Sean Hannity and Bo Dietl should thinkLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Sean Hannity and Bo Dietl should think before opening their mouths

(The is Part One of a two-part series)

Last Tuesday, October 20, NYPD Police Officer, Randolph Holder, 33, was shot in the head and killed while chasing a robbery suspect in the East Harlem section of the Bronx in New York City. The suspect, Tyrone Howard, an ex-con, drug-dealing gangbanger, piece of trash with a lengthy record of arrests, survived after being shot by Holder’s partner, NYPD Officer, Omar Wallace.

For months I have listened to Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and his frequent guest, hot-headed former NYPD Detective and NY Private Investigator, Richard “Bo” Dietl, talk about how cops across the country are fearful of doing their jobs, becoming increasingly hesitant to do what they swore an oath to do, and other rants about police work slowdowns and officers just doing the bare minimum to get through their shifts.

Just last week on a segment of “Hannity” Dietl said, “If I’m a cop, I’m not putting my life at risk, I am not going above and beyond like I might have in the past, why should you?

Well Bo then I am glad you are no longer a cop.

I believe the majority of American law enforcement officers will not agree with that statement. And those that do should be fired or leave the profession. Fact is no law enforcement officer is bound by a contract to stay on the job. The only contract is a moral one and that is to protect the public to the best of their ability.

Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity

In May of this year on the Imus in the Morning radio show on the Fox Business Channel, Dietl said, “The officers lost their heart and soul because they have no support.”

Both Sean Hannity and Bo Dietl do a disservice and dishonor, not only to Officer Holder, but every other law enforcement officer in this country who are out there day and night, performing the job they swore an oath to do, and that is to protect the citizens they serve. Was Officer Holder conducting a work slowdown; was he hesitant about doing his job; was he doing just “the bare minimum” when he chased Tyrone Howard down and got shot in the head? Did Officer Holder lose his heart and soul for the job?

No he did not. NYPD Police Officer Randolph Holder was doing exactly what he swore an oath to do.

Exposing yourself to danger in order to enforce the law and protect citizens is part of the job when you pin on a badge. Police work is a high risk occupation. Cops fight crime and will always face violent offenders of the law. Those facts haven’t changed, not twenty-five years ago when I was cop, not presently, nor will they change in the future.

Are police under more scrutiny today than they were years ago when I was on the job? They most certainly are. And why is that?

Because of bad cops. Those that believe misconduct and corruption take precedent over the rule of law, due process and the civil rights afforded every American citizen under the Constitution.

Those bad cops, because of their shameful misconduct have now put all cops under the microscope. So yes, when there is a police shooting or police misconduct, the public is going to ask for transparency. The public have the right to ask for that. And when there is ample evidence that the victim was unarmed and non-threatening the public’s suspicion of the police widens even further.

On the Imus in the Morning radio show this year, Bo Dietl said, “When we were interrogating people to find out who these guys were, one guy’s head ended up in the toilet bowl that hadn’t been flushed in about three years, and I got like my hand a little poo-poo but I really didn’t care.”   “And then another time a guy shot a cop and I took him to the top of a building and I did hold him off the building, I never dropped him.” “I’ll do whatever I gotta do, I’ll cut a pig open and put it on the top of his head and shoot a guy in his knee cap to find out who is going to explode a bomb in New York.” “This is what we gotta do.”

No Bo that’s not what you have to do. Illegal police behavior, conducted under the color of law as described by Dietl, sounds more like the action of a thug, not a police officer and should not be tolerated. Is he not describing assault and attempted murder?

Is this how Dietl operated when he was on the force? Were those two incidents he described when he broke the law isolated incidents or was there a pattern of behavior that was present before and after? Are those comments the rantings of a self-aggrandizing lunatic and former police officer who believed the ends justified the means? You decide?

Improper police tactics, violating due process, abridging civil rights and illegal police interrogations over the years have made the public even more skeptical of the police. Are not police officer’s jobs hard enough these days that we have to listen to this type of talk from someone who should know better?

