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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jail Deputy Arrested for Smuggling Cell Phones

Orleans Parish deputy booked with smuggling cell phones into jail
The Times-Picayune by
Laura Maggi - November 28, 2011

A deputy who worked at the Orleans Parish jail was arrested Saturday and booked with several counts of smuggling cell phones into the facility where he worked. An Orleans Parish deputy has been charged with smuggling cell phones to prisoners. Other deputies with the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office discovered a cell phone in a jacket belonging to Michael Conerly, 24, according to a brief police report written by Deputy Ernest Newman. The jacket had been left by Conerly at the control office of the House of Detention, one of the jail's facilities. A supervisor, Sgt. Nicole Harris, told Newman that she confiscated the jacket from Conerly after he arrived for his shift because it did not conform to departmental regulations. When later questioned about the cell phone and charger found in his jacket pocket, Conerly confessed that the phone was for an inmate. Conerly also told Newman that he had smuggled phones into the jail twice before, according to the report, which was posted on the website of The Lens. Conerly told investigators that the smuggled cell phone that they discovered Saturday was intended for inmate Larenzo "Woodie" Peters, according to the report. But the Sheriff's Office later clarified that the inmate was Alonzo Peters, 21, who records show is jailed on a charge of heroin possession with intent to distribute. The report by the Sheriff's Office did not name the other two inmates to whom Conerly allegedly provided phones in the past.The Sheriff's Office booked Conerly with three counts of malfeasance in office and three counts of contraband possession at a correctional institution. He bonded out of jail early Monday morning. The incident comes amid questions about the security of the jail -- in particular, about the ability of some inmates to communicate with the outside world. Last month, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said that high-profile inmate Telly Hankton was moved out of the Orleans Parish jail in late 2010 because of the FBI's concerns that he was too easily able to get messages to people outside the jail while awaiting trial on a murder charge. The move came shortly after John Matthews, who was preparing to give eyewitness testimony in Hankton's murder trial, was shot at his eastern New Orleans home -- allegedly by a cousin of Hankton's. At the time, a spokesman for Sheriff Marlin Gusman called Cannizzaro's claim "irresponsible" and said the DA had never reported a concern that Hankton was getting messages to the outside. In a statement released on Monday, Sheriff's Office spokesman Marc Ehrhardt said the office has a "zero-tolerance policy" about guards engaging in illegal conduct, adding that the agency searches for contraband on a daily basis. "This individual was arrested because OPSO deputies were vigilant in their duties and followed standard procedures to stop this illegal activity," Ehrhardt said in the statement. The office declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation. Laura Maggi can be reached at or 504.826.3316.

Police Chief Knew About Claims of Rape Against Cops

Cleveland Police Chief Wes Snyder knew about claims of statutory rape against officers
The Chattanooga Times Free Press by Todd South - November 29, 2011

Recent court testimony indicates that Cleveland, Tenn., Police Chief Wes Snyder knew of allegations of statutory rape and drug abuse against some of his officers in 2008 but did not launch a direct investigation into the claims. The officers later were arrested, fired and pleaded guilty to sex acts with teenage girls. Testifying Nov. 17 in an employment lawsuit filed by former Cleveland detective Duff Brumley, Cleveland Assistant Police Chief Gary Hicks described a hostile work climate and said Snyder showed animosity toward Brumley leading up to the officer's 2010 firing. While testifying about events in the department connected to Snyder, Hicks said that, before May 2008, the department had received complaints that some of its officers were having sex with teenage girls and providing them alcohol. The complaints also said the officers illegally were abusing prescription medications such as hydrocodone, Hicks testified. Snyder told him to have a meeting with the accused officers and "get their attention," Hicks said. In May 2008, Hicks said, he called the officers and their supervisors into the department training room and wrote on the board that the conduct had to stop or they would be fired. He said those in the room nodded their heads, but no one spoke of details. No official investigation into the allegations ever was launched. Snyder did not respond to questions related to Hick's testimony. Instead, at the request of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he produced internal affairs records from an investigation into a separate incident involving the officers. Nearly seven months after Hicks' meeting with the officers, off-duty officer Dennis Hughes shot officer Chris Mason in the hand while Mason and Officer John Hammons were at Hughes' home on duty. An investigation into the shooting revealed that officers Nathan Thomas and Hammons were using pills without a prescription. Thomas was suspended. But the pill investigation revealed other issues. Police charged Hughes and Thomas with having sex with 14- and 16-year-old girls in November 2008 and again on Jan. 4, 2009. In July 2010, Thomas pleaded guilty to drug, forgery and statutory rape charges. The 14-year police veteran was sentenced to six years in prison and is eligible for parole after two years, records show. Hughes pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape and received probation, according to the Bradley County Court clerk's office. City Manager Janice Casteel said she wasn't present at any of the meetings and directed questions to Snyder.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Police Major Suspended in Traffic Fix

Atlanta police major suspended in Tracy Reed traffic case
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Jeremiah McWilliams - November 28, 2011

An Atlanta police major faces a 15-day suspension without pay after a city law department investigation of two traffic stops involving Mayor Kasim Reed’s older brother. The disciplinary action against Maj. Rodney Bryant was announced on Monday, the same day the city released results of its investigations. Mayor Reed’s brother, Tracy F. Reed, kept his city job and continued driving -- sometimes in a city-owned vehicle -- after he was detained in May for driving on a suspended license. When a local television station aired footage of another traffic stop in late October, the city launched two separate investigations and he resigned from his job in the Office of Contract Compliance. The city law department focused on whether Tracy Reed received preferential treatment from police during the traffic stops on May 4 and Oct. 28. Bryant, a precinct commander, intervened during both incidents, according to the investigation. The investigation found that, after being stopped in October for an expired tag, Tracy Reed called Police Chief George Turner, who then called Bryant, a precinct commander, and told him to go to the scene. Turner told investigators that Reed told him there was “an identity issue” but that he did not know other details. The investigation found that Bryant failed to get all the information available before allowing Tracy Reed to drive away with an expired and suspended license. At that time, there was a bench warrant out for his arrest, issued in Atlanta Municipal Court on Oct. 6 after Reed failed to appear to answer a charge of driving on a suspended license. It was the latest of several failures to appear, according to police reports. But the law department’s investigation found that the officers at the scene did not know about the warrant because such warrants are not included in the Atlanta Criminal Information Center database. In an interview earlier this month, Mayor Kasim Reed said footage of the October stop, showing Bryant returning Tracy Reed’s license and letting him drive off in a black Lexus, “certainly shows that he was treated differently.”

“I did not request that anyone provide special treatment for my brother,” the mayor said in the interview. In the May incident, an officer was going to take Tracy Reed to jail after he stopped Reed in southwest Atlanta while driving another person’s black Chevrolet Suburban. The officer, running what was described as a random vehicle registration check, found that the tags were for a Honda Accord. Reed told the officer he didn’t have his license with him, but the officer ran a search and found that Reed’s license had been suspended in January 2006 for failure to appear in court. In any case, Reed’s license had expired in September 2006, according to the police report. Bryant told the responding officer to give Reed a copy of charges and then release him, which the officer did, according to the law department’s investigation. The decision to suspend Bryant was consistent with previous disciplinary action imposed on police officers for similar violations, Mayor Reed’s office said in a statement. Bryant declined to comment through a police department spokesman. Meanwhile, the city’s human resources department, which conducted a separate investigation, said it will change the policy governing the use of city vehicles. All employees who operate city vehicles will be required to provide consent for review of their motor vehicle records. Departments that have vehicles will be required to maintain logs and will be audited twice a year by the office of Fleet Services. The human resources department called for a city-wide review of all employees who are authorized to take vehicles home overnight to make sure they are complying with the the vehicle use policy. And there will be a city-wide review of departments to determine whether or not they need to have assigned vehicles. Atlanta has a motorized equipment fleet totaling about 4,700 units, according to the city’s most recent budget.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cop Suspected of Having Sex With High School Girl

NPD cop suspected of having sex with high school girl
Nogales International by Manuel C. Coppola - November 25, 2011

A 24-year-old Nogales police officer is under investigation for sexual conduct with a minor after officials at Nogales High School tipped off the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office about talk heard on campus. Authorities withheld the officer’s name pending formal charges. He has been placed on suspension. “Our officers take an oath, and if they violate that oath, they will be held accountable,” said Nogales Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham. In May 2010, 29-year-old NPD Officer Mariano Garibay was arrested after authorities learned that he had been having sex with a 16-year-old member of the department’s Explorers program. Garibay eventually pleaded guilty to three of 11 counts of sexual conduct with a minor, and in February 2011, Judge James A. Soto sentenced him to two years and three months in prison. “It’s the same thing over again,” said County Attorney George Silva. “You would think that after the Garibay prosecution and subsequent prison sentence that (law enforcement officers) would get the message. “It’s hard to understand. Otherwise this young officer seemed to be coming along and doing all the right things” on the police force, Silva said. He explained that the 17-year-old alleged victim spoke to other students about the affair and eventually, word reached school officials. By law, they are required to inform law enforcement. Silva said sheriff investigators have served a warrant on the officer’s home and conducted other aspects of the investigation. But because they were called out to a triple homicide in the Tumacacori Mountains, they have been unavailable to brief him on their findings. “Our office needs to know all the particulars,” he said. “In sex crimes, the specific acts committed determine what kinds of charges are filed. But once we have all of that, I can assure you he will be charged.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ACLU Sues Sheriff's Office Over Complaining Prisoners

