Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Special Treatment for a Police Officer: Mark Marowski's DWI Arrest

This post concerns the DWI arrest in 2006 of Ofc. Mark Marowski, who had my brother Mark picked up for DWI after a personal argument at a local club in 2003.  That happened just one day before Mark’s suspicious death. After a brief article appeared on the officer's arrest for DWI and speeding, the irony of Marowski's own DWI did not escape the relative who sent me the clipping from the Salamanca Press.  But since then much more disturbing information concerning Marowski has surfaced, including the claim in an anonymous letter that he had been having an affair with my brother's wife Susan and the report by an eyewitness that Marowski boasted about getting my brother arrested for DWI.  Marowski's own DWI is of interest here for the circumstances under which he was arrested for DWI and speeding while a member of the Salamanca police force and the treatment he was accorded by the legal system for his violations of the law.

Recently, I obtained the public records of Ofc. Marowski's DWI arrest from the Conewango town court, where his trial took place after Cattaraugus County D. A. Edward Sharkey recused himself because of a possible conflict of interest.  For convenience, a copy of the individual reports by the two arresting officers who pursued Marowski when he was observed driving at a very excessive speed in the city of Salamanca appears immediately after my discussion of this incident.

First of all, the two Salamanca police officers who were operating traffic radar apparently did not realize who was driving the green car they saw speeding on Central Ave. in Salamanca.  It was going at the very high speed of 62 mph in a 30 mph zone, an especially reckless act during the daytime (shortly after 6 p.m. on May 19) in a section of the city that is both residential and commercial.  It was all the more irresponsible because with his level of intoxication (determined by testing to be .14) as well as the high speed, Marowski would have had considerable difficulty controlling his vehicle if he had had to brake for a pedestrian or another vehicle turning onto Central Ave.  Coincidentally, my brother Mark's DWI arrest happened on that same road (and also by Ofc. Whitcomb), but he wasn't speeding.

According to Ofc. Daryl Whitcomb’s report, after he and his partner pulled off the intersecting street to make a traffic stop, Marowski appeared to speed up even more and to flee.  It seems strange that Marowski sped up, only to make a turn nearby into a local car wash, where he pulled his car in behind some storage sheds.  After Ofc. Whitcomb radioed a sergeant to come to the scene, Marowski opened one of the storage spaces and began to back his other car out.

From the alcohol on his breath, his glassy eyes, and his impaired speech, it was clear to Ofc. Whitcomb that Marowski was drunk.  He also failed three of the five sobriety field tests administered to him, slurred his speech in reciting the alphabet, didn’t follow instructions for some of the tests, and was unsteady on his feet. Marowski himself admitted that he had been drinking “too much.”  As indicated on the DWI “Bill of Particulars” signed by Ofc. Whitcomb, Marowski stated that he had in fact been drinking from around 1 p.m. at the Holy Cross Club, for five hours before his arrest. Yet he still “argued some” with Whitcomb before he agreed to be handcuffed.

Ofc. Bocharski reported Marowski’s statement that his “career was over.”  It seems ironic that Marowski should have bemoaned the demise of his career at that point.  As several individuals from the Salamanca area have observed, Marowski had been abusing his position as a police officer for many years, and I was informed by a reliable source that he had been warned within the police department about his drinking.

Marowski seems to have got off lightly at his DWI trial in Conewango, which is on the border of Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.  The charges against him were reduced.  The copy of the plea bargain in the court records indicates that the NYS 1192.3 charge was reduced to a 1192.1, which according to a legal website (Crotty and Saland) is “the lowest possible drunk driving and DWI offense in New York State.”  His 1192.2 charge (common law intoxication) was “merged and dropped.”  His 1180d charge, which according to a legal website (Gary S. Miller) entails points determined by speed (8 points for going 31 to 40 mph over the limit), was reduced to the lesser 1110a charge (obedience to traffic control devices, carrying 2 points, according to the Avvo website).  The plea bargain explains, “The People consent to such Disposition for the following reasons: interest of justice.”  Marowski was fined, and his driver's license was suspended for ninety days.

Was Marowski held fully accountable for his recklessness?  Given his history of abuse of alcohol, it does not seem so.  But, then, he also seems to have been given favorable treatment when interviewed recently by the N. Y. S. Police at the request of Capt. Steven Nigrelli (see post of January 16, 2015).  How can one explain the ready acceptance of Marowski’s questionable responses, except by assuming that his status as a retired police officer continues to provide protection.  Did the N. Y. S. Police even read the reference in the anonymous letter to an affair between Marowski and my brother's wife (see post of August 11, 2014)?  The writer makes a clear statement, with support (“Firstly, Sue was having an affair with Mark Marowski.  She was observed riding a 4-wheeler with him on numerous occasions”).  Showing no bias, the writer takes a moral stand about what was done to my brother (“I could see how he would be hard to live with—but he did not deserve to die!”).  It's a shame the authorities have not done likewise.