Comments like those made by Dietl are just simply wrong and unprofessional. A truly professional criminal investigator would not have to resort to Dietl’s thuggish tactics and would not have to violate people’s rights and break the law to get a lead and make a case. It makes no difference how heinous or horrible the crime you are investigating may be.

Bo Dietl talking about Rev. Al Sharpton

Bo Dietl talking about Rev. Al Sharpton

There were times when I was on the job that I did want to do exactly what Dietl described he did. But I didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t become a cop to break the law and act like a thug with a badge.

There is nothing in the Constitution that states someone’s civil rights can be violated because of the severity of a crime. Those police officers who do violate a person’s civil rights and break the laws they were sworn to uphold, have now stepped over the line from police officer to criminal.

Over the years, Dietl has made some pretty ignorant comments.

In June 2012 on the Imus show he said, “Eventually everyone will be indicted on something. You get indicted for things, things.”

In 2005 on the Imus show he called former Democratic Party Chairman, Terry McAuliffe, a “panty-wearing faggot.”

On the March 14, 2007 edition of Fox News’ Your World With Neil Cavuto talking about the six Muslim imams that were removed from a US Airways flight in 2006, Dietl said they should “call their cousin up there, Ali Baba Boo, and go by cab.”

On the August 2007 edition of the same Fox show Dietl said, “If I see two guys that look like Aba Daba Doo and Aba Daba Dah, I’m going to pull them over, and I wanna find out what you’re doing.”

On a May 12, 2008 segment of the Imus show again he referred to people of Middle Eastern descent as Aba Daba Doos and “little hamel humpers” to which Imus corrected him and said, “It’s uh, ‘camel humpers’.

Talking about Katie Couric on the Imus show in November of 2009, Dietl said, “Ten years ago she looked American, today she looks “Oriental.” First off Bo, what does an American look like? American citizens who are Asian don’t look like Americans? Secondly, the word Oriental describes a carpet not a person.

Bo Dietl has referred to New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio numerous times on Fox News shows as “Big Bird.” On a December 20, 2014 segment of the Fox News Channels’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Dietl said, “I call the mayor ‘Big Bird de Blasio’ because that’s exactly what he is.” Dietl believes he has reason to dislike de Blasio, and granted some of those reasons may be justified, but stooping to childish name calling makes Dietl appear clownish. Dietl was on the show with disgraced, convicted felon, former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

On the same show Dietl said, “But every cop that’s working out there, be on the watch, know what’s going on, if you have to pull your gun, you put your gun out, you put it at your side, and you deal with people.” You take your gun, you put it at your side, you question the guy.”

I don’t believe that would be proper police procedure, to routinely pull your weapon anytime you have to question anybody. There are many reasons why that is tactically not a good idea. Weapons are much safer when they are in their retention holsters, rather than just having them out randomly for no reason. I just can’t see what Dietl proposed as being proper police practice.

Just this past summer Dietl supported the actions of the McKinney, Texas police officer who drew his weapon at the pool party and then manhandled an unarmed, bikini clad black female teenager to the ground. Dietl stated that the officer was justified in pulling his weapon. Again, I disagree. That officer later resigned from the department.

Fox News Channel seems to have an affection with disgraced cops. Along with Bernard Kerik, former LAPD detective, Mark Fuhrman, another disgraced cop and convicted felon for perjury is also a frequent guest on Fox News Channel programs. Both of these men have lost their credibility and their value as law enforcement consultants or experts. Both Kerik and Fuhrman destroyed their reputations, careers and tarnished their badge and in effect placed another black mark on American law enforcement, but that doesn’t seem to concern the Fox News Channel.

Fitting into Fox News Channel’s political ideology is what matters.

At times, Bo Dietl with his sometimes fiery rants sounds more and more like an uneducated, unprofessional fool.