ACLU sues Canyon County sheriff, alleging jail punished prisoners who file grievances
The Idaho Statesman by Kristin Rodine - November 23, 2011

The civil rights organization, which had previously sued Canyon County in 2009 over conditions caused by chronic jail overcrowding, raised new allegations Wednesday in a federal lawsuit that targets Sheriff Chris Smith and his chief deputy. The complaint contends that Chief Deputy Gary Deulen ordered that a prisoner be transferred to a different facility in retaliation for the prisoner filing numerous complaints and keeping in contact with the ACLU. The suit also alleges that Smith and Deulen “maintain a policy and practice of retaliating against prisoners who file grievances that allege unconstitutional conditions of confinement.” Smith and Deulen could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. The ACLU sent out a news release about the lawsuit after business hours Wednesday. The suit, filed on behalf of present and future Canyon County jail inmates, has two named plaintiffs who remain in the jail and also details the story of inmate Dana Harris, who was transferred out of the jail after repeatedly complaining about what he considered unsanitary conditions. The plaintiffs contend the only reason Harris was sent to another jail Oct. 25 “was to prevent him from notifying the ACLU about further deficiencies in the jail and to hinder his right of access to the courts.” The complaint quotes an email from Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Carl Ericson, who responded to a query from an ACLU attorney by stating Deulen decided to transfer the inmate to the Payette County Jail because Harris “did not appear to like being in our jail based on the large number of grievances and complaints that had been submitted.” “There was no retaliation against Harris,” Ericson wrote. “He had major issues with being in our jail so he was sent to a jail that would be more acceptable to him.” The Sheriff’s Office often transfers inmates to jails in surrounding counties to keep inmate numbers down to levels required by an agreement with the ACLU that at least temporarily resolved the organization’s previous lawsuit, filed in January 2009 alleging “indecent, cruel and inhumane conditions” in the jail. Lorraine Scott, one of the named plaintiffs, complained to jail staff she was being threatened by another prisoner. The lawsuit contends that staff placed Scott in solitary rather than respond to her grievances. “Threats and retaliation put a chill upon the exercise of rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” said Monica Hopkins, executive director of the Idaho ACLU. “In a facility known for having many significant problems, it is essential that prisoners are able to lodge grievances without fear of retaliation.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Police Captain Denied Bail in Federal Drug-Trafficking Case

Police capt. denied bond in federal court
WSVN - November 19, 2011

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A police officer accused of covering up a crime appeared in federal court Friday and was denied bond. During the hearing, as the indictment against Opa-Locka Police Captain Arthur Balom, 44, and seven others was unsealed, new disturbing details came to light about Balom's alleged role in a deadly armored car ambush. A federal judge denied Balom's bond, saying he poses a danger to the community. Defense Attorney Michael Cornley said, "I'm a little disappointed the court did not release him today. I think he is a fine man. I think a lot of these charges are a result of him not totally cooperating with the federal government." A two-year investigation ended the Police Captain cuffed. He and several other men were placed in handcuffs Thursday for allegedly being involved in a drug ring. The FBI carried out evidence from the Opa-Locka Police Department, including the captain's personnel file. North Miami Beach City Manager Bryan Finnie said, "Today is a sad day for the City of Opa-Locka. As you know, it appears that one of our officers was indicted and arrested on conspiracy charges. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, and we are shocked and dismayed and very concerned about the outcome." But the alleged corruption does not stop there. Some members of this alleged drug ring were already arrested, accused of taking part in a Brinks armored truck robbery in Miramar last year, including accused ring-leader Toriano Johnson. In that robbery, 48-year-old Alejandro Arencibia was shot and killed. In federal court Friday, the U.S. District attorney's office claimed Balom not only aided and abetted drug deals, but that he also provided Johnson, his friend and partner in crime, information that helped Johnson elude police for more than a year. Possibly most shocking, the prosecution claims, Balom sold several bulletproof vests to Toriano, one of which may have been used during the armored truck heist. Balom's family left federal court after hearing that he will remain behind bars until his trial. Balom's attorney said his client was only doing his job. "The evidence is going to show that, at one time, he was involved in a crime task force, and he was asked, asked to have contact with these people." The prosecution says this is only the first wave of indictments and more arrests are coming. Balom will be back in federal court on Nov. 28 for his arraignment.


Opa-locka officer arrested in drug-trafficking case
The Miami Herald by Michael Vasquez - November 18, 2011

Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced criminal charges against eight men allegedly running an Opa-locka drug-dealing ring — and one of the accused is a longtime Opa-locka police officer. Capt. Arthur Balom, a 12-year veteran of the department, was among those charged in the four-count federal indictment. Balom, along with the seven other defendants, faces various counts of drug distribution and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. The drug ring distributed cocaine, Ecstasy, and Oxycodone, according to prosecutors. The charges are the culmination of a two-year multi-agency investigation. If convicted, the defendants face up to 40 years in prison, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In that statement, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer called drug trafficking “a scourge on our communities.” “Its effects are even worse when, as in this case, we find police officers, who are sworn to protect and serve our community, instead abuse the public trust and engage in drug trafficking to line their pockets,” Ferrer said. Balom, who lives in Miramar, is accused of using his position to help the drug-trafficking organization, though the specifics of this allegation were unclear late Thursday. Balom and the other defendants are scheduled to make their initial court appearance Friday. “We’re just shocked and dismayed,” Opa-locka City Manager Bryan Finnie said. Finnie said FBI investigators visited Opa-locka police headquarters Thursday to view Balom’s personnel file. The other defendants charged in the indictment are Toriano Johnson, 36, of Opa-locka; Terrence Johnson, 38, of Miramar; Dwayne Miller, 27, of Opa-locka; Jermaine Parrish, 29, of Miami; Antwan Davis, 29, of Miami; Lawrence Benbow, 35, of Miami Gardens; and Justin Jean, 27, of Opa-locka. Although not outlined in the indictment information released by prosecutors on Thursday, Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reported that Balom may have also been involved with last year’s robbery of a Brinks armored truck in Miramar — a robbery in which one Brinks guard was killed. CBS4 reported that Balom allegedly provided the robbers with assistance.

Police Overtime Scrutinized

Police overtime scrutinized
The Albany Times Union by Kenneth C. Crowe II - November 18, 2011
Authorities looking into allegations involving five Troy sergeants

TROY, NY -- Five police sergeants are under investigation for allegedly taking sick time to boost each other's overtime income, police and city officials said Friday. The state Attorney General's office has participated in the ongoing investigation, Chief John Tedesco said. The alleged overtime padding involving five of the department's 27 sergeants came to light as the city prepares its defense in a federal lawsuit brought by 16 police officers for nonpayment of overtime for a week in November 2010. The alleged overtime scheme occurs as the city administration has tightened payments for officers working overtime. In 2010, the city paid $500,000 less in overtime for the 125-member department than the year before, according to city budget reports. As city payroll records were reviewed in January for the court case, the five sergeants came under suspicion of calling in sick so that other sergeants would take their place while being paid overtime, Tedesco said Friday following a departmental promotional ceremony. Overtime payments are included in calculations to determine a police officer's retirement pay.

In 2010, 13 of the top 25 overtime earners in the city were police officers, according to city records obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request by the Times Union. The records also showed that 97 of the city's 708 employees made $10,000 or more in overtime that year. A detailed audit of department payroll records has so far uncovered no evidence of the swap, according to City Council members briefed on the investigation in an executive session during Thursday night Finance Committee meeting. The council members asked not to be identified because of the confidential nature of the investigation. The council members approved a budget transfer of $5,700 to pay for the forensic audit by a private firm. Officer Robert Fitzgerald, president of the Troy Police Benevolent Association, said he does not know what the audit has uncovered. He said he has not seen the audit. Tedesco said the audit is part of an ongoing internal department investigation and would not be made public. The identities of the five sergeants have not been released. Tedesco declined to provide additional details of the investigation. When Tedesco was promoted to chief in 2010, he was ordered by Mayor Harry Tutunjian to reduce police overtime costs. Tutunjian also declined to comment on the investigation. The police department paid $1.38 million in overtime in 2009, which dropped to $838,513 in 2010, according to city budgets. Tedesco said he anticipates another $250,000 reduction in overtime when the year is over. Reach Kenneth C. Crowe II at 454-5084 or

Retired Cop Facing Sex Charges

Retired cop facing sex charges
The Albany Times Union by Bob Gardinier - November 18, 2011

