Friday, January 23, 2009

Deputy George Easterly Arrested for Having Child Porn on His Computer


Deputies have arrested a Hendry County corrections officer for possession of child pornography. The officer reportedly had child porn pictures on his computer.

George Easterly, 49, now faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

"It's disappointing when anyone does it," says Collier County Detective Scott Rapisarda. "But, it's especially disappointing when a law enforcement official does it."

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, last month Easterly asked his son to fix his computer. The son found the images that appeared to be child pornography and reported it to the sheriff's office. Deputies searched his home and took his computer. Forensics revealed 10 pictures of children between the ages of 10 and 17 in various sexual acts.

Easterly's neighbors say they were surprised to hear of the arrest and fear for their children's safety.

"You know they're supposed to be enforcing the law and here they are breaking the law themselves," says Brittany Scott.

Easterly was arrested shortly before 4 p.m. Friday during a traffic stop in Golden Gate Estates.

Easterly now faces 7 to 8 years in prison.

Former Sgt. Faron White Booked Friday for Staging his Disappearance


Former Decatur police Sgt. Faron White, accused of stealing seized drug money from his office and staging his disappearance, is back in Morgan County from Las Vegas.

White, 48, was booked into the Morgan County Jail at 3:25 p.m. Friday, a jail spokesman said. White, a Decatur officer for 22 years, has been charged with first-degree theft and his bond set at $20,000.

Morgan County District Attorney Bob Burrell has said he will seek to have White's bond increased or have him held with no bond because White is a flight risk.

White is accused of stealing at least $2,500 from a safe in his office on Jan. 2. His family reported him missing and police conducted a widespread search for White after they found signs of a physical altercation in his office.

But investigators determined that White stole the money and staged his disappearance with the help of Sarah Richardson, a volunteer worker in White's office.

Richardson, 29, has been charged with first-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension.

U.S. Marshals found White in Las Vegas on Jan. 5 and took him into custody without incident in a Las Vegas hotel lobby. White waived extradition. Richardson has told police that she thinks White may have stolen $70,000 from his office over several months.

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Const. Adam Whynott Charged with Fighting

A Halifax police officer and a Digby man charged after a street fight last June that led to allegations of racism will avoid criminal convictions.

The case of Const. Adam Whynott and William Drummond was referred to the adult diversion program on Thursday.

Under the terms of the program, both men have to accept responsibility for their actions. They face counselling instead of jail terms or fines. They won't have a criminal record.

Whynott, 27, and Drummond, 20, were charged with causing a disturbance by fighting following the late-night brawl outside a Digby bar. Drummond was also charged with resisting arrest.

Drummond and another young black man claim the June 22 scuffle with a group of off-duty police officers broke out after someone yelled a racist taunt. Drummond was the only one arrested by local RCMP.

In late August, RCMP announced the charges against both men, but also said investigators couldn't find any evidence the fight was sparked by a racial slur.

Whynott is returning to active duty with the Halifax Regional Police. However, he's still subject to an internal police review.

Former Officer Benjamin Beauchemin Fired After DWI Charge


Former Hooksett police officer Benjamin Beauchemin refused comment last night after the police commission publicly announced that his employment with the department had been terminated.

Neither Beauchemin nor his union-appointed attorney, Bill Cahill, responded when asked if they anticipated this outcome or if they intend to appeal the commission's decision.

Commission Chairman Dave Gagnon said the firing is effective immediately, but refused to shed light on how the group arrived at the decision.

"(Beauchemin) is the one who wanted it non-public, so that's where it's staying," Gagnon said.

Police officer won on technicality

Beauchemin has been on administrative leave without pay since last May, when he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

According to police records, Beauchemin flipped his Jeep Liberty off Cedar Crest Lane in Auburn at about 1:15 a.m. May 11 into a private yard after returning home from Manchester. Court testimony revealed that Beauchemin left the scene of the accident while police were summoned by eyewitnesses. He admitted to drinking four beers at his girlfriend's house nearby in the time it took emergency responders to arrive in Auburn.

