Monday, June 30, 2008

David Woodman dies days after Arrest

A 22-year-old man who stopped breathing while in police custody after his arrest during the June 18 Boston Celtics NBA championship celebration died yesterday, prompting an investigation by Boston police and the Suffolk County District Attorney's office into his death.

The parents of David Woodman, a former Emmanuel College student who was living in Brookline, said their son did not receive prompt medical attention while lying unconscious, face down on Brookline Avenue with his hands cuffed behind his back. They also accused police of failing to give them a full account of what happened.

Boston police say they immediately administered cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, flagged an ambulance after noticing Woodman was in distress, and did everything they could to help him before he was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But Jeffrey and Cathy Woodman of Southwick say their son must have been deprived of oxygen for at least four minutes because he suffered significant brain damage.

"We don't know what happened," said Jeffrey Woodman, contending that police have left them with more questions than answers. "We are left to surmise that something occurred while he was in police custody that stopped his heart."

Woodman said his son had a preexisting heart condition, but he led an active life and had been playing basketball earlier that day. He said doctors told him his son's heart was functioning normally.

Thomas J. Nee, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, said he understands the family's anguish, "but nothing those officers did that night caused his death."

He said that the officers, who have not been identified publicly, have cooperated with the investigation, and that the family's questions will be answered.

David Woodman, who was charged with drinking in public and resisting arrest, remained hospitalized after the incident and awoke June 23 from a medically induced coma. His parents said he recognized them but had difficulty communicating and whispered, "What happened?"

He smiled at a Globe reporter during a brief visit Thursday, spoke softly to his parents, and appeared confused. A large scrape was visible near his right eye. On Saturday, he was asking to go home, according to his parents, who believed he would survive and face lengthy rehabilitation.

At 2:30 a.m. yesterday he died at the hospital. The family is awaiting autopsy results.

Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said Conley "pledged a thorough and impartial review of the facts."

The Boston Police Department launched an internal investigation shortly after the incident into how the officers handled Woodman and will join the district attorney's office in investigating his death, Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the Boston police, said yesterday. Several officers were treated for stress and have returned to work, she said.

MCI-Concord officer charged with drug trafficking

A Massachusetts correctional officer faces arraignment today on drug charges after the Middlesex district attorney's office said he attempted to sell eight pounds of marijuana to a State Police trooper working undercover in Lowell.

The case against Robert Sweeney, 48, of Dracut, who works at MCI-Concord, is not related to the arrest of another correctional officer on Thursday in Winthrop, said Corey Welford, spokesman for District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.

Investigators were led to Sweeney in June, when they first learned he was allegedly dealing marijuana, the DA's office stated. About 3:15 p.m. Saturday, he attempted to sell the marijuana to the trooper for $10,000, according to the office.

Police executed a search warrant at his address after the arrest and seized two pounds of marijuana, 100 bottles of steroids, and six tablets of ecstasy, Leone's office said.

Investigators do not believe Sweeney sold drugs while on the job or used his position for criminal activity, the office stated.

Sweeney was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the state Department of Correction, said Diane Wiffin, a department spokeswoman.

On Thursday, Scott Sears, 36, of Winthrop, a correctional officer with the Middlesex Sheriff's Office, was charged with transporting drugs to inmates at Billerica House of Correction, where he works, authorities said.

An undercover agent met with Sears at a doughnut shop in Winthrop and gave him drugs in a coffee cup. As payment, Sears allegedly received $150 in cash and 3 grams of cocaine. He has been suspended without pay from his job.

Sears was charged with two counts of possession, one with intent to distribute; committing a drug violation near a school or park; and delivering drugs to a prisoner.

Sweeney was being held on $20,000 cash bail on four counts of possession, two with intent to distribute; one count of distribution; and one count of conspiracy to violate the narcotics laws.

He is to be arraigned today in Lowell District Court.

Accused officers' drugs cases at risk

After an Indianapolis police officer appeared in court this morning on charges he knowingly sold a firearm to a convicted burglar, the Marion County prosecutor admitted he’s worried about the fate of the investigator’s pending drug cases.

Jason Barber, 32, appeared in Marion Superior Court on charges of selling a handgun to a felon and official misconduct. Barber, a narcotics detective, was arrested at his home Friday. He is the fourth police officer to be arrested in the last two weeks.

“These officers were in this court several weeks ago testifying against defendants,” Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said after the hearing. “Now they are defendants.”

Barber is the third narcotics officer to be arrested, although police say Barber’s alleged crime had nothing to do with the federal investigation that landed his colleagues, former officers Jason Edwards and Robert Long, in jail.

The arrests have damaged more than a dozen other pending cases and could lead to successful appeals for convicted drugs dealers who may have been sent to prison based on testimony from one of the tainted officers, Brizzi said.

“Every other man and woman on the force is tarnished by this,” Brizzi said. “Every single case these officers were on becomes less strong.”

Long, Edwards and former patrol officer James Davis are accused of stealing marijuana and cash from drug dealers. They are being held in the Marion County Jail while awaiting trial in U.S. District Court.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Indiana State Police Officer Donna Elam, assigned to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, used a confidential informant to catch Barber illegally selling the handgun.

The informant, who was not identified, gave $110 in marked cash to Barber in exchange for a .25-caliber Sundance handgun on March 16. The informant wore a hidden recording device during the transaction, which took place inside Barber’s car in the parking lot of the Walgreen’s at 711 E. 38th St., according to the document.

Barber was held Monday in the Marion County jail with bond set at $100,000. He will appear in court on Wednesday to seek to have his bond reduced.

Feds say Yonkers Cop used Excessive Force


A Yonkers police officer appeared in federal court this morning on charges that he assaulted a woman and violated her civil rights when he slammed her to the ground before handcuffing her at a city restaurant last year.

Wayne Simoes, 38, is accused of using excessive force against Irma Marquez after she tried to get a better look as medical assistance was being provided to her niece following a confrontation at La Fonda early on March 3, 2007.

The incident was captured on videotape and showed Simoes grab Marquez around the waist, lift her into the air and throw her face down to the floor, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Kristina Norris that was filed in U.S. District Court in White Plains.

Norris said that other Yonkers officers who were present in the restaurant that morning said later that "Simoes' use of force against Marquez was unreasonable and excessive."

Marquez, suffered a broken jaw and other facial injuries but was charged with obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct. She filed an $11.3 million federal lawsuit against Yonkers police last month after a jury in City Court acquitted her of all charges.

Marquez' lawyers have criticized District Attorney Janet DiFiore for prosecuting their client and questioned whether her office could properly handle cases of police misconduct. DiFiore said after the lawsuit was filed that her office's handling of the case is being reviewed and that she has "reassigned personnel pending completion of the inquiry."

U.S. Magistrate George Yanthis released Simoes on $300,000 bond. The officer, who lives in Yonkers and joined the police department there in 2000, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is due back in court on July 23.

NYPD Officers Accused of False Arrest


A team of New York Police Department narcotics officers is under investigation for falsely arresting two brothers and two other men in January, claiming they were selling drugs in an Elmhurst club called Delicioso.

New surveillance video obtained last week by defense attorneys does not show any evidence the men sold cocaine or any other drugs to undercover police in the club, authorities said.

The brothers and other two men arrested were charged in January with selling two bags of cocaine worth $100, according to The Washington Post.

On Thursday, those charges were dropped when surveillance video showed that the undercover police officers had never been in contact with the men they arrested, the paper reported.

"How lucky these tapes existed," Rochelle Berliner, who represented brothers Maximo and Jose Colon, told the Post. "Three cops' words against theirs? Who is the jury going to believe?"

But the false charges came at a cost. Jose Colon lost his grocery store business after the arrests, and he was furious with police because of it.

