimed that Rogers grabbed him by the shirt and threw him to the ground. Rogers claims he grabbed Doles by the shirt, and Doles fell out of his chair in an effort to get away. The Times Herald-Record, reporting on the incident, stated that Doles instigated things by accusing Donald Weeks of conducting town board business outside of official meetings. Doles was taping himself as he was making these accusations, a fact backed up by Doles providing the village police, who responded to the altercation within ten minutes of it occurring, of the conversation where he was openly questioning Weeks’s activities.
The next day, Sandy Leonard and other members of the town council released the following statement to the media. It is presented here in full:
“This press conference is being held to set the record straight regarding the series of events that occurred at the Town Board’s budget workshop on October 28, 2009. We want to clear the record of the many distortions and exaggerations that have been published in, and broadcast by, various news media outlets, not through the fault of the media but from the primary source of its information.
The Town Board invites the media to view the recordings of the last several Town Board meetings to review the councilman’s recent less than exemplary conduct. Councilman Doles has continually hindered the town board’s work publicly and attempted to embarrass its members. Undoubtedly, his conduct is an attempt to influence the electorate in the upcoming general town elections. His theatrics have escalated as the election draws nearer and the events of the 28 th were the culmination of the final act in his “theatre of the absurd.”
At the beginning of the workshop without provocation from any attendee, Mr. Doles chose to engage in the spewing of expletives aimed at the other members of the board, language that would embarrass a longshoreman. Unfortunately all the meeting attendees were subjected to this unprofessional and vulgar tirade. We believe there is no clearer indication of Mr. Doles’ intention to set about creating a situation he could exploit for his own political purposes than his attempt to secretly record an open public meeting of the Board. Mr. Doles apparently believed that he could provoke a confrontation and capture some incriminating statements on tape to use against those of us who are running for reelection. His amateurish performance failed miserably. However, he did manage to embarrass himself and the entire Town of Monroe.
The other Town Board Members wish to state unequivocally that there was no “Brawl at the Town Hall” no fistfight or other assault upon the person of Mr. Doles at the hands of Mr. Rogers. Due to the legal actions that have already been taken we will not review or comment on the series of events that followed Councilman Dole’s incoherent outburst. After Councilman Doles departure the workshop began. We produced a budget for the November 5 th public hearing with no increase for elected officials and an over all tax increase of less than 1%. How unfortunate that today, as we strive to recover from a worldwide financial melt down, we must deal with the petty political interests of Mr. Doles. Allowing his political ambition to trump his responsibility as an elected official, Councilman Doles missed an opportunity to participate in a important budgetary decision.”
Given all of the information above, Sandy Leonard’s comments about Dole’s “Theater of the absurd” appear to ring true.
In the News 12 video, involving Doles and his employees appearing less than 100 feet from the polling stations in the village of Kiryas Joel, you can see him recording the person recording him.
Mr. Hall’s affidavit states Doles was videotaping Hall while shouting and swearing at him. Mr. Doles was also secretly recording town board meetings in 2009 in an attempt to catch other council members saying something incriminating or embarrassing. Now, he has other individuals filming the audience at the town board meetings and showing him footage of private conversations.
I think it’s clear from the evidence that Mr. Doles is incredibly paranoid, and although he may think people are trying to kill him, by all accounts there’s no actual threat on his life. So …
Who Is Trying To Kill Harley Doles?
But what is happening here is that the state police, going as far back as 2009 when Mr. Doles first started claiming there had been threats made on his life, have been misused and abused. Before, as a political tactic to attempt to garner sympathy from voters, and now as an intimidation tactic to stifle any civic participation during town board meetings.
Monroe Town Board meetings, it should be added, are intentionally slowed and stalled by Doles and other councilman by taking frequent breaks, limiting public comment, and making town residents wait until 11pm or so to be able to speak, and when they get a chance to speak, they are frequently cut off and shouted down by Doles and McQuade.
In May of 2008, there was a controversy in Monroe about the use of the state police to enforce parking rules and regulations in the Town of Monroe. During the meeting, Mr. Doles, as a town councilman, is quoted as saying, “Can the state police better utilize their time?”
Given that there is no, and hasn’t been since Mr. Doles was appointed to the town board in 2006, any credible threat against Mr. Doles’s life, I have to ask that very same question.