Days after First Selectman Peter Tesei endorsed Harbormaster Ian MacMillan’s order to remove the badly placed mooring of a former Greenwich cop, a notice of violation has been served and ignored, accusations of child pornography have materialized and the mooring in question continues to bob in the middle of a public channel.
“What should be a very routine process of mooring removal has developed into a theatrical circus and there are many stars,” said Selectman Drew Marzullo. “It’s become `The Wild Wild West’ show on the waters of Greenwich. It’s `Pirates of the Caribbean’ on Windrose Way.”
The mooring at the center of the dispute sits in the channel maintained by the Windrose Way Association on Mead Point. It is owned by Peter Silbereisen, a retired Greenwich policeman who still serves as a special officer.
A year ago MacMillan deemed Silbereisen’s mooring a hazard to navigation and ordered its removal. The mooring had not had a permit in two years, nor had Silbereisen paid the annual $100 mooring fee for four years, according to MacMillan.
But Silbereisen did not move his mooring and Greenwich police said MacMillan exceeded his authority by ordering its removal.
Earlier this month, the town’s three selectmen visited Silbereisen’s mooring by boat and concluded that it is an obstruction to other boaters. With the support of the town’s chief officials, MacMillan on Thursday mailed a notice of violation to Silbereisen, giving him a 48-hour deadline to remove the mooring.
“[Silbereisen] called me on Friday and said that he got the letter and because of the letter he called (Police Chief) Jim Heavey and because Jim Heavey didn’t get the letter, he told me that Heavey told him to do nothing,” MacMillan said.
… Tesei said he spoke with Heavey, who explained he was concerned that MacMillan referenced marine police on a notice of violation they had not been given an opportunity to read.
On Sunday, MacMillan set out by boat to see whether Silbereisen had moved the mooring. He brought with him a camera.
When he arrived at the site, MacMillan said Silbereisen and several other boaters were gathered around the mooring, though not tied up to it. He started snapping pictures.
MacMillan said he was holding the camera to his eye when he heard Silbereisen’s voice requesting police assistance on the marine radio.
“What he said was that I was taking pornographic pictures of small children swimming in the water,” MacMillan said. “He made a false report. The purpose of my photos was to document the illegal mooring and the vessels around it.”
MacMillan motored over to Marine Police Headquarters and handed over his camera.
Tesei said MacMillan was wise to take the photographs, and he agreed they are not pornographic in nature.
“I’m disappointed and disgusted quite frankly with that characterization,” he said. “It’s beyond the pale.”
As for the mooring, Tesei said it will be removed.