"I just don't know why they would do this to us," he told the Post. "They know who deals drugs on the street, and they just made up everything."

Authorities at the district attorney's office and with the NYPD confirmed to the Post that an investigation into the officers involved in the false drug bust was under way, and according to the paper, at least six police officers have been questioned in connection with the incident in the last few days.

Two of the undercover officers involved in the bust were placed on modified assignment on Tuesday, according to the Post. The third officer left the NYPD and is now working for Nassau County police, the paper reported.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Officer Arrested On Suspicion Of Shooting Man In Bar Fight


Police responded to the corner of 20th and Sidney streets at approximately 2:15 a.m. Saturday morning for the report of a man with a gun.

When they arrived at the scene, police discovered that officer Paul Abel had shot a 20-year-old male inside a bar at that location.

The police report states that Abel was driving home from a South Side bar when an unknown man reached into his driver's side window and punched him in the face.

Following this, Abel retrieved his pistol and returned to the bar to confront his attacker. With the gun in his hand, Abel swung at the victim and hit the back of his head with the butt of the weapon. The gun discharged upon contact and a bullet penetrated the victim's right hand. He was taken to Mercy Hospital for his injury.

Abel was arrested for aggravated assault and was also charged with DUI when it was discovered that his blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit.

Abel has been suspended while detectives investigate the matter.

And Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle reports that Abel is already the focus of a Citizen's Review Board investigation.

It stems from an altercation he was involved in with his brother-in-law at the Allegheny County Courthouse last year.

The Review Board accused him of conduct unbecoming of an officer and falsification of records.

His hearing with the board is scheduled to continue next month.

Officer Suspended after DWI Arrest


A Mission police officer has been suspended indefinitely after a Saturday morning arrest for allegedly driving an unmarked police car while drunk, officials said.

This is at least the third arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated for Officer Martin Flores Villarreal, 40, of Mission, and at least his second while driving an unmarked Mission police car, according to court records and Trooper Johnny Hernandez, a local spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The first two charges, in 2004 and 2006, were both dismissed, court records indicate.

Villarreal is suspended from the department indefinitely and without pay following his latest arrest, said Lt. Martin Garza, a Mission police spokesman. The accused officer has the right to appeal the suspension.

State troopers arrested Villarreal about 2:30 a.m. Saturday along the eastbound frontage road of Expressway 83 near the intersection with Raul Longoria Road, according to Hernandez.

Villarreal apparently was stopped on suspicion of a traffic violation, which Hernandez refused to detail. The Mission police officer failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, where a breath test indicated his blood alcohol concentration was twice the legal limit, Hernandez said.

Under Texas law, any driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is considered intoxicated.

Three other passengers in the car -- two women and another Mission police officer -- did not appear to be intoxicated and were not detained, Hernandez said.

Villarreal, who was arraigned at the sheriff's office on a charge of driving while intoxicated, posted the state-mandated $502 bond and was released sometime Saturday morning, according to the sheriff's office.

Mission police Chief Leo Longoria could not be reached for comment.

This was at least the second time this year an officer with a local law enforcement agency was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Hidalgo County Sheriff's Deputy Sergio Salaiz De Hoyos, 36, was arrested in mid-February in Donna. He resigned after Sheriff Lupe Treviño suspended him with pay. His case is pending in Hidalgo County Court-at-law No. 4

De Hoyos had at least one prior DWI arrest in 1990. Court records indicate he was convicted and completed a DWI education program.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Update on Officer Steven Harrison

Accused Ex-cop is Addict

A disgraced Oak Lawn police officer, accused of shaking down Hispanic immigrants for cash, is a heroin junkie, it was revealed in court Friday.

It's unclear whether former rookie officer Steven Harrison, 26, was addicted when he allegedly solicited bribes of up to $250 from as many as 14 Hispanic motorists during illegal traffic stops last fall.

Harrison -- already facing more than 20 counts of official misconduct, intimidation and theft -- was arrested while free on bail June 20 on the West Side with 10 wraps of heroin in his pocket. He's now also charged with possession of heroin.

Chicago officers spotted him buying the dope on the platform at the Cicero Green Line L station about 7:40 p.m., police said.

Harrison seemed close to tears as he appeared Friday before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Higgins. At one point, Higgins barked at Harrison, "Stop with the puppy dog eyes," adding, "You held a position in the community, but you have chosen to flout the law."

Harrison, of the 3800 block of West 107th Place, has been in the County Jail, isolated for his own safety, since his latest arrest. He was fired by Oak Lawn in October after being charged with the shakedowns.

His attorney, Brian Bennett, urged Higgins to release Harrison so he could receive treatment for his addiction, explaining that Harrison's health insurance benefits had expired following his firing and that there were no drug treatment programs that would accept him while he was jailed.

Harrison's parents would keep a close watch on him once he was released, Bennett said.

But Higgins said the parents "were watching over him when he relapsed," and told Harrison, "I'm not going to trust you to be out on the street on bond."

Outside court, Bennett declined to say whether Harrison was using heroin while working as a cop.

NY Officer Wayne Simoes Arrested for Excessive Force


This March 2007 photo released in New York by Certain & Zilberg, PLLC, shows Irma Marquez in her hospital bed bearing injuries she sustained after being body-slammed by a Yonkers, N.Y, police officer. The FBI arrested Yonkers police officer Wayne Simoes on Friday, June 27, 2008, charging him with violating Marquez's civil rights when he used excessive force and put Marquez in the hospital for four days.

A police officer who body-slammed an unarmed woman and broke her jaw during a medical call to a suburban restaurant last year was arrested Friday and charged with civil rights violations.

Federal prosecutors said Yonkers officer Wayne Simoes used excessive force when he grabbed the woman by the waist, hoisted her in the air and slammed her, face first, into a tile floor.

The takedown, recorded March 3, 2007, by security cameras, knocked Irma Marquez unconscious and put her in the hospital for four days. At the time, authorities said the officer was trying to keep her from interfering with emergency medical technicians summoned to the restaurant to assist her niece, who had been hit in the head with a bottle.

Simoes, 38, said little Friday during his arraignment. A magistrate released him on bond. His attorney, Andrew Quinn, said Simoes intends to plead not guilty.

"I've also seen the video, and I know what it shows. But what the video doesn't show is the operation of Wayne Simoes' mind at the time of this incident," Quinn said. He said Simoes didn't intend to violate the woman's rights or "cause any type of injury."

Simoes could get years in prison if convicted. The Yonkers Police Department said it had placed him on modified duty pending the outcome of the case.

Despite the nature of Marquez's injuries, which included a broken jaw and bruises over her entire face, law enforcement authorities initially sided with the officer.

Marquez was arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration, and an internal inquiry cleared Simoes of any wrongdoing. After the Justice Department informed the city that it was investigating, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone held a news conference to praise the department, saying its officers "do their jobs the right way in full accordance with the law."

A Westchester County jury, however, acquitted Marquez of the obstruction charge. Weeks later she sued the police department for $11.3 million.

Marquez's lawyer, Gary Certain, praised the FBI and the U.S. attorney for bringing the civil rights charge, calling it "a major step forward in addressing an alarming pattern of misconduct within the Yonkers Police Department."

He acknowledged that Marquez had been emotionally distraught during the incident out of concern for her injured niece, but said she hadn't interfered with the EMTs and did nothing to provoke a violent attack.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tulsa Judge Harris Sues Accusers

A Tulsa judge who faces two counts of indecent exposure has filed a civil lawsuit against his former girlfriend and another woman for allegedly slandering and libeling him with an intent to destroy his judicial and legal career.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of District Judge Jesse Harris is seeking an unspecified amount of actual damages in excess of $10,000 and punitive damages from the women.

A special prosecutor charged Harris on April 24 with exposing himself to the two women March 9 in the parking lot of a Tulsa motel. Harris has denied the allegations.

