Polito’s silence on trooper photos is just picture perfect

Pay no attention to those photographs on the Internet of Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito yukking it up with disgraced MSP trooper Leigha Genduso.

So what if Karyn posed with Leigha in what looks like the Seaport District, with the trooper practically spilling out of her strapless dress, as her recently “retired” ex-boyfriend, Lt. Col. Dan Risteen, looks on somewhat, well, hungrily.

“You’re leaping to the conclusion that I know this woman,” Polito was telling me Friday morning, when I cold-called her on her cell phone. “I take thousands of pictures, Howie.”

Yes, I said, but this isn’t just one picture. There are at least two. You can see them at turtleboysports.com. And by the way, Karyn, Leigha Genduso is from Shrewbury, just like you.

“I don’t know where she lives” Polito snapped. “I don’t know that she lives in Shrewsbury.”

Really? Have you forgotten that she acknowledged under oath that she was from Shrewsbury, although it is true that your BFF also admitted in court that she had committed perjury before a federal grand jury, in addition to drug dealing, income tax evasion and money-laundering.

So maybe Trooper Genduso was again just “perjurizing,” as she likes to put it, when she claimed to be from Shrewsbury.

“I take many pictures every day,” Polito kept repeating. “Now, I understand there is an investigation –“

So, Karyn, you were the state rep from Shrewsbury in 2007 when your BFF Leigha ratted out her gangster boyfriend and decided that her rap sheet qualified her for a job with the State Police. Did you write a letter of recommendation for your constituent?

“I don’t know anything about that, I, I – no!”

Well, that’s a relief. The future lieutenant did not write a letter of recommendation for her constituent, the gangster’s moll. She just posed for multiple photos with her.

In case you haven’t been following the multiple scandals roiling the State Police (and more are coming!), here’s another sample of Trooper Genduso as she rats out her thug ex-boyfriend in 2007. This is from her cross-examination by a defense attorney:

You knew at the time you went to the grand jury that you’d been a pot dealer, right?


You knew you’d helped hide $275,000, right?


You knew you cheated on your tax returns, right?

That’s correct.

And not just with the pot money, but with your waitressing tips, which everybody does, but you knew you did it?

I was just going to say everyone does it.

But you did it?


Everybody does it, but not everybody’s watched as closely by the feds as you were at that time, right?

That’s right.

So that was Trooper Genduso’s excuse – everybody does it. Good attitude for a cop. During cross-examination, the lawyer for her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend produced testimony from her first appearance before the grand jury, when she took the Fifth Amendment over and over again.

Among the reasons you took the Fifth was to protect yourself, right?


Because it’s a privilege against self-incrimination, right?

That’s correct.

And you say words to the effect – I mean, we have the exact transcript, but you say words to the effect –

‘I respectfully decline to answer the question and invoke my rights and privileges under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.’

You’ve got that mantra down pretty good, don’t you?


You can see why Leigha was such a prized catch for the MSP. She was ready for her courtroom close up. She’d memorized her Fifth Amendment rights, right down to the “respectfully.”

Even before she got her badge and gun and K-9, La Genduso had a wicked sense of entitlement. She seemed to understand that her choice of boyfriends – they were always bigshots, whether in the underworld or the MSP – gave her a lot of clout, especially when she was wearing a strapless dress.

When one of the defense lawyers brought up her boyfriend’s money box with $275,000 in drug profits, he asked what she’d spent the ill-gotten gains on.

“Wisdom teeth extraction, bills, mortgage, car payments, possibly clothes, drinks. Anything else you would like me to add?

What kind of clothes?

“It certainly wasn’t Gucci, sir.”

Then the lawyer started inquiring about her jailhouse visits to her gangster boyfriend, and how she was so concerned about going to prison herself that she asked him to plead guilty.

What did he say?

He said he’s not going to, that he’ll win the case, and like I said prior to this, that no judge will put me away for contempt for two years.

How was your demeanor at this time?

I was crying my eyes out. I didn’t want to go.

And what did he say about you testifying before the grand jury?

He told me to take the Fifth again, and just don’t worry about it, that I’ll go down to see the judge, and like I said, no judge will put me away for a long period of time.

Taking the Fifth, over and over and over again. The more I think about my conversation with Karyn Polito Friday morning, the more I can see why those two Shrewsbury besties so enjoyed having their picture taken together. Leigha took the Fifth in front of the grand jury, Karyn took the Fifth when she spoke to me.

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