Records indicate he refused an on-site sobriety test.

In September, he was found not guilty by a district court judge, who cited insufficient evidence to convict. Judge David LeFrancois said that although Beauchemin's off-duty conduct was not fitting of a police officer, state prosecutors had not definitely proven beyond reasonable doubt that he had been drinking in excess before operating the vehicle.

After the court decision, Hooksett Police Chief Steve Agrafiotis ordered an internal investigation that considered evidence not permissible in court, including 911 recordings.

Last night, Gagnon would not comment on how the commission reached its decision.

According to the department's personnel procedures, any employee under disciplinary scrutiny has the option of opening police commission hearings to the public. Beauchemin and his counsel chose to keep those meetings closed.

If Beauchemin chooses to appeal the commission's sentence, an outside arbitrator will review the case facts and recommend a non-binding decision to the police commission, which the commission may choose to follow or reject.

Beauchemin joined the Hooksett Police Department in 2007 after a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Sgt. William Wade Charged with Domestic Violence


A veteran police sergeant was suspended with pay today after he was allegedly involved in a domestic incident, city officials said.

Sgt. William Wade was charged with reckless endangerment and harassment in the incident.

A woman filed a complaint with city police against Wade alleging domestic violence, officials said. A police officer convicted in a domestic incident could lose his right to carry a weapon, and, as a result, would be unable to perform his job.

The Troy Police Benevolent Association is backing Wade.

"With all due respect to both participants involved, the department has only heard one side of the story,'' said Officer Robert Fitzgerald, the PBA president.

Wade did not make a statement to investigators.

"I fully expect Sgt. Wade to be exonerated. He's one of the most well respected members of this department,'' Fitzgerald said.

Wade was the fourth highest paid city employee in 2008, earning $136,667 with overtime, back pay and allowances, according to city records. As a sergeant, Wade's base pay this year is $65,739.

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FBI Investigating Capt Edward Poulson Using Excessive Force

The FBI is investigating allegations that the head of the Oakland Police Department's Internal Affairs Division almost nine years ago beat a drug suspect who later died, and then ordered subordinate officers to lie about it, according to police sources, some of whom federal agents recently have interviewed.

The beating allegations are just one aspect of a wide-ranging FBI probe covering many of the department's recent high-profile problems, including the handling of the 2007 slaying of journalist Chauncey Bailey, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of workplace reprisals.

Capt. Edward I. Poulson, who heads Internal Affairs, was suspended with pay by the department Thursday.

Poulson, of Danville, did not return messages. Police Chief Wayne Tucker refused requests for an interview. In a written statement released Thursday night, Tucker said the department was cooperating with the FBI.

The FBI is investigating allegations that Poulson, working with an undercover team in April 2000, kicked a drug suspect, breaking his ribs, the sources said. The suspect, Jerry Amaro, died about a month later of pneumonia caused by broken ribs and a collapsed lung, according to a coroner's report. Before Amaro died, he told several people about the incident, according to police reports.

Internal Affairs investigators at the time found that Poulson ordered subordinate officers to lie about his involvement, and those investigators called for his firing, according to the sources. Then-Chief Richard Word instead suspended Poulson for two weeks. No charges were brought in Amaro's death after a homicide investigation, the sources said.

During that investigation, officers who arrested Amaro said they saw no use of force as he was captured, according to homicide case notes obtained by the Chauncey Bailey Project, a group of Bay Area journalists.

But during a subsequent Internal Affairs investigation, the same officers said Poulson ordered them to protect him, according to an officer familiar with their statements. Those statements led to administrative charges against Poulson and the two-week suspension.

Officers with knowledge of the matter said colleagues were angry that a member of the command staff who had been punished for interfering in an Internal Affairs investigation was later put in charge of Internal Affairs, and they alerted the FBI. Two senior members of the department said Thursday that Tucker had been advised last year not to put Poulson in charge of Internal Affairs because of the Amaro case.

