It’s been more than a week since two convicted murderers with nothing to lose made a daring “Shawshank”-style escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, and authorities are no closer to apprehending the fugitives than they were at the beginning.
And law enforcement authorities are laying much of the blame on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose personal involvement hampered their efforts from the start, according to the New York Post.
Cuomo arrived within hours of the discovery that Richard W. Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 35, had escaped the maximum security prison — a move that generated the Democrat the national attention he sought, but distracted the investigation in its all-important early hours.
“Cuomo actually disrupted the early search efforts when he arrived at the ‘command center’ on Saturday and refused to enter the room until everyone was removed except state employees,’’ a veteran law-enforcement figure familiar with the search effort told the Post.
“And they did it without even saying ‘Thanks for your help,’ or such, just, ‘Get out so his highness can enter,’” the source told the Post.
“The State Police are trying to make sure that they’re the ones to catch these guys, that they get all the credit, and as a result, they’re not making full use of the assets that are available to them,’’ the source continued.
The Post reported:
Several sources said they believe Cuomo had subsequently given orders that he be allowed to rush to the Dannemora area to take part in any press conference if the fugitives are caught.
The sources, meanwhile, said the State Police, the lead agency, had repeatedly refused to share information on the design and scope of the manhunt with the local police, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the state Correctional Services Department and the state Environmental Conservation Department, whose police officers are part of the search, as well as the US Marshals Service.
The refusal to share information by the state police has resulted in a lack of coordination in search efforts, such as one that occurred a few days ago when a heavily armed contingent of state police unexpectedly met members of a Correctional Services emergency-response team coming out of a wooded area.
“One team didn’t know what the other team was doing, and that is very dangerous,’’ a source familiar with the incident told the Post.
A prison guard’s assessment was a bit more direct. He called the situation “a total cluster f- -k.”
And that pretty much sums it up.
Meanwhile, Cuomo continues to bask in the publicity while two dangerous inmates are still on the loose.
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