TROY, NY -- A retired Albany police detective already arraigned in Albany and Warren counties on charges he sodomized a teenage boy was indicted Friday in Rensselaer County on the same charges. Paul Pierce, 58, of East Greenbush allegedly victimized the 16-year-old boy at his home from spring through December 2010, according to the indictment. Pierce, in handcuffs and street clothes after being picked up Friday, appeared before Judge Robert Jacon and pleaded not guilty to charges in the sealed indictment of third-degree criminal sexual act, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of forcible touching, third-degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the indictment. Jacon continued Pierce's $30,000 bail set in Albany and ordered the man to appear weekly at the probation department for drug and alcohol testing. Jacon also said he was going to make arrangements to have Pierce evaluated by a psychologist. In September, Pierce was arraigned on the same charges in Albany County Court relating to contact with the same boy in an Albany home. On Oct. 31, he was indicted in Warren County and pleaded not guilty to the same charges accusing him of molesting the same boy and a 16-year-old girl at a residence in Chestertown in 2009 and 2010, according to that indictment. That indictment charges Pierce with have oral and anal sex with the teens. The third-degree charge, a low-level felony, carries up to four years in prison. The misdemeanor brings up to one year behind bars. Court papers allege Pierce, a one-time DARE officer in the Albany school district, subjected the boy to "deviate sexual contact." The allegations are based on conversations between State Police and the victims. State Police encouraged parents of children who knew Pierce to talk to their children and contact investigators if they believe any youths were victimized. Reach Troop G headquarters at 783-3211.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cop Charged With Promoting Prostitution

Cop charged with promoting prostitution
KRQE by Alex Tomlin - November 18, 2011
New charges for Matt Kindle

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - He's the same cop who was fired after he was charged with trying to bribe a prostitute for sex. Now, he's accused of being a pimp while he was on the force, and the new charges may be connected to a high-profile case. Albuquerque police said Matt Kindle was literally caught with his pants down in August, but an indictment handed up Thursday alleges Kindle may have been involved in much more long before that. The indictment charges Kindle with taking bribes and promoting prostitution between 2004 to 2008. Those are new charges, piled on top of the August incident when police say Kindle, who was on duty and in uniform, met with what he thought was a prostitute at a hotel near Interstate 40 and Carlisle Boulevard NE. Cops said he was caught on tape offering to help the woman out in a criminal case in exchange for sex, and offered to give her tips on how to avoid the vice squad while working as a prostitute in the city. The whole thing was really an undercover sting. Kindle was charged that night and fired from the Albuquerque Police Department three weeks later. APD isn't saying what the new charges are for. But News 13 has learned Kindle's new charges are connected to an Albuquerque prostitution ring. In the original criminal complaint from August, an officer noted that Kindle had been investigated for playing a part in “Private Ice,” a high-priced online hooker ring operating out of an Albuquerque business front that was busted in 2008. The complaint said Kindle's involvement couldn't be substantiated back then, and no one is saying yet if his new charges for promoting prostitution during the same years mean he has now been linked to “Private Ice”. It's unclear if Kindle was on duty at the time he's accused of making money on the side off prostitutes a few years ago. “Private Ice” was a big takedown for APD and then-Mayor Martin Chavez. Bobbie McMullin is spending the next decade in prison for masterminding the operation. McMullin also owned "The Ice House", an all-nude strip club downtown that closed in 2006. The strip club was a thorn in the side of the mayor because of the racy murals painted on the outside of the building. It's now a youth center.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Parking Officer Back Writing Tickets After Drug Arrests

D.C. parking officer at work after PCP arrests
The Washington Times by Andrea Noble - November 17, 2011

On two nights a month apart this year, Takia Johnson drew the attention of D.C. law-enforcement officers, who pulled over her car and took her into custody on charges she was driving under the influence of PCP. But despite the arrests, Ms. Johnson by day continued in her city job — enforcing the laws of the District as a parking officer. During the first incident in February, Ms. Johnson was pulled over for driving erratically, police said. She appeared to be in a drug-induced stupor, according to court records. A charge of driving under the influence from that incident is pending in D.C. Superior Court, but a month after the arrest, she was stopped again while driving and found with two PCP-dipped cigarettes in her car. She pleaded guilty to a possession charge from that incident. The charges are related to a hallucinatory drug formally called Phencyclidine. Users engage in delusional and sometimes violent or behavior, which calls into question whether Ms. Johnson should have been on the job at all after the arrests — and whether her employer, the D.C. government, should have known about them. A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works, which employed Ms. Johnson, said the agency is investigating the arrests but declined to say whether she remains on duty as a parking enforcement officer. "Once that investigation is concluded, the department will take the appropriate action," DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant said in an email. Attempts to reach Ms. Johnson through the agency, union officials and a lawyer representing her in the open case were unsuccessful. Public employment records indicate that Ms. Johnson, 31, has worked since 2003 as one of about 200 parking enforcement officers with the agency, which enforces D.C. laws related to parking, most notably by writing tickets.

Since 2003, Ms. Johnson has pleaded guilty to three other criminal charges: driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of PCP in the District in 2005, and carrying a concealed handgun in Prince George's County, where she now lives, in 2007. Only certain "safety-sensitive" positions with the D.C. government require random drug testing, and employment can be terminated if an employee tests positive, said Charles Tucker, general counsel for the District's Department of Human Resources. Ms. Grant said parking officers are not among those subjected to random drug testing. The rest of the District's employees are governed by city personnel regulations, which do not specifically prohibit drug use but state that employees should not engage in an interest "which is in violation of federal or District law" or "which might impair an employee's mental or physical capacity to such an extent that he or she can no longer carry out his or her duties and responsibilities." Criminal defense lawyer David Benowitz, who has no connection to the case, said Ms. Johnson's prior guilty pleas raise difficult questions for the agency to answer. "It certainly doesn't speak well to the credibility of any tickets she has written," he said. According to court documents from the two arrests this year, Ms. Johnson was stopped by the same pair of police officers in the same Northeast block after the officers noticed a moving Dodge Charger without its headlights activated. In the Feb. 1 incident, officers watched the Dodge make an illegal U-turn in the 6000 block of Clay Street Northeast, then drive at about 2 mph for a block. When they pulled over Ms. Johnson, she was "staring blankly forward" and "only able to repeat the word 'yes ... yes ... yes,' " say state charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court. She later told officers that she had smoked a cigarette dipped in PCP about 15 minutes before she was pulled over. During the March 1 arrest, the same officers saw the Dodge going east on Clay Street with its headlights dark and pulled over the vehicle. When they approached the car, the officers noted a strong chemical smell that they suspected was PCP, which prompted them to search the car, charging documents state. Two cups of alcohol and two cigarettes dipped in PCP were found inside the car. Ms. Johnson and a passenger bickered over who owned the PCP-laced cigarettes, but the officers charged both with possession. In July, Ms. Johnson pleaded guilty to the possession charge and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation. A non-jury trial is scheduled in January on the DUI charge.

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 Indicted Ticket-Fix Cops Lose Union Priviledges

Three NYPD cops indicted in ticket-fixing scandal stripped of union privileges

PBA mulling legal action, sources say
The New York Daily News by Rocco Parascandola - November 15, 2011

Three NYPD cops indicted in the ticket-fixing scandal have been stripped of their union privileges by the city, likely setting the stage for a court clash, sources said Monday. Officers Joe Anthony, Mike Hernandez and Brian McGuckin are Bronx trustees for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, meaning they work full-time as union officials and are excused from police duty. But their “release time,” as it’s called, was recently removed by Office of Labor Relations Commissioner James Hanley, who notified PBA President Pat Lynch in a letter, “It’s rare, but it has happened before,” mayoral spokesman Marc LaVorgna said. “You have to be in good standing, and obviously these three are not in good standing. “They are suspended, they’re coming back to modified duty -- and they’re indicted.” Lynch turned down an offer to name three other union officials to serve as trustees. "It is our position that we are entitled to these excusals by law and can employ them in the manner the union designates,” Lynch said. “The presumption of innocence that allows police officers to remain members of the NYPD should also allow them to continue to serve the police officers who elected them.” Hanley and PBA President Pat Lynch have repeatedly butted heads over contentious contract negotiations. But LaVorgna said Hanley’s decision is nothing personal and that officials from other unions have lost their privileges during criminal probes. Sources said the PBA is mulling legal action. Hanley had no comment. The trustees are three of 16 cops charged in the scandal. Sources said lawyers for the cops intend to focus on the validity of the wiretaps at the heart of the prosecution’s case. Documents obtained by the News show that the Internal Affairs investigators were given strict instructions about monitoring phone calls. Investigators were told, for instance, that they had to determine within two minutes if the parties were discussing ticket-fixing or other crime -- or whether the call was personal. For personal calls, investigators were told to stop listening. With Reuven Blau -

Detective Charged in Auto Insurance Fraud

Port Chester detective charged with insurance fraud involving car damage
The Journal News by Rebecca Baker - November 16, 2011

Port Chester, NY - A Port Chester police detective is due in court today on charges he defrauded his insurance company by exaggerating a damage claim on his car. James Kumano, 39, was indicted on a felony charge of third-degree insurance fraud and a misdemeanor charge of first-degree falsifying business records. He pleaded not guilty at his Nov. 4 arraignment and was released without bail. A conference on his case is scheduled today before acting state Supreme Court Justice Albert Lorenzo in White Plains. Kumano, a Westchester County resident, is accused of defrauding Allstate Insurance of more than $3,000 between March 22 and July 2, 2009, and then trying to conceal his actions. Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski said Kumano has surrendered his weapon and has been placed on modified duty. He has been doing administrative work and is barred from handling evidence or taking statements. "We're waiting to see how the criminal investigation unfolds, and we're conducting our own investigation," Krzeminski said. Kumano would automatically lose his job if convicted of a felony. A misdemeanor conviction could lead to administrative punishment by the department. Kumano was hired in January 2002 from the New York City Police Department. He was promoted to detective in 2007. He is the second Port Chester cop to face criminal charges in the past two months. Officer Michael Martello, a 16-year member of the department, was arrested Sept. 3 on a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge. He is accused of hitting a parked car with his Lexus. Martello, 41, refused to take a breath test and was suspended following the incident. He is back on duty but the case is still pending.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ex-Deputy Admits Buying Assault Rifles