According to the lawsuit, the women conspired to make false claims of criminal conduct against Harris and carried out their scheme. The women have no credibility, the lawsuit alleged.

Judge faces alcohol charge

Judge Catherine B. Steenland of the 39th District Court has been accused of driving drunk in Ogemaw County in northern lower Michigan, the prosecutor there said Thursday.

Steenland, 41, of Roseville, is named in a complaint charging her with one count of operating while intoxicated, first offense. She is scheduled to be arraigned July 24 in 82nd District Court.

Details surrounding her arrest were not divulged. In a press release announcing the charge, Ogemaw Prosecutor LaDonna Schultz credits the Michigan State Police and the Ogemaw County Sheriff's Office for their "fine work and professionalism ... in the investigation and apprehension" of Steenland. The statement, however, included no details about the circumstances surrounding Steenland's arrest, nor any specifics on why law enforcers earned the prosecutor's praise.

Steenland's arrest had been widely rumored in recent weeks. During that time, officials at the Michigan State Police post in West Branch and Ogemaw prosecutors declined comment on the incident pending an announcement of formal charges.

Schultz was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon at her office, and her home telephone number is not published. Meantime, the administrative office at the state police post was closed for the day.

Steenland's attorney, Stephen Rabaut, described her as a respected judge.

"I can tell you she's respected by judges, attorneys and litigants alike. She has an unblemished record. She intends to address this matter immediately and resolve it as soon as possible," Rabaut said. He declined to elaborate or comment on the allegations.

Misdemeanor drunken driving is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, but incarceration of that length is uncommon for first offenders. Steenland has no prior offenses on her current driving record, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

The offense also carries a fine ranging from $100 to $500, up to 360 hours of community service and licensing sanctions.

Voters in Roseville and Fraser first elected Steenland to the 39th District Court in 2002. She ran unopposed for re-election to a 6-year term in November 2004.

Her husband, Richard Steenland, is Roseville's city clerk and a former councilman. Her father-in-law, Joseph Steenland, is the longtime president of the Roseville Public Schools Board of Education.

Catherine Steenland graduated from Detroit College of Law. In May 2006, she and the court's other judges, magistrate and chief probation officer were honored by the Roseville Optimist Club as part of the club's Respect for Law/Non-Violent Day, designed to influence and impress children.

As part of her statement in The Macomb Daily Voter's Guide in 2004, Steenland said: "I will stand by my pledge to administer justice fairly and diligently to keep our communities safe."

Steenland is the second judicial official from Macomb County arrested this year on suspicion of drunken driving. In January, Warren police arrested 37th District Court Administrator James Conrad. Conrad refused to take breath tests and was released by Warren police less than an hour later when Chief 37th District Judge Walter Jakubowski Jr. set a personal recognizance bond.

In April, Jakubowski rejected a request by a law firm serving as special prosecutor on behalf of the Warren City Attorney's Office, for a warrant charging Conrad with misdemeanor drunken driving. Conrad no longer serves as a magistrate in the Warren-Center Line district court, but remains the administrator of Macomb County's busiest district court.

Guards Accused of Passing Contraband to Inmate

Two Rikers Island correction officers were fired on Wednesday after they were accused of smuggling marijuana, alcohol and tobacco to an inmate who is awaiting trial in the death of a police officer last July, officials said.

Stephen J. Morello, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Correction, said it was not yet clear exactly when the two officers, Auguste Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, smuggled the contraband to the inmate, Lee Woods. Mr. Woods is housed in the punitive segregation unit of the George R. Vierno Center at Rikers Island. On Tuesday, jail officials were tipped off about the smuggling, and they discovered the items during a search on Tuesday night, Mr. Morello said.

Officers Durand and Santiago had worked in the Correction Department since August, and they were still in a probationary period, Mr. Morello said. Their dismissal was reported on Wednesday by The New York Post. A representative from the correction officers’ union did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

On Wednesday, Mr. Woods was prevented from attending a court hearing while prison officials tried to determine whether he possessed other illegal items, including a weapon, Mr. Morello said. On Thursday morning, Mr. Woods failed a magnetometer test, a search for metal on or inside a person. Officers did not find any visible sign of metal on Mr. Woods, and he was allowed to attend a court hearing but was required to wear mitts and remain shackled, according to a spokesman for Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney.

Mr. Woods, Dexter Bostic and Robert Ellis are charged with firing from a car at Officers Russel Timoshenko and Herman Yan on July 9 during a traffic stop in Brooklyn. Officer Timoshenko died five days later.

Also on Thursday, Mr. Bostic was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center after complaining that he had fallen in the shower at the jail. He was treated and returned to custody.

Officer Arrested on Drug Charges

A former Oak Lawn police officer accused of misconduct for allegedly extorting money from motorists during traffic stops is in trouble with the law again after a recent drug arrest.

Steven Harrison, 26, was arrested June 20 when a Chicago police officer allegedly witnessed him exchanging cash for several packets of heroin on the street.

The arrest happened around 7:40 p.m. in the 4700 block of West Lake Street, a police source said.

Harrison was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was held on $55,000 bail, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office. On Friday, Judge Rosemary Higgins tacked on another $5,000 for violating a $100,000 bail in the misconduct case.

If Harrison posts bail, the judge ordered him to seek treatment immediately for drug abuse.

Harrison's attorney, Brian Barrett, declined to comment about his client's drug use or if it might have contributed to the misconduct case.

"We're dealing with any issues he has," Barrett said after Friday's hearing.

In the extortion case, Harrison was charged with 23 counts of official misconduct, five counts of theft by deception and three counts of intimidation in connection with a series of traffic stops he made in September. Harrison pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Harrison is accused of pulling over five drivers and telling them they had committed traffic offenses such as driving without a valid license or not having insurance, prosecutors said.

Harrison would then allegedly threaten the motorists, some of whom spoke limited English, with fines or jail if they did not pay him.

In one case, Harrison is accused of telling a man that he needed to pay him $160 because he was driving without a license or insurance. The man said he did not have the money, and Harrison told him to call friends and relatives to bring him the money, officials said.

When that failed, Harrison told the driver to go home, get the money and bring it to him at the Oak Lawn police station or else an arrest warrant would be issued, officials said.

Authorities said that after the driver returned with the money, Harrison gave him a pink ticket sheet with "$160" written on it. According to officials, when the motorist asked if it was a ticket, Harrison responded, "That's the way we do it in the suburbs."

In another case, Harrison is accused of telling a driver he had "two options: Go to jail or pay $100," prosecutors said.

All five motorists identified Harrison in a police lineup, prosecutors said. The beginning of two of the traffic stops was captured by Harrison's squad car camera, prosecutors said.

Correction Officer Steven Krause Accused of Stabbing Man


A correction officer at the State Correctional Facility in Otisville has been arrested by Pennsylvania State Police and charged with stabbing a Port Jervis man.

Steven Carl Krause, 46, of Matamoras, is accused of stabbing Sean Patrick Conklin, 26, of Port Jervis early Wednesday morning outside Mr. Spanky’s bar in Dingman Township, Pa.

Police say Krause became angry when the bartender gave the last call for alcohol and spat a mouthful of beer at the bartender. Conklin, who police say had been arguing with Krause on and off through the evening, reportedly scolded him for being rude.

Krause then left the bar with Conklin following behind. Moments later, Conklin stumbled back into the bar yelling that he had been stabbed, police say.

Conklin was taken to Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis and underwent emergency surgery for a punctured intestine.

Krause was apprehended at his residence and sent to the Pike County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Officer Accused of Selling Handgun to Felon

Another Indianapolis Metro Police officer faces a criminal charge.

31-year-old Officer Jason Barber, an eight-year veteran, is accused of selling a handgun to a felon and a related charge of official misconduct.

