Bob Horton’s out with an incredible – okay, it’s credible, but pretty frightening – story of the Greenwich Police Department’s top detective, one Mark Kordick, personal campaign to follow and report on the activities of a political opponent of America’s Common Core curriculum, now infesting our school system. No violence, no threats of violence, just a citizen of Greenwich (and a member of the Republican Town Committee) exercising his First Amendment right of free speech.
One day in late August, local political activist Arthur “Cort” Wrotnowski placed flyers on car windshields in the Island Beach ferry parking lot, hoping to drum up a crowd that would listen to his take on the perils of the Common Core, the controversial federal and state educational reform initiative.
[O] nly two people attended the early evening event at Town Hall on August 28. But the one-page notice did catch the eye of Greenwich Police Captain Mark Kordick, head of the Detective Division and an almost three-decade veteran of the force. He immediately drafted an email to School Superintendent William McKersie, informing the schools chief of the anti-Common Core meeting. That set off a chain of events that resulted Thursday in First Selectmen and Police Commissioner Peter Tesei starting an investigation into Captain Kordick’s behavior.
In an email sent over his signature as Captain of Detectives, Kordick told McKersie about Wrotnowski’s plan to hold a public forum in Town Hall “in the event your office wanted to send an official (or off the record) representative to attend the public event.” He attached a scan of the flyer and identified Wrotnowski as “among other things, (he is) apparently both an anti-Common Core activist and participant in the anti-President Obama “birther” movement.
McKersie replied that he and his staff knew of Wrotnowski’s opposition, but would not be sending a representative to the event, off the record or otherwise.
The head of detectives sent a second email to McKersie, after the anti-Common Core confab, with this report: “I’ve been informed that the meeting was sparsely attended. Other than Mr. Wrotnowski only two persons appeared to be in attendance at around 7:30 p.m. That headcount is exclusive of an amateur videographer who was recording an impassioned PowerPointpresentation being given by Mr. Wrotnowksi.”
…[K] ordick [admitted to Horton] that Wrotnowski’s meeting posed no public safety threat. He added, “The police department exists as a community service organization as well as a public safety agency.”
Kordick further said that he wrote the follow-up report on the meeting “to help the public schools track local interest in this topic.”
Kordick also wrote, “Mr. Wrotnowski has been quite unabashed about his political leanings, is a member (or perhaps recently a former member) of the Republican Town Committee and established a measure of notoriety with me and others when he initiated a lawsuit against Connecticut’s Secretary of State over the inclusion of Barack Obama’s name on the Presidential ballot some years ago citing ineligibility based on Mr. Obama’s birthplace.
“To be honest, I’m surprised that you, Mr. Wrotnowski or any other member of our community would find the idea of public employees being attentive to conditions and aware of the social and political environment both in Town and among its residents to be objectionable. Commitment to our community and its values by Town workers is one of the things that makes Greenwich a great place to live,” Kordick added.
To be honest, I think Kordick, a dick to his core, should be immediately fired and deprived of his pension for so outrageously abusing his position of power to conduct surreptitious surveillance and produce official police reports on a private citizen whose political views differ from Kordick’s. That will never happen, of course, but at the very least, Selectman Tesei should appoint an independent investigator to look into the GPD’s practices regarding treatment of
“persons of unabashed political leanings”. Make that report public, then retire Nordick and any of his superiors who may have approved or agreed to overlook his behavior.