Ex-deputy admits buying assault rifles for Blackwater
The - November 15, 2011

GREENVILLE, N.C. - A former deputy pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to using the Camden County Sheriff's Office as a front to buy automatic weapons for the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater. Jonathan Worthington, 45, who worked as a Camden deputy and as a firearms instructor for Blackwater, used Sheriff's Office letterhead in spring 2005 to buy 17 AK-47s from an import company known as Century International Arms and 17 M4s from Bushmaster. That resulted in charges of aiding and abetting others by making false statements related to records required of a licensed firearms dealer. As a private firearms dealer, Blackwater could not possess more than two fully automatic weapons. Police agencies, however, are allowed to have automatic weapons. The Camden Sheriff's Office served as the legal buyer, but in reality, Blackwater paid for the weapons and stored them in a secure armory at the company's compound in Camden County, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler said. Camden County, with only 12 full-time deputies at the time, had no need for 34 automatic weapons, Bowler said. After the federal investigation began, some Camden deputies carried M4s "to put in a nice appearance," he said. In June 2008, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized the automatic weapons at the Blackwater compound. Former Blackwater president Gary Jackson, former vice president William Mathews Jr., former general counsel Andrew Howell, former vice president Ana Bundy and Ronald Slezak, who handled federal firearms paperwork, were indicted last year. They face similar charges and are awaiting trial. Worthington is expected to be sentenced in February.
Former North Carolina deputy pleads guilty to charge related to buying weapons for Blackwater
The Associated Press - November 15, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. — A former North Carolina deputy has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he used the Camden County Sheriff’s Office as a front to buy automatic weapons for the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reports ( that 45-year-old Jonathan Worthington pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court. Worthington was charged with aiding and abetting others by making false statements related to records required of a licensed firearms dealer. He’s expected to be sentenced in February. Several former Blackwater employees face similar charges and are awaiting trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler says the sheriff’s office had no need for the 34 automatic weapons Worthington ordered on sheriff’s office letterhead. Worthington also worked as a firearms instructor for Blackwater, which is now called Xe Services.

Former Cop Convicted on Corruption Charges

Former Houston police officer convicted on corruption charges
The Associated Press - November 16, 2011

HOUSTON, TX—A former Houston police officer has been convicted by a federal jury on corruption charges. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson says 46-year-old Leslie Aikens of Houston was convicted Tuesday. The 19-year veteran of the Houston police had been charged with aiding and abetting possession of a controlled substance by providing an escort for drugs through the Houston area in his police vehicle. He was also charged with extortion for accepting a $2,000 bribe to provide the protection for the vehicle he believed to be transporting 7 kilograms of cocaine. The indictment was returned in June. Magidson says the jury found Aikens guilty on all counts he was charged with. Aikens faces up to life in prison. He’s set to be sentenced Feb. 2.

HPD sergeant arrested in cocaine bribery case
The Houston Chronicle by Anita Hassan - July 28, 2011

A veteran Houston police sergeant was arrested Wednesday and charged with accepting a bribe to provide protection for a vehicle carrying several kilograms of cocaine, federal authorities announced. Houston Police Department Sgt. Leslie Aikens, 46, was charged with aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine on or about March 10, U.S. Attorney's Office officials said. Aikens also was charged with accepting a $2,000 bribe to provide protection for a vehicle transporting 7 kilograms of cocaine. Suspended with pay - Aikens, who's worked for the department for nearly 19 years, has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an investigation by the department's internal affairs division, according to a statement by HPD Chief Charles McClelland "As is customary with internal investigations, the Houston Police Department will make no further comments regarding this matter until the investigation(s) are completed," McClelland said in the statement. Houston Police Officer's Union Vice President Ray Hunt said its office is not aware of the matter and has not been contacted by Aikens for legal representation. He noted that requests from officers for legal representation are reviewed and if evidence of criminal activity is found, the union will not provide an attorney. He said HPOU represents officers acting only within the scope and course of their job. "Any criminal conduct is outside of the scope and course of your job as a Houston police officer," Hunt said. Free on bail - Aikens, who is assigned to the HPD Jail Division and was promoted to sergeant last year, was arrested after the unsealing of the June 22 indictment on Wednesday by officers with HPD Internal Affairs Division, Texas Rangers and FBI agents. He appeared before a federal judge Wednesday and was released on $50,000 bail. The drug offense charge carries a penalty of not less than 10 years or more than life imprisonment and a $10 million fine upon conviction. The extortion charge is punishable by up to 20 years incarceration without parole and a $250,000 fine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Politician Call for Police Oversight Board

Koppell renews his call for police oversight board
The Riverdale Press by Graham Kates - November 16, 2011

Buoyed by a slew of recent corruption cases from within the NYPD, Councilman Oliver Koppell is hoping to create a new, stronger committee for investigating police misconduct. The Independent Police Investigation and Audit Board, which Mr. Koppell and seven other Council Members are sponsoring, would have the ability to conduct independent corruption investigations and subpoena information from the police department. The proposal was inspired by the 1994 Mollen Commission report, produced after a two-year-long corruption investigation that found the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau “ignored and at times concealed corruption, rather than root it out.” The Commission recommended that the police department reform it’s internal review process, but also create an independent board to oversee internal investigations. To that end, an earlier iteration of the Independent Police Investigation and Audit Board was proposed, passed by the City Council and vetoed by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. After the veto, the City Council took its case to the courts and Mr. Koppell was the attorney who represented the city council. “He’s always been someone who’s been very concerned with issues of corruption, and police corruption in particular,” said Jamin Sewell, a representative for Mr. Koppell. “He got more involved with the issue and it became important to him [during the court challenge].” Almost two decades later, there is still little New Yorkers can do to monitor police corruption. There’s the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a city board tasked with examining allegations of misconduct within the New York Police Department, but the CCRB is swamped with complaints and, according to the non-profit Citizen Crime Commission, the police department is often slow to produce information requested by the CCRB. And there’s also the mayor’s Commission to Combat Police Corruption, a small team that issues one annual report on corruption in the department. But neither the CCRB or the Commission to Combat Police Corruption have the legal teeth that Mr. Koppell hopes his Independent Police Investigation and Audit Board would have. Proposed in 2010, Mr. Koppell is hoping a rash of recent NYPD scandals will net the legislation renewed attention. “The need for an independent entity to closely monitor the Department’s anti-corruption efforts as well as independently investigate allegations of illegal activities is undiminished,” Mr. Koppell’s proposal states. In the last six weeks, 16 Bronx police officers were arrested in relation to a ticket-fixing investigation, seven narcotics investigators were convicted of planting drugs on people to meet arrest quotas, eight current and former cops were arrested for gun smuggling, three for robbing a warehouse and another was charged with arresting someone because of his race.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Officials Intend to Fire Police Chief

East Washington intends to fire police chief
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Liz Navratil - November 15, 2011

East Washington officials declared Monday night their intention to fire police chief Donald Solomon, who has been accused of violating the Hobbs Act that prohibits some forms of public corruption. Mayor Mark Pacilla said the borough will send paperwork to Mr. Solomon and his attorney within five days explaining its rationale for firing the chief, who will then have the option to file an appeal. Chief Solomon has been accused of watching over what he thought were drug deals, selling Tasers to people he suspected were criminals, organizing the shooting of a car and talking with others about harming a former housemate and a borough councilman. Chief Solomon pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in U.S. District Court. He was in the Allegheny County Jail Monday night, according to jail workers. Liz Navratil: or 412-263-1438.

Parole Officer Gets 60 Days In Sex Case

Parole officer gets 60 days in sex case
The Albany Times Union by Robert Gavin - November 14, 2011
Nicholas Kordas admits to misconduct; rape trial ended in mistrial