Officer Barber, assigned to the Dangerous Drug Section of the Narcotics Branch, had been under investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force since March.

Barber worked alongside Officers Jason Edwards and Robert Long, who are both under federal indictment for drug offenses. But police say the two cases are separate and unrelated.

Philadelphia Man Arrested over Anti-police Video


A man who authorities say posted an Internet video showing himself waving a gun and claiming to rejoice whenever a police officer is shot in the city was arrested Thursday.

Andre Moore, 44, of West Philadelphia, faces charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, corruption of morals of a minor and harassment, police Lt. John Walker said.

In the video posted on YouTube, a man authorities identified as Moore complains about officers in West Philadelphia's 18th police district, calling them "a bunch of liars" and saying he celebrates "whenever they shoot a cop in Philadelphia."

At another point, he is shown waving a gun and talking about officer shootings in the city. According to a probable cause affidavit, the man removes the ammunition magazine from the gun, racks the slide, points the pistol at the camera and pulls the trigger as he speaks.

"Boom! ... When you shoot the cop, you shoot them dead, OK? Anywhere, head or the heart. That's why the last cops lost their lives," he says.

Three city police officers have been killed in the line of duty in a little more than two years.

An arrest warrant was issued for Moore after he was identified in the video, which was posted June 7, said Kevin Harley, spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office. The video was removed from YouTube following Moore's arrest at his apartment, police said.

"We believe these were terroristic threats that are not protected by the First Amendment, particularly when he encourages people to promote violence in Philadelphia and when he shows people how to use a gun to shoot a cop," Harley said.

Arrest documents said Moore works as a security guard at Albert Einstein Medical Center, where Officer Chuck Cassidy died after being shot during a robbery on Oct. 31.

Moore remained in custody Thursday and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Corrections Officer Charged with Smuggling Drugs into Jail

A Middlesex County corrections officer was arrested today in a sting operation at a Winthrop doughnut shop on charges that he ferried drugs from dealers to inmates at the jail where he worked, State Police said.

The sting came at the end of an eight-month investigation into Scott Sears, 36, of Winthrop, said David Procopio, a State Police spokesman. In October, State Police and the Middlesex Sheriff's Office heard from informants that Sears was allegedly smuggling drugs into the Billerica jail.

Sears, who had worked for the sheriff's office for two years, would allegedly meet with drug dealers, collect marijuana and heroin on behalf of the inmates, and then bring it into the jail for a fee.

Michael Hartigan, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said he couldn’t say how long the purported scheme had operated or estimate the amount of drugs Sears had allegedly brought into the facility. “Any amount is detrimental to safety,” he said. Hartigan said that, as far as he knew, no other corrections officers were implicated in the investigation.

State Police and the sheriff’s office set up surveillance at a Dunkin’ Donuts on Revere Street. An undercover agent met with Sears and gave him a variety of drugs in a coffee cup, Procopio said. As payment, Sears received $150 and 3½ grams of cocaine for himself, he said.

As Sears left the shop, officers converged on him and placed him under arrest, Procopio said. He is being held at the Suffolk County jail on $15,000 bail.

Officer Jason Crawford Accused of Brutality


An East Brewton couple filed a police brutality lawsuit this month against an officer they claim repeatedly harassed them and caused the woman to prematurely deliver her child.

Michael Palmer and Amber Ballard, who seek unspecified damages, accuse Officer Jason Crawford, Police Chief B.C. Cooper and unnamed officers with 13 violations of state and federal law.

The lawsuit represents one side of a legal argument. Neither Cooper nor Crawford, who has left the Police Department, could be reached for comment.

According to the civil complaint in U.S. District Court in Mobile, Crawford repeatedly stopped and harassed Michael Palmer at work and other locations in East Brewton.

"For whatever reason, this officer targeted Mr. Palmer and his family," said April England-Albright, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

The complaint cites a June 14, 2006, altercation on Mayo Street in which Crawford stopped a car that Amber Ballard was driving and told Palmer there was a warrant for his arrest. He took Palmer into custody, refusing Palmer's requests to double-check his information with the police station, according to the suit.

Crawford said that he was going to search the car, according to the suit. Ballard would not consent to the search and asked the officer to state his probable cause.

When Ballard reached for her cell phone to call her father, the suit states, Crawford said, "I am sick of you and you are under arrest.

Ballard, 23, and Palmer, 37, were convicted of disorderly conduct stemming from the events that day, according to Escambia County District Court records. The judge also found Palmer guilty of resisting arrest, failure to obey a police officer, disorderly conduct from a March 2006 arrest and endangering the welfare of a child.

The suit states that Crawford grabbed Ballard's hand during the June 2006 traffic stop and pushed her into the car, pressing against her stomach. The suit alleges that Crawford searched Ballard in a sexual manner, touching her panties and asking her if she had any thing on her.

Other officers arrived and held Ballard's hands behind her back in an awkward manner, according to the suit.

At the police station, Ballard complained that she was in pain and asked to see a doctor, but the officers ignored her, the suit maintains.

Later that month, Ballard gave birth about five weeks before her due date. She and the baby had to stay in the hospital for six weeks, and the child still has complications, according to the suit.

deputy fired after being accused of stealing school band funds


For the second time in two weeks, a Bibb County sheriff's deputy has found himself on the other side of the law.

The sheriff's office announced Wednesday that a deputy was terminated following an investigation of a possible theft totaling more than $2,000 from the Westside High School band program.

Robert Moran, 41, who volunteered as president of the school's Band Boosters, was arrested Monday and charged with felony theft by taking in connection with the incident, sheriff's office spokesman Lt. George Meadows said.

He was released on $3,400 bond from the Bibb County jail, where he worked as a corrections officer, and fired the same day.

A tentative trial date has been set for July.

Deputy Jiwana Daquare Green, 30, who is also assigned to the corrections division, was arrested June 12 on charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession following a traffic stop by Macon police for a burned out headlight and cracked taillight.

Green remains on suspension with pay from the sheriff's office pending results of investigations by the sheriff's office internal affairs department and Macon police.

Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena called the incidents "regrettable."

"It's regrettable whenever we have to take this kind of action against one of our deputies. But in each case, when it comes to our attention that they have violated their oath of office in some manner, we have taken quick action and will do so anytime that's occurred," Modena said in a statement Wednesday.

In January, school officials began noticing discrepancies in the club's fundraising account. Problems with the account continued until May when $2,600 was unaccounted for. School officials contacted the sheriff's office.

Bibb County schools Deputy Superintendent Sylvia McGee said Westside principal Laura Perkins had been involved in the investigation from the beginning.

"She's very much aware of the investigation. It started earlier in the year. She had sent (Moran) several certified letters requesting information with no response."

McGee said she and Perkins were not aware of Moran's arrest before being contacted by The Telegraph late Wednesday.

"This is a very unfortunate situation. It's most unfortunate for the students who were in the band. As a result of funds, I'm sure there were probably services they were not able to take advantage of," she said.

Band Boosters, made up of Westside High parents, is not a direct entity of the high school. The organization raises money mostly for band trips and clinics, McGee said. It has its own fundraising account.

Westside High band director Dan Tyner was not immediately available for comment.

Moran became president of the club this year, McGee said. He has a daughter who graduated from the high school in May.

Meadows said Moran joined the sheriff's office about three years ago and has no prior reprimands.

In addition to the two arrests, the department is continuing to deal with a GBI investigation into allegations of overtime pay abuse by employees at the sheriff's office. The initial investigation, undertaken last year, involved five deputies and overtime submitted - but not worked - for three days.

Modena has said that only one deputy claimed overtime hours she did not work.

All of the deputies, four of whom represented the command staff of the Corrections Division, were reprimanded for violating the policies and procedures of the sheriff's office.

