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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Judge Tosses Case Linked to Police Corruption Probe

Drug charges tossed in case linked to Tulsa police corruption probe
The Tulsa World by Omer Gillham - May 7, 2011

A judge dismissed charges Friday against a man who alleges an officer involved in a police corruption probe planted drugs on him during a 2008 drug arrest. Edward D. White is one of 31 people to have been ordered freed from prison, had a felony case dismissed or been granted a new trial as part of a federal investigation of the Tulsa Police Department. Felony drug charges were dismissed Friday against White, 33, by the district attorney's office, said James Linger, White's attorney. White's two convictions were thrown out Jan. 27 in Tulsa County District Court. However, White faced the possibility of being retried if prosecutors brought the case back, Linger said. District Judge Kurt Glassco threw out White's convictions but ordered him held in jail, pending a possible retrial. Glassco ordered White released Friday, Linger said. In questioning the timing of the charges being dismissed, Linger said: "Why did Mr. White have to wait an additional three months to be released from jail? Justice delayed is not always justice served." At his January hearing to vacate his convictions, White testified that former Tulsa Police Officer Eric J. Hill planted cocaine and marijuana on him in 2008. Hill was fired from the Tulsa Police Department on Aug. 18 for admitting that he planted drugs on people during arrests. Hill is part of a police corruption probe in which six current or former Tulsa Police officers have been charged with stealing drugs and money, planting drugs on individuals, falsifying police reports, intimidating witnesses or suborning perjury. Hill has not been charged with a crime, but he is cooperating with special prosecutors. White had been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading no contest June 11 to possession of a controlled drug, court records show. The case was filed July 24, 2008. White also pleaded no contest in June to a second 2008 case involving possession of a controlled drug. He received a four-year sentence, which ran concurrently with the first sentence, records show. Both of the cases involved arrests by Hill about four months apart, records show. After being arrested by Hill, White complained to Tulsa Police Department's Internal Affairs office, according to testimony in January. White went to Internal Affairs three times trying to get help about Hill's behavior and alleged corruption, Linger said. "Mr. White received no information that any action was taken on his complaints,'' he said. Omer Gillham 918-581-8301 -

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