ALBANY, NY -- Parole officer Nicholas Kordas was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail and three years probation for misdemeanor official misconduct, 21/2 months after his rape trial ended in a mistrial. Kordas, 51, of Clifton Park will not be retried in Albany County Court on allegations he raped a woman on parole under his supervision. He had faced 25 years in prison if found guilty of first-degree rape and criminal sex act. The married father admitted in his testimony to having consensual sex with the parolee in her Guilderland apartment but adamantly denied forcing himself on her. He waived his right to appeal his conviction on one count of official misconduct, which carried a maximum of one year in jail. Wearing a black sweatshirt and pants, Kordas thanked acting Supreme Court Justice Dan Lamont for being fair to him. "I apologize for my actions, as I have disgraced my profession, my family and my friends," Kordas said, as his teary-eyed wife looked on from the gallery, "and it's time to move on." His wife mouthed, "I love you" to him as a deputy led him out of the courtroom. Kordas motioned toward his handcuffs and said, "Sorry." Kordas had been free on $75,000 bail. He remains on unpaid leave from his job. Assistant District Attorney Shannon Sarfoh, who prosecuted the case, told the judge the 25-year-old woman who accused Kordas "wants to put the entire (incident) behind her." In August, a jury of eight men and four women was deadlocked, with nine jurors wanting to acquit Kordas, three wanting to convict. In an unexpected turn of events, the judge revealed the verdict before the jury returned to announce it. The judge, who apologized for the revelation, said he understood Kordas was to be found guilty based on his testimony. "I did misspeak," Lamont said before the jury announced its official verdict. Kordas' attorney, Cheryl Coleman, said he has always maintained his innocence on the other counts. Prosecutors alleged Kordas raped the woman on his second visit to her home after 8 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010. They said he suggestively asked the woman, at one point, how much she valued her freedom. They said he also mentioned he had undergone a vasectomy if she was worried about pregnancy. The prosecution argued Kordas left the apartment when his advances were rejected but came back and threatened to arrest the woman if she did not let him in. Once inside, they said, he handcuffed and raped her. The defense ripped the woman's testimony as inconsistent and her memory as foggy. Coleman and her co-counsel, Gaspar Castillo, said the woman was lying -- and noted she had been diagnosed as a "sociopath" and "psychopath." They alleged the woman set up Kordas in a scheme to possibly sue the state. The attorneys noted while serving five years in prison for felony assault -- the woman had stabbed a woman repeatedly -- the parolee had contact with notorious killer Pamela Smart, who received more than $23,875 in a settlement of a suit against the state. Smart made national headlines with the murder-for-hire of her husband, Gregory, in New Hampshire in 1990. She alleged racy photographs of her in her prison cell, which appeared in the National Enquirer, were taken by a correction officer who sexually assaulted her. Reach Robert Gavin at 434-2403 or

Investigating Police Conduct in New York City

The New York Times - Letters - November 14, 2011

Investigating Police Conduct in New York City

To the Editor: As chairman of the Commission to Combat Police Corruption, I am grateful for your call to put “more force” behind our commission (“Can They Police Themselves?,” editorial, Nov. 7). But I take issue with some of your comments. The Internal Affairs Bureau did, in fact, “uncover” most of the “problems” to which you allude. In all cases, it participated actively, to the extent that was appropriate, in investigations that resulted in many indictments of corrupt police officers and dismissals from the department. As for us, our commission already has “full authority to oversee the Internal Affairs Bureau as well as the broader department.” And subpoena power, while potentially useful, is not a priority need. The department has responded promptly and appropriately to our requests for documents, and we have access to Department of Investigation subpoenas should we need any. Our real need is to reverse budget cuts that have reduced our investigative staff from six attorneys to two supervisory attorneys and two investigative analysts. Combating corruption in the Police Department is the business of five district attorneys, two United States attorneys, an aggressive Internal Affairs Bureau — and us. If we all fail, we can always rely on the press to tell us so. But criticism is helpful only if it is on target. MICHAEL ARMSTRONG, New York, Nov. 7, 2011

To the Editor: A drive past any police precinct in New York City will answer the question “Can They Police Themselves?” The police park their personal cars wherever they wish, blocking fire hydrants and crosswalks, and they are often double-parked. One side of the street in our neighborhood hasn’t been cleaned in years; the curb is filled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with police cars, most of them backed onto the sidewalk. “Zero tolerance” has been a slogan of several recent commissioners, believing the philosophy to be the key to lowering crime rates of all kinds. Perhaps a bit of zero tolerance ought to be tried with the police culture, which thus far continues to believe in laws of its own creation. S. E. PHILLIPS Brooklyn, Nov. 7, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

False-Arrest Cops' Trial Set To Begin

Camden Officers' Trial Set To Begin
The Courier Post by George Mast - November 13, 2011

CAMDEN, NJ — The federal trial of two suspended Camden police officers charged with making false arrests to put drug suspects behind bars is set to begin this week. Patrolman Antonio Bayard and Robert Figueroa were indicted on federal corruption charges in October 2010 following a two-year investigation into what authorities said was a rogue five-officer platoon at the department. The officers allegedly planted stolen drugs on suspects, carried out illegal searches, pocketed drug proceeds and then lied on police reports to cover their tracks. Camden police first began an investigation into the officers and then handed the case over to the FBI. Former officers Jason Stetser and Kevin Parry, along with former Sgt. Dan Morris, the unit’s supervisor, have already pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and named specific incidents where the officers carried out illegal arrests. At least Parry, the first officer to plead guilty in March 2010, is expected to testify about Bayard and Figueroa’s role in the scheme in the upcoming trial. According to federal court documents, in late 2009 Parry provided information to the FBI about cases where Figueroa, Bayard and the others allegedly participated in illegal arrests. Figueroa, 35, and Bayard, 33, are each charged with conspiracy to deprive others of civil rights and have maintained their innocence. The charge carries up to 10 years in prison. The police scandal quickly became one of the furthest reaching in the troubled city’s history and has become a civil liability nightmare. Even before Parry pleaded guilty and admitted that between May 2007 and October 2009 the officers planted drugs on suspects in dozens of cases, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office began dismissing drug charges in cases involving the officers. Over the ensuing months, charges in more than 200 cases were dropped, dozens of people were suddenly released from prison and lawsuits began pouring in against the city.

To date, 59 people who claim they were falsely arrested by the officers have filed federal lawsuits against the city and are waiting eagerly to see what new details about the alleged conspiracy surface during the upcoming trial. “There will be a lot of information that will come out at the trial which we can use in our civil cases,” said attorney Paul Melletz. Melletz, whose client filed the first lawsuit in reference to the officers, said the attorneys have had to wait for the culmination of the officers’ trial before they begin taking depositions and gathering needed evidence from the government. “As soon as the criminal trial is over with, then we can start going,” he said. Melletz said the attorneys have agreed that a representative from the many cases will be present throughout the trial to report back on details. John Williamson, president for Camden’s rank-and-file officers, said he, too, will be monitoring the trial. Williamson declined to comment further but said he has known Bayard’s father, a retired Camden police sergeant, for years and has always known Bayard “to be a good officer.” Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson has maintained the accused officers are not a reflection of the rest of the department. “There is nothing more vital for the Camden police than to maintain the trust of the people we serve,” he said in a message on Friday. “We will continue to take the needed measures to ensure our officers are operating with the highest levels of integrity. “The ends will never justify the means.” Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler said Wednesday that opening arguments could begin as soon as Tuesday afternoon. Aside from Parry, federal prosecutors Matthew Skahill and William Fitzpatrick are also expected to put numerous persons on the stand who they say were falsely arrested by the officers. Bayard’s attorney, Robert Agre, and Figueroa’s attorney, Ralph Jacobs, said in a pretrial hearing Wednesday they intend to challenge the credibility of the witnesses — many of whom have prior criminal convictions — as nearly all of them pleaded guilty following their various arrests by the officers. “There are many impairments to these government witnesses,” Agre said during the hearing.

As indictments against Bayard and Figueroa cite more than a dozen specific occasions where the officers were involved in illegal activities, Fitzpatrick said the trial will consist of multiple “mini trials” for each of the alleged incidents. Authorities contend Figueroa and Bayard were part of a hard-charging narcotics squad, the Special Operations Unit, 4th Platoon. The five-man unit was created on July 28, 2008, and its members were breaking the laws within days, indictments against Figueroa and Bayard allege. And the alleged illegal activities continued for months. In a Jan. 27, 2009, incident, the indictment claims Bayard, Figueroa, Stetser and Parry unlawfully searched a Camden home where a person identified only as “R.M.” was located and arrested the individual based on “false information.” The indictment alleges Bayard then authored a police report containing “false and misleading facts” in order to “conceal their unlawful actions.” In continuing the scheme Bayard then “testified falsely under oath” before a state grand jury in reference to the arrest, according to the indictment. According to a Nov. 24, 2009, FBI report, Parry told federal agents and the head of Camden’s Internal Affairs Unit about the same Jan. 27, 2009, incident where the four officers searched a home occupied by Ronald Mills. Parry told the agents that the part of a subsequent police report stating Mills fled from the house and threw down a small sandwich bag to the ground was false. “Parry stated that this did not happen,” the report reads. “Parry stated that the drugs were found inside of the house under some carpet.” Although authorities claim the officers tried to cover their tracks by doctoring police reports, a second FBI report shows members of Camden’s Internal Affairs Unit began to become suspicious as complaints against the officers began to mount. A May 13, 2009, FBI memo states that by March of the same year there was information from multiple sources about allegations of police corruption in Camden. According to the memo, Camden’s internal affairs investigators had handed over to the FBI 20 files of complaints against the officers. One particular citizen complaint alleged that the officers had illegally searched an apartment and stolen thousands of dollars from a drug dealer. The memo alleges that the officers then only turned in a portion of the drug proceeds — a pattern that was also seen in other complaints. In November 2009, Figueroa, Parry and Stetser were suddenly suspended without any public explanation. Weeks later when Bayard was informed he too was being suspended, he stormed through the police headquarters and punched out a window in anger, according to a Camden Police Internal Affairs report. “You people put me with them,” Bayard yelled, according to the report. “It’s your fault. I didn’t do anything.”