On a February 11, 2008 edition of Imus in the morning, he said that he was “pissed off” because the FBI is expending too many resources prosecuting mob criminals while ignoring the northern border of the United States and then stated: “Now, what bothers me is our borders up near Canada are opened up. It looks like the pilgrimage in to Mecca, the amount of ‘Aba Dabba Doos’ that are coming in from Canada into the United States.”

On another segment of the Imus show, Dietl was discussing former Bonanno crime boss, Joseph Massimo and the FBI. Dietl said, “If the FBI would use some of this energy, let’s use it towards the terrorists … Who cares about Pasquale pizza man, Joey Tomatoes, balls, meatball head … They’re doing their little thing … Vinnie Gorgeous, they drink with me at Rao’s, not a bad guy, very nice guy.”

To hear an ex-cop criticizing the FBI for going after mobsters seems bizarre. And that wasn’t the only time Dietl has referred to Organized Crime mobsters as “nice guys.”

Dietl also has called several people “rats” for turning and becoming informants. Again, I find that terminology strange coming from an ex-cop specifically because “rat” is usually heard coming from the mouths of mobsters. “Informants” is what we called those we turned to help us, when I was on the job.

On Fox News in April of 2014 Dietl, speaking about Al Sharpton said, “People I knew from East Harlem, everyone on the streets at that time, knew he was an informant. We used to call him the fat rat.”

Speaking about Jordan Belfort, the infamous CEO who ran Stratton Oakmont, and who was the basis for the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dietl said, “he turned in his own people; he was a rat.” Dietl had provided security services to Belfort.

Bo Dietl has criticized and made derogatory comments about many people over the years from President Obama on down.

Bo Dietl is no stranger to controversy himself.

The New Yorker magazine in an article about the famed exclusive East Harlem NY restaurant, Rao’s wrote “When he was a cop, half-Italian Bo Dietl had been listed as mob-connected just for drinking at Rao’s.” Rao’s was an establishment that mobsters Paul Castellano, John Gotti, Tony Salerno and others had frequented.

In a May 2005 article in The Village Voice, Tom Robbins wrote, “But Dietl was an odd fundraising choice for a would-be D.A. for reasons other than his sometimes uncontrollable mouth. The former police detective has always boasted of having close ties on both sides of the law. He grew up near John Gotti and called him a friend, as he does many of the wiseguy regular’s at Rao’s.”

In September 2009 information surfaced that mob turncoat John Aliti claimed in a 2007 statement to the FBI that he personally witnessed Dietl, before retiring from the NYPD in 1985, taking cash payments from Gambino capo Richie Gotti, John Gotti’s older brother, in exchange for information cops had on the Gambino crime family and pending cases. The FBI report indicated that Gotti and Dietl would meet at an Ozone Park, NY car wash. Dietl denied the accusations made by Alite and told reporters that he wanted the US Attorney’s Office to find out who leaked the FBI report. The claims made by Alite never led to any criminal charges against Dietl.

In June 2012 Dietl on the Imus show, referred to mobster Henry Hill, whose life was the basis for the movie, Goodfellas, as “my friend” “I go back with him a ways.” Speaking about Jimmy Burke, one of the most notorious Irish-American gangsters of all time, a violent ruthless criminal who was responsible for countless murders, Dietl said he was “a very nice man.”

Dietl-ImusWhy Bo Dietl seems sympathetic with mobsters over the years is anyone’s guess.

I worked many years as an undercover officer and associated with many criminals in the performance of my job because it was necessary. But I never hung out and socialized with criminals when I was not working and I would never call mobsters, drug dealers and murderers “nice guys.”

Dietl ran for a Republican Congressional ticket 1986 losing to the democratic candidate. In July of this year Dietl told reporter L.A. Rivera when asked if he wanted to run for political office again said, “No, I have a lot of skeletons in my closet,” “And I don’t need publicity now.”