The sheriff "holds his deputies to a higher standard and that higher standard plays a role in every investigation," Meadows said.

Information from The Telegraph's archives was used in this report.

Officer Accused Of Using Racial Slur During Traffic Stop


A Georgia police officer is under investigation after a man he pulled over claimed the officer used racially charged language during a traffic stop.

Chris Wilburn filed an open records request for the dashboard camera video after he was arrested on charges of driving alone with a license that required an adult in the car. He was also charged with disorderly conduct for telling the officer he thought the arrest was wrong and for saying, “Jesus, have mercy on all your kids. Have mercy, have mercy.”

Once Wilburn got the tape, he said he was shocked when he heard Monroe police Officer Eric Harrison apparently say, “Bagged me a smart *** (n-word) a while ago running his mouth.”

The comment has Harrison on paid administrative leave and in jeopardy of losing his job.

“I think he should lose his badge,” said Wilburn.

Harrison was allegedly referring to Wilburn when he made the slur. “I hear him say the n-word. That really burned me up,” said Wilburn.

When asked the police chief if it was disorderly conduct on Wilburn’s part for saying, “Jesus, have mercy on all your kids.”

“If the officer perceived there was some kind of threat against his kids, it may,” said Chief Keith Glass with the Monroe Police Department.

As for the slur, Glass said Harrison made the comment after he dropped Wilburn off at the jail. Glass said it was inadvertently recorded and inexcusable.

“He used a term that he shouldn’t have used. There’s no excuse,” said Glass.

Glass said Harrison brought the incident to the department’s attention after one of Wilburn’s relatives told him about it. Wilburn said he is happy he picked up the tape.

“That explains why he stopped me,” said Wilburn.

The department ordered Harrison to apologize but when he tried to, Wilburn told the officer -- "I’ll see you in court." Glass said Harrison was disciplined even though Wilburn never filed a complaint.

Wilburn was supposed to be in court for the charges he faces, but when he arrived he found out court was canceled for the day.

Harrison will find out his fate Friday.

Officer Christopher Paciorkowski Arrested for Domestic Battery


A five-year veteran of the Elkhart Police Department has been arrested for felony domestic battery and interference with reporting a crime.

Police were called to a home on Elkhart’s north side about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday. There a woman told the officers she wanted to file battery charges against her fiancé, 40-year-old Christopher Paciorkowski, for pushing her.

Because Paciorkowski is an Elkhart police officer, officers requested the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department handle the complaint.

The Sheriff’s Department determined there was enough probable cause to arrest Paciorkowski for felony domestic battery and interference with reporting a crime. He was booked into the Elkhart County Jail.

Paciorkowski was placed on administrative leave according to the Elkhart Police Department.

Horry County Officer Arrested for Arson

A Horry County police officer was arrested by SLED agents Wednesday afternoon for arson.

SLED says 32-year-old Kyle Gary Bell of Nichols, SC is charged with one count of arson in connection with a fire in Longs, SC in April.

According to the warrant, on April 23, Bell set fire to land belonging to the International Paper Company.

The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by SLED at the request of the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

University Officer Cpl Marc Decellier Charged with Forging Prescriptions


A Bowie State University police officer was indicted June 5 on 19 separate criminal charges, including several attempts to fraudulently obtain the narcotic Oxycodone, counterfeiting and possession of forged prescriptions, and fraudulent possession of Oxycodone.

Cpl. Marc Ducellier, 39, of Bowie was indicted by a grand jury. His arraignment was held June 19 in Prince George’s County Circuit Court and he was released without bail. BSU Police Chief Ernest Waiters said Ducellier was suspended on Friday. The BSU police were not involved in the investigation and no other officers are under investigation, Waiters said.
‘‘As far as I’m concerned, he’s been a good officer,” Waiters said. ‘‘I’m taking it that this is an isolated incident.”

Cpl. Stephen Pacheco, a spokesman for Prince George’s County Police, said county police were not involved in the incident.

When reached Monday, Ducellier’s attorney, John Pikulski, called several of the charges duplicitous, but said he had not received all charging information from the state and could not comment on them further.

Ducellier allegedly tried to fill a prescription for the powerful and potentially habit-forming pain medication on three separate dates, Jan. 13, 26 and 31, according to the grand jury’s decision. Because Ducellier was issued a criminal summons and not arrested by police, there are no charging documents in his case. No one contacted who is involved with the case, including Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the county State’s Attorney’s Office, would discuss how Ducellier came under investigation. A grand jury hears and receives evidence to determine probable cause exists that a crime has been committed.

However, recently fired BSU officer Tyrone Lawson has filed four lawsuits this year against the department and Chief Ernest Waiters has alleged corruption within the department, according to court records.

The full charges include nine counts of counterfeiting a prescription, two counts of obtaining a controlled and dangerous substance by fraud, one count of possession of a CDS, one count of theft under $500 from the International Workers’ Insurance Fund, and six counts of attempting to obtain a prescription drug fraudulently.

Counterfeiting a prescription and obtaining a prescription fraudulently are both misdemeanors punishable by up to two years in jail, obtaining a CDS fraudulently and possession of a CDS are both punishable by up to four years, and theft under $500 is punishable by up to 18 months, Pikulski said.

Ducellier’s trial has been set for Sept. 10.

Daughter of Police Chief Arrested


Samantha Ann Morgan, the 18-year-old daughter of Georgetown Police Chief David Morgan, could face up to 22 years in prison on charges stemming from an altercation with a police officer.

Officials said Samanatha was riding with three males in a sport-utility vehicle that was stopped June 15 for a broken headlight. When officer Shanna Shelly obtained permission to search the vehicle, she found a purse that contained a bag of marijuana and $1,247 in cash, the affidavit said.

When the officer attempted to arrest Morgan, she ran about 200 yards then dropped to the ground, the affidavit said. While the officer attempted to put her in the police car, Morgan kicked the officer in the thigh, the Austin American-Statesman reported in its online editions Thursday.

Morgan was strip-searched in the Williamson County Jail, and officers found 2.7 grams of crack cocaine. She was charged with assault on a public servant, evading arrest and delivery of marijuana and was released Saturday with bail set at $3,500.

"They performed their duty and held my daughter accountable for her behavior, just as they would any other citizen. As a parent, though she is an adult, she will always be my daughter and I will always be there for her with love in my heart," David Morgan said in a written statement.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Officer Accused Of Stealing Money

A Jackson Police officer is suspended with pay as authorities investigate claims that he stole money from customers at a South Jackson nightclub.

JPD has launched an internal and criminal investigation into one of its own.

The officer is accused of presenting himself as an on-duty police officer when he was actually off-duty at the time.

According to the owner of El Jardin De Las Aves, the officer stopped undocumented immigrants and checked them or their cars. The owner said the officer would then take money from their wallet.

The officer's name is pending the outcome of the investigation.

"If allegations against officers prove to be true, then I'm going to take the appropriate action" said JPD Chief Malcolm McMillin.

Patricia Ice works with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, and said that undocumented workers make for easy prey.

"Immigrants often cannot get bank accounts because they don't have a social security number," said Ice.

Because of that, they often carry large amounts of cash on them. But Ice said these types of crimes aren't simply limited to undocumented people.

"Basically what they're doing is racial profiling," said Ice.

That's because Ice said that she's had similar complaints from people in the state legally.

As for the officer accused, if he's found guilty, Ice said she wants the officer to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law so that it can serve as a learning lesson for others in the same position.

The outcome of the criminal and civil investigations is expected by the end of the week.

Police Brutality Lawsuit


An East Brewton couple has filed a police brutality lawsuit that claims harassment by an officer cause the woman to give birth prematurely.