Former Overcompensated Police Chief Sues City

Former overcompensated police chief Adams serves Bell with lawsuit
The Los Angeles Political Buzz Examiner by Jules Manson - November 13, 2011

On Thursday November 10, 2011, former Bell Police Chief Randy G. Adams served the City of Bell, CA, with a lawsuit for expenses incurred defending himself on a legal investigation of possible corruption related to the now infamous Bell scandal. The legal documents also expressed a 15-day time window for both parties to contact each other for the purpose of litigation that might result in possible resolution of this case outside of court. Adams' is the latest in four lawsuits directed at Bell from former administrators. In an email exchange with Councilman Nestor Valencia, he writes of the three prior lawsuits, "New lawsuits from the three administrators claims they were forced to resigned and they want their money." He does not name them but this reporter expects that this may be referring to at least a few former members of the council or top managers. It comes at a time when Bell is tightly strapped for cash because of their alleged illicit activities while employed by the city that nearly drove it to bankruptcy. In 2010, Bell became the focus of the nation when a scandal of unbelievable unrestrained corruption became public that was allegedly committed by its then mayor and nearly all members of its council, by its then chief administrative officer Robert Rizzo and other high officials including its then police chief, Randy Adams. It was reported that Adam's annual salary was an incredible $457,000. In addition to his compensation, a recent (Oct 2011) Los Angeles Times article, Former Bell chief wants strapped city to pay his legal fees, reported that, "...Adams and Bell's former chief administrative officer, Robert Rizzo, struck a deal that allowed the chief to file for a disability pension with the city's support. The agreement would amount to a 50% tax break on his retirement benefits." Such compensation far exceeds what is normal for a police chief for a city the size of Bell. It even far exceeds the salary of Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee Baca. Relentless public pressure compelled this most noble public servant (Adams) to resign his post. However, the aforementioned linked article also reveals that his attorneys claim that he was instead fired. What impact this might have on this case remains to be seen. If interested, please contact examiner reporter Jules Manson for a PDF copy of the legal documents that Bell was served with. Also, please visit Bell councilman, Nestor Valencia, speaks at Libertarian Party meeting for a recent prior article on the Bell scandal that is also by this reporter. Policial Buzz Examiner, Jules Manson, also wishes to gratefully acknowledge Bell Councilman Nestor Valencia for providing this breaking news information to him immediately after he received it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Denver Deputy Gets 24 Years in Sex Assault Case

One Denver deputy gets 24 years, another pleads guilty in sex cases
The Denver Post -- August 8, 2011

Two veteran Denver County sheriff's deputies were in court on unrelated sex assaults today. Mark Davis, 49, was sentenced to 24 years after pleading guilty to abusing two young boys beginning in 2002. Brennon Lonergan, 36, pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching a teenage girl in May 2009 and faces up to six years when he is sentenced in November, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office. The cases are unrelated and Denver sheriff's officials have said the crimes were unrelated to their law-enforcement work. Both men had worked at the Denver County Jail. Davis pleaded guilty earlier this year to child abuse and attempted sexual assault on a child. He was accused of abusing a 12-year-old boy he abused between August 2002 and June 2006 and an 8-year-old boy abused between June 2010 and September 2010. He received the maximum sentence possible under his plea agreement. Besides his prison sentence, Davis received a 12-year suspended sentence on the condition he complete eight years of Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Probation after he is released, prosecutors said. When he was arrested last October, Davis had worked for the Denver Sheriff's Department for 14 years. Lonergan, a deputy since 2005, had been on leave for two months before his arrest in April. He is accused of making inappropriate physical advances on a teenage girl in May 2009. He remains in jail on a $12,500 bond in that case, but he also is being held on a $100,000 on an unrelated April 12 case in Lakewood. In that case he accused of felony stalking with threats, following, contact or surveillance, as well as a felony count of stalking with emotional distress. Records show Lonergan's wife filed for divorce on March 16 and received a restraining order against Brennon Lonergan alleging domestic abuse.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three Cops Face Discipline in Rough Detention of City Officials

3 Officers to Face Discipline for Detaining City Officials at Parade
The New York Times by Joseph Goldstein - November 10, 2011

The Police Department will discipline three officers for an episode in which a city councilman and another city official were detained and handcuffed after the West Indian American Day Parade in September, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau found that there was “sufficient evidence to partially substantiate” the complaints by the councilman, Jumaane D. Williams, and the city official, Kirsten John Foy, according to letters that the two men received from the bureau’s chief, Charles V. Campisi. Mr. Williams said he believed racial bias fueled the episode, in which he and Mr. Foy, an aide to the public advocate, were stopped by police officers after walking down a sidewalk that had been closed because of the parade. Despite identifying himself as a councilman, Mr. Williams said, he was handcuffed. Mr. Foy was pushed to the ground by a police officer and also arrested, a video of the episode showed. Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy are black. The men said they were originally granted permission by a high-ranking officer to walk down the closed sidewalk. Chief Campisi indicated that Internal Affairs investigators had determined that excessive force had been used when Mr. Foy was pushed to the ground by a police officer, according to a spokeswoman for the civil liberties union, Jennifer Carnig. The investigators also found that a supervisor had failed to provide adequate supervision. The officer and the supervisor will receive command disciplines, the civil liberties union said, which typically involve a loss of vacation days and a notice entered into the officer’s personnel file. A third officer was reprimanded for not informing other officers that the two men had been earlier granted permission to pass through a barricade into a closed zone, according to the civil liberties union, which has filed complaints on behalf of Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy. The names of the officers have not been released. A spokesman for the Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday, but police officials have previously described a chaotic scene after the parade, which was linked to three shootings involving five victims. Mr. Williams has said that the Police Department’s “stop, question and frisk” practices — which he said were part of a larger police culture of racial profiling that had led to the police action against him and Mr. Foy — needed changing. “This issue is bigger than Kirsten and I,” Mr. Williams said in a statement. “This needs to be a teachable moment for the N.Y.P.D. as to its unjust encounters with the hundreds of thousands of black and Latino New Yorkers that are subject to a discriminatory police culture every day.” But Deputy Inspector Roy T. Richter, the president of the Captain’s Endowment Association, a police union that represents the upper echelons of city officers, said the episode involving Mr. Williams was emblematic only of public officials’ seeking preferential treatment. “This is about an elected official who was in a rush,” Inspector Richter said, “and decided to use his position to get through a police barricade. “It is wrong that all these officers will now face discipline to appease some political purpose. Again, they were only doing their job.” David W. Chen contributed reporting.

Ex-Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced To Probation

Ex-Denver Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced To Probation - November 8, 2011

DENVER, CO -- A judge says that an ex-Denver sheriff's deputy's former job played no role in her sentencing him to probation for a sex offense. The Denver Post reports that Denver District Court Judge Anne Mansfield sentenced 36-year-old Brennon Lonergan Monday to 10 years of sex offender probation. Lonergan pleaded guilty in August to attempted sex assault on a child involving a teenage relative. Lonergan's public defender Julie Stancil argued that Lonergan would be killed in prison and explained the offense as prescription drug abuse that exacerbated a mental condition. Lonergan apologized in court. Longergan is also serving probation for a case out of Jefferson County after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and menacing. Felony stalking charges were dropped.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Woman Who Claimed Improper Strip Search Gets $90k

Woman who claims cop forced her to strip during improper search gets $90K
The New Daily News by John Marzulli - November 11, 2011

Detective allegedly photographed below-the-navel tattoo with cellphone

NYPD Det.Charles Derosalis, accused of improperly searching a 25-year-old woman. A Brooklyn woman who says an NYPD detective forced her to strip so he could photograph her below-the-navel tattoo will receive $90,000 to settle a federal lawsuit, the Daily News has learned. Claudia Bova, 25, was subjected to what she says was an improper body search by Det. Charles Derosalia after she was arrested in a Coney Island drug sweep in 2007. Derosalia told her there were no female cops available and that he had to photograph the tattoo with his cellphone camera for “identification purposes,” according to court papers. The photos were not recovered. After Bova filed a complaint, NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau investigators found 17 women who also claimed they had been strip-searched by Derosalia, who was assigned to the Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South. Bova's lawyer, Nicole Bellina, said that two other women besides her client testified about the improper searches at Derosalia's department hearing. NYPD regulations prohibit male cops from performing strip searches of female prisoners. Derosalia was found guilty and the recommended penalty is dismissal from the force, Bellina said. “Detective Derosalia victimized women who were in his custody and control,” Bellina said. “He victimized them in police precincts, right under the noses of his supervisors.” Under the settlement, the city will pay Bova $75,000 and Derosalia must fork over $15,000. “We feel that Det. Derosalia is appropriately contributing personally to this settlement and that it is in the best interest of all the parties,” city lawyer Brian Farrar said Thursday. Last year, the city paid $27,000 and Derosalia $1,000 to Quantalis Legrand, who claimed she was forced to disrobe in front of him so he could check for contraband. Detectives Endowment Association lawyer James Moschella did not return a call for comment.

Ever Fix a Ticket?

