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Is Cuomo considering the dissolution of the DEC Econ officer department?

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I just received this from Assemblyman Brian Kolb in response to my earlier letter to him.

Dear Mr. B:


Thank you for contacting me with your objections to a potential merger of New York State’s Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) with New York State’s Forest Rangers. It is great to hear from you.


I agree with you about the necessity to keep these respective departments separate. The ECOs and Rangers are trained for different tasks. You will be pleased to know that there was no mention of this possible merger in the 2019-2020 Executive Budget.


However, this merger has been discussed in the past and could be revisited again as a part of an administrative action. Should legislation be required to prevent this merger I would support it.


Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any additional questions or concerns.






Brian M. Kolb

Assembly Minority Leader



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There is one thing that leaves me wondering. The word "Gag Order" was used. This got me really worried, because "gag order" is a legal term that can be used by a judge in order to prevent information from becoming public either because of national security reasons or to prevent jury prejudice in sensitive criminal cases. It is the one time where judicial decision takes precedence over the freedom of speech right that we American citizens have.Was there in fact a gag order or was your friend just told to not discuss it until further information was available?

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Unfortunately the way all State agency's operate since Andrew Cuomo came into office is all material released to the public must come thru his office.  This includes anything and everything the DEC sends out including even the state of the lake date announcements.  I have heard it called a gag order by DEC employees before.   It was not this way prior to Cuomo taking office... you make your own assumptions..  I will make mine.. 

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Gag orders are not a legal term in this situation.  Basically word gets passed on down the chain from the top of the mountain to "keep mouths closed".  Brian Kolb will be contacted about where he can find the changes as the information is buried.  

Edited by Gill-T

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Not sure where this is heading.  Basil is reportedly going to stay on and the Park Rangers may have stepped in their own mess by stating they don't want to inherit the additional duties of ECO's but really only want a match in base pay.  ECO's have limitations on overtime.  Rangers get double the overtime opportunities compared to ECO's so with the "soft money" end up making more per year than ECO's.  Not sure how this is going to effect anything on the ground.

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