The civil complaint filed in federal court in Mobile by Michael Palmer and Amber Ballard accuses Officer Jason Crawford, Police Chief B.C. Cooper and unnamed officers with 13 violations of state and federal law.

Neither Cooper nor Crawford, who has left the Police Department, could be reached for comment.

The suit, reported Wednesday by the Press-Register, claims Crawford repeatedly stopped and harassed Palmer at work and other locations in East Brewton. It states that Crawford grabbed Ballard's hand during a 2006 traffic stop and pushed her into the car, pressing against her stomach. The suit says that, later that month, Ballard gave birth about five weeks before her due date.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Officer Accused of Beating Suspect


A Harrisburg police officer is off the street and relieved of duty after he is accused of beating up a suspect.

It all started with a traffic stop and DUI arrest back in May, but while waiting to see the judge the suspect says as many as three officers attacked him.

Now the judge who spotted the injuries is speaking out.

“When he was brought in it was rather noticeable he had severe injuries to his face,” says District Judge Joseph Solomon, Dauphin County.

Ryan Westover stood before District Judge Joseph Solomon the night of May 18th with crusted blood on his face and clothes, marks on his neck and a swollen nose and lips. Westover claims the injures happened at the hands of Harrisburg City Police. Images were made public after Westover’s attorney provided them to The Patriot News.

It was at Forster and Front Streets that city police stopped Westover for running a red light. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, aggravated harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Judge Solomon set his bail, but it wasn't until later, after closely reviewing Westover’s file, that he realized the suspect’s injuries didn't match the report. "I saw no mention of an auto accident and became inquisitive as to how somebody would sustain this level of injury," says Solomon. "I then went over to the booking room and asked Mr. Westover if he had been involved in an auto accident to which he responded, ‘I did not look like this when I came in and I did not have any blood on my clothes when I came in.’"

According to Westover’s attorney, when his client was waiting to see the judge, police entered the cell. Westover stood and one of the officers punched him in the face. He fell to the ground and was punched, kicked, chocked and stomped by as many as three officers.

"Obviously I'm concerned. I don't know what led up to the incident in the cell or booking room but obviously it makes the entire Harrisburg police look bad because of the actions of one or two people," adds Solomon.

Westover identified officer Justin Wells as one of several officers that he says beat him that night.

The mayor's office released a statement Wednesday. It says in part:

“The Harrisburg Bureau of Police's internal affairs unit is currently investigating allegations of abuse by a police officer against Ryan Westover. The officer has been temporarily relieved of his duties during the investigation period, which is standard protocol for any such allegation.”

Westover's attorney said his primary concern was to get Officer Wells off the streets. He says there has been no indication by the mayor's office or Harrisburg City Police as to who those other officers are.

Officer charged with restraining, sexually assaulting woman

A north suburban police officer is in Lake County Jail on Tuesday after he was charged with restraining a woman and forcing her to perform sexual acts against her will in January.

Delatwon A. Haynes, 32, of Waukegan, was order held on $2 million bond Monday, according to a release from the Lake County Sheriff’s office. Haynes, who resigned from the Waukegan Police Dept. on Jan. 11, was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and eight counts of official misconduct on Monday.

The charges were filed as a result of an investigation prompted by a complaint filed on Jan. 7 by a woman reporting that an officer restrained her against her will and forced her to perform sexual acts, the release said.

The woman said that in the early morning hours of Jan. 6, an officer confronted her as she was walking in the 900 block of North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan, according to the release. The officer and the woman had a short conversation and he told her to go home.

About 30 minutes later, the officer confronted the woman again and ordered her into the back of his squad car, the release said. She got in and the officer drove her to the rear of an abandoned vehicle in the 1700 block of North Lewis. He then told the woman she was "required" to perform sexual acts with him, after which he released her near her residence.

Waukegan police and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office began investigating immediately after the complaint was filed, the release said. Haynes was stripped of his police powers and placed on leave.

Haynes resigned from the department about four days later when faced with an administrative investigation, the release said. He was a member of the department since 2001 and served in the patrol division.

In February, Haynes was named in a lawsuit filed by Denise Swinney, who claimed the officer falsely arrested and raped her about 1 a.m. Jan. 6, 2005.

The suit claims Haynes fondled her chest, forced her to engage in oral sex, then had sex with her for more than 30 minutes.

Swinney claimsed in the suit she was never charged with a crime and was released by Haynes after being raped.

Officer Christopher Van Meter Arrested for Drunk Driving

An off-duty Fort Collins police officer was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving about midnight Sunday by the Colorado State Patrol.

The officer, Christopher Van Meter, 38, remains on duty with no change in his work status, according to Fort Collins Police Services.

Van Meter was stopped on U.S. Highway 287 slightly north of Trilby, according to the Colorado State Patrol. He was initially stopped because he was driving 65 mph in a 55 mph zone, said CSP spokesman Master Trooper Ron Watkins.

“The trooper noticed indicators of possible intoxication on contact,” Watkins said.

Van Meter, a patrol officer who works the midnight shift, submitted to a blood test; the results won't be available for about two weeks. Watkins said Van Meter was released on a summons, and his vehicle towed from the scene. That's routine in such cases.

Watkins described Van Meter as “cooperative” during the stop.

City Manager Darin Atteberry said he and police Chief Dennis Harrison discussed the situation yesterday, and agreed to wait for the court process to finish before acting.

Van Meter, like anyone else, is innocent until proven guilty. FCPS will not take disciplinary action -- if any -- until his guilt or innocence is decided in court.

In Colorado, people convicted of driving drunk can lose their license, which would likely force the city to fire Van Meter. Atteberry said that's no different than if one of the city’s truck drivers lost his license.

“There’s a process and we’re waiting to see what happens,” Atteberry said today. “We’ll wait and see what the courts have to say, and after that, we’ll see where we go. We have to let the process take its course and (then) dealt with it at the department level.”

The Fort Collins police "Mission & Values" statement says police employees are "endowed with a special level of trust," and that "high ethical standards must prevail in all our interactions with citizens and with each other, and we must strive to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest or compromise of our standards."

DARE Officer Ray Dudley Arrested at Sobriety Checkpoint


A Delaware County sheriff deputy is in trouble after state police arrested him for drunk driving at a sobriety checkpoint.

Officer Ray Dudley, a 10-year veteran of the department, was among 11 people arrested for drunken driving at the police checkpoints. Dudley was driving his personal car early Sunday when he was arrested with a blood alcohol content of .10. The legal limit in Indiana is .08.

Ironically, Dudley is also a DARE officer for the department, who speaks in schools about the dangers of substance abuse.

The department said no one was available to comment on Dudley's arrest Tuesday. In addition to criminal charges, he could also face disciplinary action.

Tuesday, public reaction to the arrest - particularly given Dudley's role as a DARE officer - was swift.

"I'd say he needs to practice what he preaches," said Muncie resident Sandy Stewart.

"The law pertains to everybody and not just certain people. The law in Indiana says no drinking and driving. That pretty much covers itself," said retired deputy Rex McCoy.

"My child's not in school, he's four," said Amanda Harper. "Once he goes to school, I wouldn't want that kind of person saying, 'Don't do this', when they turn around and do it."

State Police say they'll continue drunk driving patrols and checkpoints through the summer. They conducted checkpoints Thursday and Saturday. Dudley was pulled over and arrested by a trooper working Saturday night.

He was released from jail on bond and has been placed on administrative duties in the department pending an investigation.

Florida Officer Fired for Lying

As expected, suspended Key West police officer Thomas Neary was fired Wednesday for telling people he was an undercover federal agent investigating corruption in the Police Department and looking into possible terrorist attacks.

The department put Neary on paid administrative leave Oct. 26 after FBI Special Agent Kevin White interviewed him about the complaints. Interim Police Chief Donie Lee recommended firing Neary in May, but Lee was waiting for consent from City Attorney Shawn Smith to draft a termination letter.