Fix a Ticket? Kelly Says Never, but How About Selleck?
The New York Times by Al Baker - November 10, 2011

Tony Bennett solicits a ticket fix from the police chief, played by Tom Selleck, at 2:22 of this clip of a recent episode of “Blue Bloods.” As television moments go, it was prescient. It was weeks before the unsealing of indictments in the Bronx against more than two dozen police officers, 11 of them on charges related to fixing traffic and parking tickets. But there, on the CBS crime show “Blue Bloods” broadcast Sept. 23, the fictional chief of the city police force, Frank Reagan (played by Tom Selleck), sat in a lounge watching Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood sing. After crooning his way through “It Had to Be You,” Mr. Bennett gestured to the audience and said, “I see my old friend Frank Reagan over there. By the way, my driver got a speeding ticket — could you take care of that for me?” A round of laughter followed, and the chief bowed his head and waved. “Thank you,” said Mr. Bennett, apparently taking the wave as recognition of a favor granted. Then he, too, giggled. It was no light matter, though, when the city’s real-life commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, was asked whether he had ever fixed a ticket at a news conference after the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, unsealed those ticket-fixing indictments Oct. 28. Mr. Kelly said he had never fixed a ticket in his career with the department, nor had he ever been asked to. “If I was approached, I’d say no,” Mr. Kelly said. He pointed out that the long investigation, which involved wiretaps of officers’ phones, unveiled some evidence of officers’ declining to fix tickets. “The notion that everybody does it simply is not supported by what we heard on the tapes,” Mr. Kelly said. In truth, the question of whether Mr. Kelly had ever fixed a ticket came up well before the indictments were unsealed, because he has spent much of his adult life within the department, serving twice as commissioner. Some months ago, at the top of his regular e-mail list of press clippings, sent to 10,000 current and former officers, and others, Michael E. J. Bosak, a retired sergeant and police historian, focused on that question: “Where is Raymond Kelly in this mess?” he wrote. “He came up through the ranks — all the way up from a white shield patrolman in the 20 Precinct; sergeant in the 23 Pct.; lieutenant in the 10th Precinct, and captain in the 88 Precinct to police commissioner today. He’s knows how the system works; he is the system!” At that time, in the spring, Mr. Kelly declined an interview request, through a spokesman, citing the grand jury inquiry. “Whenever an allegation of ticket fixing came to the commissioner’s attention, it was pursued I.A.B.,” said the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, referring to the Internal Affairs Bureau. “And no, he never fixed a ticket or was party to fixing one.”

No Interdepartmental Subpoenas, Please

Commissioner Kelly makes plain his view on whether the Commission to Combat Police Corruption — a small city agency charged with monitoring the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau — deserves subpoena power: They do not, the commissioner believes. The question has come up repeatedly over the years as those who have tried to squeeze data from the department face roadblocks. In 2005, Mark F. Pomerantz, then chairman of the mayoral commission, told the City Council’s public safety committee that the commission had sought to review fraudulent claims for police overtime and sexual misconduct and domestic violence by officers, but was stymied by the department’s failure to provide information. The department insisted that the reviews were not within the panel’s mandate of examining corruption. Mr. Pomerantz said the panel would be more effective if it had subpoena power. In an interview that year, he told The New York Times that the panel also wanted to examine the integrity of the department’s crime statistics reporting following allegations that police commanders were downgrading some crimes to lesser offenses. On Nov. 2, Mr. Kelly said of that debate: “The argument we had was, ‘Hey, we all report to the same boss; if you want these documents we’ll give it to you.’ In other words, this is the mayor’s committee. You work for the mayor and we work for the mayor, so there was no need for subpoena power.” The following day, when several politicians called on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to create an independent commission to investigate what they contend is systemic corruption, a mayoral spokesman first referred the question back to the Police Department. After the police answered, however, the mayor’s office gave a similar answer of its own. The bottom line, the spokesman said: “There is absolutely no need to creating another layer of government here.” Al Baker, police bureau chief for The New York Times — and the son of a police lieutenant — brings you inside the nation’s largest police force every Thursday. Mr. Baker can be reached at

Ex-Deputy Admits To Smuggling Contraband

Ex-deputy admits to smuggling contraband into Fulton County jail
The Atlanta Crime Examiner by Kinathi Lewis - November 9, 2011

Dressed in a uniform and sporting a badge, Mr. Marvie Trevino Dingle was more of an undercover drug smuggler than a Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy. On Tuesday Mr. Dingle admitted to accepting bribes of more than $2,000 to smuggle drugs into and outside the Fulton County jail, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. And the cost of that payoff could mean up to 70 years for the ex-deputy who had been in the department for barely two years when he was caught. “Instead of protecting the public, this former deputy sheriff chose to sell his badge to protect drug deals,” U.S. Attorney Mrs. Sally Quillian Yates said. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who tarnish the badge of honest, hard-working law enforcement officers.” Mr. Dingle was the second former Fulton County law enforcement officer to plead guilty in federal court recently. On Oct. 24, Mr. Derick Deshun Frazier, 32, of Stockbridge, pleaded guilty to extortion under color of official right for accepting $300 to smuggle mobile telephones into the county jail, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. Mr. Dingle and Mr. Frazier were among eight people charged in June after the sheriff launched a contraband sting operation at the jail. Jailers, sheriff’s deputies and others were implicated in various smuggling plots, including attempts to bring marijuana, cocaine, cell phones and cigarettes into the jail to distribute inmates. They were also accused of selling drugs outside the jail. Federal investigators said on March 21, deputy Dingle accepted $700 from an undercover agent to deliver seven grams of a substance he believed to be cocaine to an inmate inside the jail. On April 22, deputy Dingle accepted $1,500 from an undercover agent to assist in delivering a kilogram of a substance he believed to be cocaine to a man in the Dunwoody area, the press release said. Mr. Dingle, 34, had only been a deputy with the department for one year and seven months, the Fulton County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ms. Tracy Flanagan said. The former deputy was indicted in June on two counts of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of extortion under color of official right, the press release said. He pleaded guilty to all counts and could receive up to 70 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000,000 for the drug offenses and up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the extortion offenses. Mr. Dingle is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 24 at 11:00 a.m.


ATLANTA, GA—Former Fulton County Deputy Sheriff MARVIE TREVINO DINGLE, JR ., 34, of Lithonia, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine and to accepting bribes of more than $2,000 to facilitate the distribution of cocaine inside and outside the Fulton County Jail. United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Instead of protecting the public, this former deputy sheriff chose to sell his badge to protect drug deals. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who tarnish the badge of honest, hard-working law enforcement officers.” Brian D Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “Public corruption investigations such as this continue to be a priority for the FBI due to the immense harm that can be caused from those that choose to disregard their sworn oaths. The FBI continues to work with its various law enforcement partners in such matters to further ensure that the public’s trust in its law enforcement community is not eroded by such individuals as Mr Dingle.” Fulton County Sheriff Theodore “Ted” Jackson said, “This sends a strong message that corrupt activity will not be tolerated at the Fulton County Jail. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is giving full cooperation to the FBI as agents continue their work. This investigation is vital to ensuring the safety and security of inmates and employees.” According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On March 21, 2011, DINGLE, while employed as a deputy sheriff at the Fulton County Jail, accepted $700 from an undercover agent to deliver seven grams of a substance he believed to be cocaine to an inmate inside the jail. On April 22, 2011, DINGLE accepted $1,500 from an undercover agent to assist in delivering a kilogram of a substance he believed to be cocaine to a man in the Dunwoody area. DINGLE was indicted in June, 2011 on two counts of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of extortion under color of official right. He pleaded guilty to all counts of his indictment. He could receive a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000,000 for the drug offenses and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the extortion offenses. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. DINGLE is the second former Fulton County law enforcement officer to recently plead guilty in federal court. On October 24, 2011, former Detention Officer DERICK DESHUN FRAZIER, 32, of Stockbridge, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of extortion under color of official right for accepting $300 to smuggle mobile telephones into the county jail. Sentencing for DINGLE is scheduled for January 24, 2012, at 11:00 AM, before United States District Judge Amy Totenberg. This case is being investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brent Alan Gray is prosecuting the case. For further information please contact Sally Q Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Editorial: Cop Betrayed Public Trust

Faux traffic tickets written by New Orleans police officer were real corruption: An editorial
EDITORIAL - The Times-Picayune - November 9, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Glenn Gross betrayed the public trust and ripped off taxpayers as a New Orleans police officer when he wrote hundreds of phony tickets while working federally financed overtime shifts. The grant, which the New Orleans Police Department received in June, was meant to help enforce seatbelt laws. But investigators haven't been able to find a single legitimate ticket in the 215 that the 22-year veteran wrote over several months. While it isn't clear how much overtime money Mr. Gross pocketed, because of his scheme at least some grant money intended to promote public safety instead enriched a corrupt cop. Such dishonesty is repugnant, and it's a relief that Mr. Gross won't be writing any more tickets, real or fake. As part of a deal with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office, he left the force and pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of malfeasance. Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Camille Buras also sentenced him to five years probation -- something that the DA's office said was not part of the deal they made with him. But it's fitting that Mr. Gross faced stiffer consequences than just losing his job. He abused the public trust by lying and taking overtime pay he did not earn. When he was initially arrested, he was booked with 215 counts of injuring public records and a single count of malfeasance in office. The NOPD isn't alone in having problems with officers misusing federal grant money. William S. Marciante Jr., a St. Charles Parish Sheriff's deputy, was arrested last week after an investigation alleged that he had been filing false seat belt citations to motorists he had never stopped and claiming overtime pay. In that case, the deputy is accused of citing real motorists -- which is even more damaging to public trust since it subjected citizens to false accusations. In August, Carol Ney, a former Harahan police officer, was sentenced in federal court to two years probation and ordered to pay restitution for padding her time sheets to take advantage of a federal policing grant. The fact that police agencies in three different jurisdictions experienced problems with federal overtime grants is worrisome and points to the need for careful oversight of such programs. In the case of Mr. Gross and the New Orleans Police Department, there's an even more troubling pattern -- he joins a long list of New Orleans Police officers who are no longer on the force because they have been accused of breaking rules or the law. In the past 18 months, nearly 50 officers have been fired or have resigned or retired while under investigation. Those include high-profile cases, like the officers involved in the shooting of innocent civilians on the Danziger Bridge and the subsequent cover-up, and more prosaic wrongdoing, like Mr. Gross' phony ticket scam. All instances of police wrongdoing and corruption -- large and small -- damage public confidence in law enforcement and by extension, hurt efforts to make the community safer. It's a sign of progress that Mr. Gross was discovered quickly by an alert supervisor who saw a curious pattern and, as Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas put it, "did not turn his head'' but instead notified the Public Integrity Bureau. The NOPD needs to continue to root out the bad apples, and that requires continued vigilance.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Congratulations New York! Corruption Everywhere!

