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Parts of police merger studies are similar, acting Nassau DA Singas says

Retired NYPD Det. Richard Bo Dietl speaks outside

Retired NYPD Det. Richard Bo Dietl speaks outside of Southampton Justice Court, July 13, 2012. Credit: John Roca

Nassau Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said Monday that parts of a feasibility study of a proposed police department merger by former NYPD Det. Richard "Bo" Dietl's consulting firm look similar to a 2013 report on the possible merger of police departments in New Jersey.

The similarities between the two studies were first reported by News 12 Long Island on Monday. Newsday reported last week that Nassau County agreed to pay Dietl $24,000 for the 13-page study, which was commissioned to look into merging the Hempstead and Freeport village police departments into the county police.

Parts of the Dietl report's executive summary mirror a few paragraphs in a 114-page police consolidation study completed by Mountain View, California-based Matrix Consulting Group, which examined the Montvale, Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, police departments on June 3, 2013, Singas said.

"I looked at the executive summary of both and they looked almost identical," Singas said. "When I said it was 'cut-and-paste,' I meant it was a rudimentary report. . . . But now that I see this, it looks like it was plagiarized from another report."

Dietl vehemently defended his study, saying he had never seen the other report. His firm's report was the result of "hundreds of hours of work," he said.

"I have never, ever heard of what you're talking about," Dietl said of the California study. " . . . I've never seen it. I've never heard of it."

Dietl said he is a Nassau resident and his firm did the report -- for which he would have normally charged $100,000 -- to help young people in Hempstead avoid becoming victims of violence.

"I did what I felt as though was a responsible report," he said. "I believe there's a lot of redundancy of the Nassau County Police Department responding over there with the detectives and everything else. . . . The people of Hempstead and Freeport -- they're the victims who have to pay double for a service."

Richard Brady, president of Matrix, said he planned to send a "very strong letter" to Dietl's firm to "get an explanation."

Singas, who has said she planned to examine Dietl's contract with the county as part of a comprehensive review of the county's contract system, said the similarities are "concerning" and Dietl's contract "deserves more review and scrutiny."

"The county shouldn't be paying for reports that we can do internally and cheaper and the taxpayers shouldn't be footing the bill," Singas said. " . . . Whether it's criminal is something we're looking at, and if it is, it's something we'll prosecute."

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