Wednesday, Lee sent the nine-page letter highlighting the department's allegations against Neary and his uncooperative behavior in an Internal Affairs investigation after his suspension.

On May 29, Capt. Frank Sauer wrote his finding of facts on the Neary case, stating "there is a preponderance of evidence that officer Thomas Neary did represent himself falsely as: an agent, associate, representative or operative of the federal government...."

Sauer's findings also stated that Neary, a Big Pine Key resident, convinced fellow and former officers and a supervisor that "this information was to be kept confidential between him and the witness officers."

For those reasons and others, Neary's behavior was deemed "unbecoming conduct" but not "unlawful conduct."

The letter also states that Neary's attorney, Michael Barnes, sent a list of "an additional 112 witnesses that he now wanted to be interviewed, including Officer Neary." Barnes has refused to discuss the case with the Keynoter.

The Neary investigation even involved bugging Lt. Kathleen Ream's office to record conversations she had with him. Transcripts from the bugging show some statements that indicate Neary told Ream he and his wife are federal agents. Barnes has questioned the validity of those transcripts, saying the department altered them.

Some of the alleged statements in the investigative summary have Neary talking about high-ranking law enforcement officers and city officials.

In a casual conversation before the investigation began, "Officer Neary told [detective Bradley Lariz] that he had [City Commissioner Mark Rossi's] plane and house bugged and that they were watching him. He also told Lariz that he was watching and doing an investigation on Sgt. Robert Allen."

It's not clear what he was inferring with Rossi, but with Allen, he allegedly accused the sergeant of transporting drugs to Cuba in a police boat.

"It's just incredible." Rossi said. "It's just incredible allegations."

Neary and Barnes didn't show up for Neary's predetermination hearing last week and refused to participate when they attended a scheduled interview for the Internal Affairs investigation in May.

The city's investigation followed one conducted by the FBI into the same claims. The FBI said the evidence against Neary didn't rise to the level of criminal.

Accused Jail Officers Plead Not Guilty

Four Fayette County Detention Center officers and one former officer pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday to charges they beat inmates and conspired to cover it up.

The FBI and the U.S. Justice Department have been investigating the jail at least since September 2006, when federal officers executed a search warrant at the jail.

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, who was elected after the investigation began, says the city has taken measures to provide a safe facility for employees and inmates. He says the employees with be suspended with pay, pending further investigation.

Indicted were Sgt. John McQueen, Cpl. Clarence McCoy, former Cpl. Scott Tyree, Sgt. Anthony Estep and Lt. Kristine Lafoe. Tyree no longer works at the jail, but the mayor's office says he will be suspended with pay from his job at the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The indictment alleges the five conspired to assault inmates without justification and to cover it up by filing false reports and charges.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Prison Officer Accused Of Having Sex With Inmate


An Anderson County detention officer has been arrested and her position terminated after she was accused of having sexual intercourse with an inmate.

The Sheriff's Office said that Gina Loftis is charged with sexual misconduct with an inmate.

Investigators said that Loftis admitted in a written statement that she had sex with the inmate when she was on duty at the Anderson County Detention Center.

She was booked into the detention center Tuesday afternoon.

The sheriff's office said that Loftis' position with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office was terminated Tuesday.

She was being held pending a bond hearing.

Officer Victor Aguirre Accused Of Family Violence

EL PASO, Texas

A police officer who has been with the El Paso department for 15 years was arrested on charges of family violence.

Officer Victor Aguirre was arrested Friday for allegedly breaking into the home of his ex-common law wife, Teresa Ortega, 33, around 4 a.m.

The El Paso Police Department arrived at 3337 Wayside Drive to a burglary in progress call.

Ortega tried hiding from Aguirre by locking herself in a bedroom, but Aguirre was able to force himself in and assaulting Ortega, said police spokesman Christopher Mears.

Aguirre ran away before police officers arrived at the home.

Detectives arrested Aguirre on Tuesday and charged him with one count of burglary of habitation, a first-degree felony.

Police Chief and Assistant Chief both Charged with Sexual Assault


Creston Mayor Warren Woods announced Tuesday that Police Chief James Christensen has been fired following an investigation.

Woods said the termination was official as of 5 p.m. Monday.

Chief Christensen, 40, and former Assistant Police Chief John Sickels, 38, are both charged with second-degree sexual assault in a case involving a female bartender working at the Crestmoor Golf Club.

Investigators said the assault happened on April 18.

The bartender told the investigator that Sickels raped her behind the bar while Christensen "held her hand, stroked her hair and 'shushed' her."

Court documents show the incident happened around 2 a.m. when Christensen, Sickles and the bartender were the only people left in the bar.

If convicted, both men face the possibility of up to 25 years in prison.

Woods said city officials hope to name an interim chief in the next few days.

"I want everyone to know that I am very proud of our police force and the way that they have reacted to the difficult circumstances. My public thanks goes to each and every one of them," Woods said in a statement released Tuesday.

Corrections Officer Accused of Assaulting Inmate


A Douglas County corrections officer has been cited for assault after being accused of attacking an inmate at the county jail.

The inmate, 23-year-old Michael Farrar, says he was in jail June 11 on suspicion of driving under the influence. He says the corrections officer beat him up as he was walking toward his cell.

Jail officials and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirm that the guard, Eric Fleming, was cited on suspicion of third-degree assault. He is on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation.

Two other officers who witnessed the incident were also placed on paid leave but have not been cited.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How Weapons Get in the Hands of Criminals

Authorities say two siblings arrested in Henrico Saturday on a traffic violation were in possession of a Richmond police officer's firearm.

According to a Richmond Police Department news release this afternoon, Faith Watkins, 24, and Sanders Watkins, 21, both of Richmond were arrested and charged with several offenses, including felony child neglect and a drug violation.

The release said the firearm in their possession belongs to an officer who knows Faith Watkins and that she has access to his home. The officer, according to the release, is away on two-week military duty in North Carolina. The officer was not named in the release.

The release said: "It is the policy of the Richmond Police Department that if an officer will be on leave for a long-term basis, the service weapon belonging to that officer is collected by his Department supervisor. If an officer is on leave for a short-term basis, it is the responsibility of the officer to secure the service weapon."

Officer Tries to Steal 4 pairs of Panties


A Sanger police officer resigned this morning after being arrested over allegations that she switched sale price stickers on clothing at a Wal-Mart to pay less for items that were not on sale, authorities said.

Officer Lisa Diane Kish, 33, of Sanger was arrested Sunday on a misdemeanor charge after employees at the Wal-Mart in Denton reported that they saw her and another woman switch tags on some underwear and pants, said Jim Bryan, a Denton police spokesman. Stephanie Grant also faces a misdemeanor charge.

According to the police report, four pairs of panties that were priced at $3 each were placed together on a hanger and a 75-cent price tag was placed on them to apply to all four items, Officer Bryan said.

Ms. Kish and Ms. Grant were both free on $500 bail Monday. Neither woman could be reached for comment.

Sanger Police Chief Curtis Amyx said Ms. Kish was waiting to hand him a resignation letter when he arrived at work Monday.

Indicted police officer resigns from department

Huntsville police officer Ryan Moore resigned today, just two days after appearing before a personnel board that would determine his fate with the agency.

A Madison County grand jury indicted Moore last month. He is charged with one count of first-degree possession of marijuana and two counts of attempting to possess a controlled substance.

According to the indictment, Moore allegedly offered marijuana to fellow officers at the north precinct on two occasions this year.

The department announced Moore's resignation in a statement issued earlier today.

A personnel board hearing for Moore and Huntsville police officer Wesley Little, also indicted last month, concluded Friday afternoon. The board has 10 days to present its "finding of facts" to Police Chief Henry Reyes, who will decide if the officers should be suspended without pay or dismissed.