NYPD copes with spate of corruption allegations; lawmakers calling for investigation
The Associated Press by Colleen Long - November 9, 2011
The Republic - Columbus, Indiana

NEW YORK, NY — Police officers accused of making traffic tickets disappear for friends. Cops arrested in a gun-running sting. An officer convicted of planting drugs on innocent people. The unusual spate of corruption and misconduct allegations at the New York Police Department is prompting cries for an investigation into whether there is an endemic problem or a few bad apples, drawing comparisons to past scandals and renewing questions about whether the Police department can effectively Police itself. "It's a lot of scandal hitting in a short period of time," said Fordham Law School professor James Cohen, who studies Police activity. "One could draw the inference that there's more out there. I think no one would think we've cleaned all that up." The biggest blow in terms of numbers came late last month when 16 officers were accused of corruption and other charges in the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal. The officers include an Internal Affairs Bureau lieutenant who is accused of tipping off the targets of the investigation, and union delegates charged with helping friends and family avoid paying tickets. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said the actions cost the city up to $2 million in revenue. The day of their arraignments where they all pleaded not guilty, hundreds of Police officers stood outside, calling Commissioner Raymond Kelly a hypocrite, heckling residents and blocking journalists from getting inside. The cops held signs that read: "It's a courtesy, not a crime," and union officials said the longtime practice was not criminal. Just days before the scandal broke, five officers were arrested in a gun-running sting. And later, Brooklyn South Narcotics officer Jason Arbeeny was found guilty of misconduct for planting drugs on two innocent people.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach bashed the department after the Arbeeny trial exposed corruption and talk of downgrading crime at Police precincts. "I thought I was not naive regarding the reality of narcotics enforcement, but even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct, but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is deployed," Reichbach said. Separately, the cases could be dismissed as examples of a few rogue cops, or in the ticket-fixing case, minor infractions blown out of proportion. But taken together, lawmakers say, the accusations seem to indicate an alarming trend. They urged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to form a commission to investigate the NYPD, pointing to past investigations decades ago that inspired some change.

"The outbreak of corruption is staggering," said State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from Brooklyn. "The mayor can no longer ignore it." Part of the issue, though, is that politicians and citizens have short memories — and the problems of the past have never been fully addressed, experts say. "As we pointed out ..., unfortunately history has shown about every 20 years a new Police scandal erupts," said Justice Milton Mollen, a former deputy mayor and longtime judge who explored Police corruption two decades ago. "It's almost exactly 20 years from our report." And almost exactly 20 years before Mollen's commission was the Knapp Commission, which unearthed how plainclothes officers systematically collected protection money from gamblers and prostitutes. It was formed to look into the allegations of Frank Serpico, New York City's most famous cop whistleblower. Mollen's 1994 report covered the so-called "Dirty 30" scandal at the NYPD, where cops were accused of stealing cash from drug dealers, taking bribes, beating suspects and lying under oath to cover their tracks. The commission detailed a series of changes within the department that included an increased command responsibility, training and supervision. Many of the internal changes were implemented, but it also recommended the creation of an independent commission that would investigate corruption and have subpoena power. The Commission to Combat Police Corruption was created and still exists, but it lacks any power — and investigations are done only when the department asks for them. Mollen said he didn't know enough about the current-day cases and couldn't comment on them. But he said he believes Kelly has worked hard to combat corruption.

Under Kelly's watch, the department has probed allegations of downgraded crimes, changed its system for logging parking tickets, and beefed up the internal affairs bureau. Kelly said it was "difficult" to announce so many misconduct charges. "These misdeeds tarnish the good name and reputation of the vast majority of Police officers who perform their duties honestly," he said. Despite all the bad news, the commissioner remains popular. He's consistently considered the top candidate to succeed Bloomberg in 2013, though he has said he has no plans to run for office. But some of Kelly's policies are also under fire, and that threatens to shift his image, Cohen said. "He's Teflon, but I do think this is tarnishing him," he said. "There are too many incidents and criticisms coming from different areas." Renewed calls by lawmakers to curb the city's stop, question and frisk tactics came in recent weeks after the arrest of Officer Michael Daragjati on federal civil rights charges accusing him of casually using a racial slur in recounting the false stop and arrest of a black man. The 31-year-old man who was stopped is among hundreds of thousands of people who have been stopped, questioned and frisked by Police. In the past three years, more than 1 million have been stopped in New York — and only about 10 percent of those stops have resulted in Arrests. Daragjati has pleaded not guilty, but critics say the case is proof of what they have been arguing for years: The policy unfairly singles out black and Hispanic men. Department officials say the policy is essential for taking guns off the street and preventing crime in neighborhoods where men of color make up the vast majority of murder and shooting victims. Some city council members are seeking more oversight over the department because they felt left in the dark about intelligence programs that subjected Muslim neighborhoods to surveillance and scrutiny — revealed by an Associated Press investigation showing the Police monitored Muslim communities for reasons of ethnicity. The department says it only follows leads about allegations of potential wrongdoing. The cases brought against a couple dozen officers need to be put in perspective, experts said. Mollen added he did not want to pass judgment on any of the officers in the current cases, because they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. "These are isolated individuals. The vast majority of Police are not corrupt," he said. "If you have 35,000 Police officers ... think 35,000 clergymen, 35,000 lawyers, 35,000 ditch-diggers, you're going to find X percent are going to be corrupt." Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

Department of Justice Mum on Police Corruption Probe

DOJ Doesn’t Update Police Probe During Meeting
KOAT.COM - November 8, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Community members said they left a Monday evening meeting disappointed after U.S. Department of Justice officials failed to update the status of a possible probe into the Albuquerque Police Department. Community members said they showed up Monday to get news about a possible investigation into APD after a rash of officer-involved shootings during the past year and a half. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hoses didn’t offer much information about what’s happening in Washington. “Right now, they're in the process of gathering information to determine whether or not there will be a full blown investigation, but I can't comment on that now, and I don't have any answers for you with respects to that question,” Hoses said. City leaders said they’ll cooperate with the DOJ if it decides to launch an investigation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Cops Suspended In Handling of Another Cop's Crash

Tuckahoe cops suspended for handling of NYPD officer's crash
The Journal News by Jonathan Bandler - November 8, 2011

TUCKAHOE, NY — Two village cops were suspended without pay for their handling of an accident last year involving a New York City police officer who may have been drunk, police Chief John Costanzo said Monday night. Costanzo issued a press release indicating that the department's investigation into the April 18, 2010, accident concluded with Sergeant John Cuccinello and police Officer Vincent Pinto accepting the suspension as "command discipline." The chief could not be reached for comment and the press release did not reveal the duration of the suspension or whether it was ongoing. Last week, Costanzo and the Westchester District Attorney's Office indicated there would be no criminal charges in the case. The investigations began in May of this year after posted a wiretap recording of a phone conversation in which one New York Police Department union delegate told another about the aftermath of the Tuckahoe accident and the effort to cover-up the fact that the officer in the accident had been drunk. The caller, officer Chris Letizia, discussed how Cuccinello, a friend of his, went to his Tuckahoe home just after the accident to solicit his help in convincing the "bombed" driver to accept summonses for property damage. The NYPD officer Letizia called was Joseph Anthony, one of the PBA's top-ranking delegates in the Bronx. The call was taped as part of a lengthy investigation by the Bronx District Attorney's Office into ticket-fixing by police. Anthony was among 16 NYPD cops indicted two weeks ago in the case. The driver in the accident, Michael Lazarou, had smashed his SUV into a decorative light pole and parking meter on Sagamore Road around the corner from his home. When Cuccinello and Pinto got to the scene, the car was gone. But Pinto followed a fluid trail and found the car, with Lazarou nearby, on Dante Avenue half a mile away. Lazarou's property damage summonses were dismissed last fall after his insurance company paid the village $17,600. Neither Tuckahoe officer agreed to be interviewed by the public integrity bureau of the District Attorney's Office, protecting their right against self-incrimination. But they were required to answer questions as part of the police department's internal probe and Costanzo said both men were interviewed. Costanzo's press release did not reveal what departmental rules the two officers violated. "The integrity and reputation of the Tuckahoe Police Department is paramount to every member of the department," Costanzo wrote in the press release. "I am proud of the service that each member provides and their involvement in addressing the needs of our community. Every day our members strive to earn the public's trust while providing first rate police services."