The investigation of Poulson comes as the Internal Affairs Division remains under the oversight of U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson and a team of independent monitors under the Negotiated Settlement Agreement reached after the infamous Riders corruption case in 2001.

The U.S. attorney for Northern California, Joseph Russanello, said Thursday that he could neither confirm nor deny the investigation, adding that the only confirmation could come from people FBI agents interviewed.

Mayor Ron Dellums was returning from inauguration festivities in Washington and could not be reached on Thursday.

A former federal officer with knowledge of the matter said two teams of agents are conducting the investigation — one concentrating on possible civil rights violations and the other on public corruption.

Two police officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that FBI agents have interviewed them in recent days about Amaro's arrest and death, and a raft of other incidents that include:

The department's handling of Bailey's Aug. 2, 2007, slaying, for which police arrested only one person on murder charges. The Chauncey Bailey Project reported in October that the lead detective in the case, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, failed to document in his case notes evidence of a conspiracy pointing to former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV's involvement in the killing.

The recent scandal involving the falsification of search warrants. Department leaders last week notified 11 officers of their intention to fire them. Another officer was fired last month.

A whistle-blower complaint that police Lt. Lawrence Green filed last month alleging that Tucker squashed a rank-and-file vote of no confidence in his administration by promoting then-police union president, Officer Robert Valladon, to "acting sergeant," a move that increased Valladon's pay and boosted his eligibility for a higher pension.

Allegations that former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly last year leaked news of a pending drug raid to a nephew who was a gang member.

The conduct of Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Loman, who is accused of sexually harassing a subordinate female officer and also is being investigated for his supervision of Longmire's work in the Bailey case.

The FBI probe comes nearly three months after Dellums requested the state Justice Department conduct a parallel investigation of an internal affairs probe of how the Bailey case was handled.

Since then, the department notified officers of its intent to fire them in the warrant-falsification scandal, sexual harassment charges were filed against Loman, and Green filed the whistle-blower complaint about Tucker and Valladon.

In the statement he issued Thursday night, Tucker urged Oakland residents "not to allow recent allegations of misconduct to overshadow the successful policing efforts achieved by" the department.

City Council members provided a harsher view.

"We are in chaos and no end in sight to some of the problems we are facing here when it comes to the Police Department," City Councilmember and Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente, a frequent department critic, said Thursday.

Council President Jane Brunner said Poulson's record should have been considered.

"The lead Internal Affairs investigator should have been vetted," Brunner said. "It's like in Congress and the person who is leading the ethics commission, you need to vet the people doing Internal Affairs to the point that they need to be squeaky clean."

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Officer Andrew Thompson Gets Away with Drunk Driving


A Pekin police officer arrested for DUI on Dec. 19 will not be charged with DUI because of a lack of evidence. However, he has voluntarily accepted a suspension for affecting public confidence in the department.

Patrolman Andrew J. Thompson, 29, of Pekin, had just left a bar on Broadway Road, Pekin, when he was rear-ended by another car sliding on the ice at Broadway Road and North 20th Street. Thompson was off duty, driving his own personal vehicle and was not at fault in the accident.

A Pekin police officer at the scene noticed the odor of alcohol coming from Thompson and notified the commanding officer. The Illinois State Police were called by Pekin police command to handle the accident, as is the policy of the police department when one of its officers is a suspect.

Thompson refused all alcohol testing — both field sobriety and a Breathalyzer test. He was taken to the Tazewell County Justice Center where he was released on a bond of 10 percent of a $1,000 bond, or $100.

Pekin Police Deputy Chief Ted Miller issued a written statement this morning concerning the decision by the state’s attorney.

Miller said, “The Pekin Police Department recognizes that we cannot operate efficiently or effectively absent the public’s trust and respect. We have worked diligently to that end by steadfastly promoting those values within our organization that are consistent with that endeavor. When this incident occurred, the initial responding officer immediately contacted a superior officer to come to the scene. The responding command officer followed protocol by calling for a neutral agency (the Illinois State Police) to investigate the incident.”

