That’s what Tom Dubas, former Blakely police chief, said when he called the show yesterday. The 60-year-old who worked as chief for 22 years knows the difference between right and wrong.
And he knows that former state Sen. Bob Mellow is as wrong as wrong can be.
That’s why Dubas wants to strip Mellow’s name from the Blakely park that bears it and rename the park for somebody truly deserving.
Nobody is more deserving than the late Army Sgt. Jan Argonish, killed in action in August, 2007, while serving in Afghanistan.
Argonish was 26 when he died.
At that time lawmaker Mellow was busy wielding power, manipulating democracy to suit himself and breaking the law of the land. Argonish was patrolling enemy territory and defending the law of the land.
Mellow had the park and other public places named after him.
Argonish got his name carved into a tombstone.
Now is the time to right that terrible wrong.
Mellow is scheduled to report to prison Jan. 15, where he is expected to serve 18 months after pleading guilty to crimes of political corruption. Mellow knowingly and willing betrayed the public trust.
Argonish knowing and willingly died while serving his country.
Yet I expect opposition to Dumas’ idea that we rename the park in honor of Argonish. Some Mellow enablers and lackeys will likely oppose the idea either through fear, loyalty, stupidity or a combination of all three. They must be persuaded to change their minds or step aside.
That’s where we come in.
Dumas got the movement going with a Facebook page. He emailed me and I asked him to call the show yesterday, which, of course, he did. Argonish’s fiancee’s father also called the show to lend support to the movement. His daughter emailed me this morning to endorse the project.
Each year hundreds of bikers come together for a rally to pay tribute to Argonish and his fallen brothers and sisters at arms. Each year more and more people witness the difficult aftermath of war for more and more veterans and work to strengthen this nation of law in its treatment of those deserving men and women.
And, each year, more and more corrupt politicians wait to see if they, like Mellow, will get busted and one day report to prison.
Sadly, Mellow’s supporters still wield significant power throughout in Northeastern Pennsylvania. More than 200 of these criminal associates tried to influence the federal judge who presided over Mellow’s sentencing by writing letters asking him to go easy on Mellow. Mellow and his lawyers even played a pathetic sympathy card by using his adult daughter’s illness to try to slither under the wire of the federal penitentiary.
To an extent they succeeded. Mellow should have received a lengthier sentence. Still, he’s going to jail. And the name of his park should go with him.
But officials, including a Sept. 11 “hero” of the Pentagon and president of Lackawanna College, refuse to change the name of the college theater that bears Mellow’s name. Even well-heeled and respected trustees, including Lackawanna County Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle grew fearful and refused to speak out publicly to endorse a name change.
As a result, the Mellow Theater, where class after class of new local police officers take the oath of public service, stands as disgraceful testimony to lawbreakers and crooked politics in hard coal country.
We need no better reason to take back the park.
In upcoming weeks I plan to encourage and influence politicians and business people with the same zeal that Mellow’s supporters encouraged and influenced the judge. I urge you to join me as we pester and persuade the “powerful” to agree with our desire to rename Mellow Park.
If necessary we’ll bring a couple thousand cops, firefighters, soldiers, prosecutors, veterans, bikers, children, senior citizens and others together in that park for a weekend encampment. We’ll get national news coverage. We’ll march in the streets of Blakely. We’ll shame and embarrass and raise hell. But it really shouldn’t have to come to that, should it? The politicians who have the power to change the park’s name should easily agree with us. If they disagree, however, they do so at their own political risk.
Looks like we learned something good from degenerate gangster Mellow after all.