Hookers, Hoopla & Handshakes: “Pigsylvania Society” 2006

HoteldickcoverGot hookers?

The annual Pennsylvania Society gluttonfest and bribery-made-legal bash unfolded this past weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City, just as it has for the past century-plus for Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lawmakers and their industry sugar-daddies.

Got hookers?

The now-defrocked Pa. Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer last year shrugged off criticism of the event, characterizing the extravaganza simply as an opportunity to " let your hair down a bit." However, as a former plainclothes security officer working near the Waldorf, I can say with certainty that at least some of these hypocritical corporate and bureaucratic bigwigs will be asking the "Got hookers?" question as they "let their hair down."

I know, because one year, say between 1987 and 1993, I had such a post-midnight encounter with some Society participants while patrolling the Helmsley Palace — right around the block from where these beacons of society decided to make a contribution to two, well, "girls" they had met on the corner.

The men, who ended up getting their money stolen from this pair of hookers, had just returned from the festivities at the Waldorf, literally a stone’s throw from the Palace. Not only were they employees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, tragically they were law enforcement officials one of them being an upper echelon official.

I have decided against naming these gentleman, and I am being intentionally vague about the year of occurrence, since so much time has passed since the incident. However, as someone who witnessed such high-level hypocrisy and indecency – and who would later write about governmental abuses as a Washington, D.C. journalist – I must at least shed some light on this annual celebration of the Corruption of Empire.

While last year I came under fire at Indymedia for portraying "sex workers" in a negative light, I remain compelled to encourage my fellow citizens to take a closer look at how their elected and appointed officials conduct business when no one appears to be looking.

Below you will find a related excerpt from Hotel Dick: Harlots, Starlets, Thieves & Sleaze, a memoir I’ve written and published about my five years inside the Helmsley Palace, Manhattan’s former playground of the wealthy and powerful.

"Security! Call the guest in room 2714 immediately!" bellows the service operator’s voice from my portable radio.

I grab the nearest lobby phone. The guest answers by the first ring.

"This is house security. Is there a problem?"

Stuttering from anxiety, almost unable to get the words out, the guest responds, "Two woman should be coming off the elevator any second now! Stop them!"

"Why, what did they do?"

"They stole my money! Do you see them?"

I look around the lobby. Two women are walking out the door.

"Are they wearing fur coats?" I ask.

"Yes! That’s them!"

I rush after the pair, but they get in a cab and drive away before I reach the door. With license plate number in hand, I run back to the phone.

"I missed them, but I got the plate number. I’m going to call 9-1-1. I’ll call you right back."

"No! Don’t you dare!"

"Sir, you just got robbed," I say. "I’m calling the police."

He fumbles for words, begs me not to make the call. I interrupt him, saying, "Please listen to me, sir. If my boss finds out that I didn’t call the cops, I’m fired."

"No, you don’t understand. This cannot be documented."

"Why? Do you know these women?"

Hesitantly, he reveals that he and his friend picked them up near the Waldorf. I knew what that meant.

"Oh, they were hookers!" I exclaim. "How much did they take from you?"

"About five-hundred bucks," he sheepishly admits.

It’s obvious he’s withholding a key element of why he doesn’t want to pursue the matter. I continue to push for answers

"I still don’t understand why you don’t want the police involved."

"All right, all right. I’ll be straight with you. I just attended a banquet at the Waldorf. The governor was there, the mayor was there…"

"What are you trying to say?" I interject, cutting him off. "I thought you were going to be straight with me?"

He pauses before telling me the rank of his position, where he’s from, who he works for. My jaw drops open, eyes widening.
He’s arguably the highest ranking law enforcement official of Pennsylvania.

"I guess I should know better, huh?" he says.

"I guess you should!" I respond, tone of voice rising with each word uttered. He’s vulnerable, and deserves to be hit in a sore spot with a boulder-size sarcastic comment. He gets quiet, but eventually asks, "So you’re not going to call the police?"

"Nah, I’m not gonna call."

"I’d appreciate it."

We hang up and, as requested, I leave the cops out of it. But I go directly to the office to call the assistant security director at home. After explaining to him what took place, he says,

"Don’t call the cops, but make sure you write up an incident report."

He then asks, "Did they have drinks with the girls?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Okay. Get a copy of the room service bill and put it in with the file. We’ve got to cover our ass just in case the girls put knockout drops in their drinks. I’ll have the boss call you in the morning."

Before writing up the incident report I check with the front-office manager to see if this guy is really who he claims to be.

The listing next to his room number on the computer printout indicates he’s telling the truth. In block letters, the line item reads: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The next morning I get a call from my boss. At first I suspect he’ll suggest that nothing happened, so I can help him protect one of his fellow law officers. Instead, he says, "Screw him. He got what he deserves. If we don’t file a police report, he’ll turn around and falsely accuse one of the maids of stealing his money."

One of the guys on the day shift reports the incident to NYPD. Although it undoubtedly didn’t register high on the radar screen of the busy Mid-Town North precinct, which likely filed away the case soon after with no follow-up report, this incriminating file lies dormant somewhere in the city archives.

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