Miller said the department even went so far as to contact local media to inform them of the incident so the matter would be “completely open and transparent.”

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz said his office reviewed all reports, video tapes taken by the state police at the scene and other information and found insufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof required of the state for a DUI charge or a summary suspension.

“This case was review just like any other DUI arrest ...,” said Umholtz. “Based on our review ... we determined there was insufficient evidence of impairment.

“This individual was not given any more or less consideration than any other citizen arrested for (DUI). I will say this, if any citizen is asked by a police officer to take a breath test or a field sobriety test, they should take that test to remove all doubt.”

Umholtz said the occupation of any suspect is not considered in determining if charges are to be filed.

Thompson’s attorney, Brian Addy of Pekin, issued a press release stating that, “Thompson has accepted a 10-day suspension without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer from the city of Pekin Police Chief Tim Gillespie. Mr. Thompson admitted that his off-duty conduct impaired the morale of his department and affected the public’s confidence in said department.”

“Without admitting that he was intoxicated on the night in question, he has taken responsibility for his actions and both Mr. Thompson and the city of Pekin Police Department are completely satisfied with the resolution of this matter,” said Addy

Illinois Secretary of State Attorney Jay Mesi said the Secretary of State’s Office cannot suspend a license for failure to submit to drug or alcohol testing unless the arresting agency sends a sworn report of the refusal to submit to testing.

“What happens is the officer fills out a sworn report and sends it to the circuit clerk,” said Mesi. “The circuit clerk sends the sworn report to the Secretary of State.

“We can’t suspend unless we get that sworn report. The officer is required to send the report to us and the circuit clerk.”

If a person requests and receives an Illinois Driver’s License they automatically consent to any chemical testing for drugs and alcohol. If the driver refuses such testing, they are subject to a summary statutory suspension, said Mesi.

Mesi said citizens have the right to a suspension hearing to determine if the burden of proof has been met by the state.

Had sufficient evidence been available for charges in the incident, Thompson would have faced a mandatory six-month suspension for refusing to take the breath test.

Miller said the department initiated its own internal investigation. He said the department could not release department discipline of an officer, but that Thompson had waived his rights and allowed his attorney to do so.


If he wasn't guilty...why did he refuse the test? Hmmmmmm?

Officer Corey Earl Charged with Telephone Harassment


Police officer Corey Earl pleaded not guilty to two counts of telephone harassment Jan. 21 at the Oberlin Municipal Court, according to the clerk of court. Earl is set to appear in court on Feb. 5 for his pretrial.

Earl was arrested Jan. 4 by Amherst police after his ex-wife complained of telephone harassment.

Lorain police Lt. Jim Rohner said the Lorain Police Department would conduct an internal investigation pending the outcome of any criminal charges to determine whether he violated the standards of conduct. But he added the incidents occurred off-duty.

Earl has been on medical leave for the past six months after suffering a stroke last May.

Earl was disciplined in early January 2008 after he admitted to making inappropriate comments to his girlfriend’s ex-husband during a traffic stop, according to an internal police investigation report.

Also in January 2008, the Amherst Law Director’s office dismissed a charge that Earl violated a protection order concerning his ex-wife. Amherst police were called to Earl’s home for domestic disputes on July 6 and Aug. 13 of 2007.

Officer William Edwards Charged with Sexually Assaulting Boy


A New London police officer has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy who told authorities he had four or five encounters with the officer when he was between 5 and 7 years old.

Forty-five-year-old William Edwards was arrested at the state police barracks in Montville on Thursday. He posted $100,000 bail after being charged with third-degree sexual assault and other crimes.

Edwards has also been suspended without pay from his job.

A police report says Edwards admitted he engaged in inappropriate behavior with the boy, now 12, about four or five years ago during what he called a "dark period" in his life.

Police say Edwards told them he had been depressed for years and had a drug problem. He is due in Danielson Superior Court on Feb. 11.


Information from: The Day,