In 2003 Dietl was named in a federal securities fraud investigation that ended up with the conviction of one of his former friends, Joshua Cantor. According to charges brought by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cantor got the private investigator to sign a bogus backdated letter affirming that Dietl’s security guards had witnessed the manufacture of holograms that were to be used for MasterCard credit cards at a New Jersey printing plant.

The phony letter was part of a scheme by Cantor to convince the accounting firm Deloitte @ Touche that Cantor’s company had earned almost $7 million more in revenue than it actually had during 1997.

During his testimony Cantor said “I knew that Bo was not a detail person.” Cantor testified that he had Dietl’s secretary type up a backdated letter in which Dietl affirmed that his company had overseen the production of rolls and reels of holograms. Cantor said he then walked into Dietl’s office with the letter and said, “Bo, do me a favor? Can you sign this?” Dietl said, ‘Sure’. He signed it and walked out.”

Dietl was never charged in the case, but his role was detailed in the criminal complaint and also in the SEC action that was filed against Cantor.

Dietl’s response; “I honestly didn’t know what the hell a roll or a reel was,” “I was never part of a fraud.” Dietl said he signed the letter unknowingly, thinking it would help him collect $50,000 for security guard services he provided to Cantor. “If you owe me $50,000 and you say, ‘Hey Bo, just sign here and we’ll get you your money.’ That’s exactly what he [Cantor] said. I didn’t look at the thing.”

According to a January 2010 article in the New York Post titled, “Top P.I. draws a blank,” Dietl told police that nine handguns and a shotgun were stolen from his Manhattan office sometime between 2007 and 2010. Dietl told police that the nine handguns were in a locked bag behind a safe in his office and the shotgun was stored on top of a wall unit. Dietl said he then forgot about the guns. He said he thought they were in the attic of his home, but later realized they were not, checked his office and found the guns were gone. “This would not have happened to Magnum P.I.” the article stated.

In September 2011 Dietl and his investigative firm got themselves in hot water with the State of Indiana after they were hired by the parents of Lauren Spierer, the University of Indiana student who went missing.

Dietl’s firm was not licensed to conduct investigations in Indiana. Indiana police told WXIN-TV that they had received complaints of harassment against Dietl’s investigators. Fox59 reported that Dietl’s investigators tried to use a local private investigator’s license, but the Indiana Attorney General’s Office suspended that license for 10 years for unknown reasons. Fox59 stated at the time that they even heard reports that the investigators illegally entered a residence, which could have resulted in criminal charges.

To further exacerbate the problem Dietl then went on Foxs’ Good Day New York TV show and criticized the Bloomington Police Department, calling the BPD Police Chief, Michael Diekhoff, “Gomer Pyle.” Dietl said, “I met with the chief and all I gotta say is thank God for New York City detectives and I got detectives out there that are uncovering stuff.”

Police Chief, Michael Diekhoff, released a statement at the time responding to Dietl’s comments:

“Quite frankly, I was a little surprised that Dietl, as a retired police officer, wasn’t aware of the impropriety of a police department sharing investigatory information with a private agency.” Diekhoff said that Dietl had gone to the FBI and other agencies that were working with the BPD looking for information from them, but those agencies refused to share evidence. As he did not get the information he came seeking, I can only surmise that this is the reason Dietl described me as Gomer Pyle,” Diekhoff said. He also said Dietl’s team wanted to harass certain people and that is something that the Bloomington Police Department does not approve.

Chief Diekhoff was absolutely correct in his response. Dietl once again showed what an arrogant buffoon he is. I wonder what Dietl considers harassing people. Putting their heads in a toilet or hanging them over a rooftop to elicit information?

In November of 2011 Dietl was granted temporary permission by the State of Indiana to investigate the disappearance of Lauren Spierer. As of this date Lauren Spierer has not been found and no one has been charged in her disappearance. The case remains unsolved.

(All photos via YouTube videos)


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a United States Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 35 years of real-world investigative experience. He has 19 years experience in a hotel and casino environment, 14 of which were in security management positions. In 1986 he was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. Contact the author.
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