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"Barney Miller" The Delegate (1980)

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Bob Dishy and Phil Leeds

Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio
7 July 2014

"The Delegate" guest stars the always welcome Bob Dishy, previously seen in "The Layoff," as Richard Milford from Harrisburg PA, a delegate from the Democratic Convention...of 1976! Caught trying to pick up some hookers at the bar of the Greenwich Hotel ("I was trying to get some service!"), Milford reveals that he's never been arrested before (Wojo: "well, you're doin' real good!"). He simply never got around to returning to Harrisburg ("what's back there anyway except my wife and family...I'm sure she had the baby by now...the last few years have been a bit unfocused!"). It was never his intention not to return, he just wanted to enjoy New York for a few more days ("then after the first year went by, I realized I couldn't go home again unless I had a rather compelling explanation!"). His wife Ellen (Bonnie Bartlett, first of two) is just ecstatic to have him back, unconcerned with his array of excuses (Ellen: "it's all right Richard!" Milford: "is there no limit to your understanding?"). Legendary scene stealer Phil Leeds (sixth of seven) plays uniformed officer Louis Nash, who ingratiates himself with both Barney and Harris, rubbing Levitt the wrong way. After some diligent checking, Levitt discovers that Nash is a complete fraud, his badge number nonexistent. Harris is investigating a pattern of burglaries over a two week period, the latest victim (Don Sherman, second of two) not even allowed the time to open his safe! The culprit turns out to be Edmund Lasky (Tom Henschel, second of two), currently serving a 15 month jail sentence for burglary, who commits his crimes on a work release program that allows him two hours each day to attend classes at City College (Lasky: "I'm taking computer programming and ethics!" Barney: "obviously, you've missed a few sessions!" Lasky: "yeah well, it's tough jugglin' school and a career!"). He instructs Harris to hurry, as he's due back in his cell by 5:00!

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