Both officers have been suspended with pay since March, when allegations of "serious policy violations" surfaced. Moore had been with the department since May 2006.

To read Moore's and Little's indictments and the police department's statements, go to

UPDATE: Kris Ledford Faces New Charges


A Muskogee police officer faces new charges. Kris Ledford is already charged with stealing guns from the Muskogee Police Department's property room.

Ledford is now accused of taking a fellow officer's bullet proof vest and selling it to a deputy in Cherokee County. He also faces criminal charges in Tulsa.

Kris Ledford he's a husband and the father of a toddler girl. People are saying this is a bad deal, not just for him, but for the reputation of police officers all over Green Country.

Tulsa Police say it was a surveillance tape that started unraveling it all. They say it shows Muskogee Officer Kris Ledford and his friend, Shawn Busby, inside a Tulsa Radio Shack on May 1st, as Busby steals a police scanner.

Police believe the men were listening to the stolen scanner the next day when they heard a family call 911 and say they'd found a safe in a field while four-wheeling and requested a Tulsa Police officer to come and pick it up. Police say Ledford and Busby showed up instead, flashing a badge.

"They addressed the witnesses, the 911 callers by name and said they were Tulsa Police officers and were here to recover the safe," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

Officers tracked down Busby, served a warrant at his house and say they found a Muskogee duffle bag, handcuffs, drugs and a gun. And then, they say they got Ledford identified and were shocked.

"At the time I was first assigned the case, I assumed it was a couple of guys running around with a fake badge, acting kinda cool and hoping it was not an actual police officer involved in this," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

A search warrant at Ledford's house turned up a number of guns and police say at least 10 of them had been in the Muskogee Police Department's property room. He's accused of taking one gun from evidence and selling it to a doctor for $500.

Ledford currently faces three charges in Muskogee and two in Tulsa. That's something that is heartbreaking for other officers.

"It is just sickening because it erodes the public trust in every other officer," said Tulsa Police Detective Debra Glenn.

The Muskogee Police Department had scheduled a hearing on Thursday to start the process of firing Ledford, but, his attorney, Chad Richardson got an injunction that postponed that hearing.

Richardson says Ledford is a hero, who served his country as a military sniper and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star along with other commendations. He says Ledford shows classic signs of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Police Officer Arrested in Crime Sweep


At least one municipal police officer was among dozens of people arrested Saturday night in an organized crime sweep in this Mexican border town, Baja California police officials said Sunday.

Police prevention officers for the Mexican state of Baja California raided a baptism intending to arrest people connected to the Arrellano Felix drug cartel. Sixty-two people, including 10 who have ties to the cartel, were arrested, said Agustin Perez, a spokesman for the state prevention police.

Also confiscated were firearms, police radios and 460 grams of methamphetamine.
Police said they were tipped off that members of organized crime would be at the baptism at the banquet hall, El Pequeño Travieso in the colonia Herrera about 9 p.m. They stormed the celebration and found about 90 people at the hall. Some were armed, officials said.

State officers entered the hall with support from federal police who secured the building while the arrests were made. Federal police officers were there to ensure that no groups connected to organized crime attempted to free the people arrested, officials said.

Those taken into custody are natives of Sinaloa, Tijuana and Jalisco. One man is a municipal police officer in Tijuana, state police officers said. Four or five other men told state officers they also were on the force. But, state police officials said the men were no longer with the department because they had previously been suspended or fired.

Among the items seized were two black sports-utility vehicles, handguns, and Tijuana Municipal Police uniform patches.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, Perez said.

Officer Arrested for Drunk Driving

Royal Oak, MI

An off-duty Royal Oak police officer was arraigned Wednesday on a drunken driving charge after police say he drove his car into a house located on Fifth Street, June 13.

Officer Timothy Wood pleaded not guilty before 44th District Court Judge Terrance Brennan on a charge of operating while intoxicated, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Wood posted a $100 personal bond.

According to Deputy Chief Christopher Jahnke, Wood's Toyota Tundra first hit a car parked on the driveway before crashing into the house at around 2:30 a.m. Royal Oak police officers responding to the incident arrested Wood at the scene.

Wood sustained minor injuries in the incident; nobody inside the house at the time was injured.

Jahnke said the department is conducting an internal investigation to determine what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken against the officer.

In the meantime, the two judges at the 44th District Court have recused themselves from hearing the case since it involves a city employee. Court Administrator Kevin Sutherland said he sent the case to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office to be heard by a court in another jurisdiction.

"People should expect a completely impartial judicial (process)," said Sutherland.

Scottsdale Officer Resigns

A Scottsdale officer accused of illegally searching a 19-year-old woman who had called police has resigned.

Officer Chong Kim was accused of a similar crime in September of 2007.

Kim, an officer for two years, has been under investigation since Tuesday, when he was questioned about his response to a call Sunday about a possible break-in at the woman's apartment.

Scottsdale police spokesman David Pubins said the woman's mother alleged that when Kim arrived, he illegally searched her daughter.

According to Scottsdale police, investigators received an e-mail from the woman's mother detailing the alleged incident, which she claims happened about 3 a.m. at the 66th Place Apartments near 64th Street and Indian School.

In the e-mail, the mother said her daughter called police when three men were attempting to enter her apartment, according to police.

The woman told her mother that one of the officers harassed her and asked her if she had been drinking before taking her boyfriend outside, according to the e-mail.

The woman, an Arizona State University student, then said the officer came back inside and told her she would be arrested if a search could not be conducted, according to the e-mail.

The mother claimed the officer "strip-searched" her daughter.

According to police, the investigation into the September 2007 case was inconclusive as there was a lack of evidence at the time.

Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell said both cases will be forwarded to the FBI for investigation.

In a written statement, Rodbell said, "As the Chief, I expect that those employed by our department will abide by the same laws that they are entrusted to uphold."

He goes on to write, "Inappropriate or illegal behavior by my officers will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Drunken Officers Fire Weapons at Party

Two Minneapolis police officers are now facing felony charges. A criminal complaint alleges that 34-year-old Scott Mars and 28-year-old William Thornbury fired their guns outside of a party in South Minneapolis last month while they were off duty.

On the night of May 28th, Minneapolis Police responded to a 911 call in a south Minneapolis neighborhood. When they arrived they never expected to be investigating two of their own.

According to the criminal complaint, earlier that evening a neighbor walked over to a nearby home where a party was taking place and asked some people standing outside to keep it down.

They apologized, but a little while later a black Chevy Tahoe left the party and pulled in front of the man's house. The men inside the SUV yelled a profanity and then fired several gunshots into the air through the vehicle's sunroof.

"This is a very dangerous situation. Individuals easily could have been seriously injured or killed," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

Police arrived and pulled the Tahoe over. Inside they found two guns and spent shell casings. They identified the driver as Officer Scott Mars and the passenger as Officer William Thornbury.

Dakota County is handling this case because of conflict of interest, but the case will still be tried in Hennepin County. Backstrom said the two officers put lives in danger and their careers in jeopardy.

"They are going to be treated exactly the same as anyone else who be doing a similar thing under these circumstances," said Backstrom.

Both officers are on paid administrative leave until the case is resolved. The men face two felony charges each, and Mars, the driver of the Tahoe, also faces a drunken driving charge. His blood alcohol level was 0.19 -- more than twice the legal limit.

If convicted of the felony charges, the men would lose their license as police officers. They could also face a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

Former Officer Arrested for Shoplifting and Possession

Shawnee, KS

A former Overland Park Police officer and Shawnee resident was arrested June 14 on charges of shoplifting and possession of illegal substances.

Donald Kevin Duncan, 37, was apprehended for shoplifting about 3 p.m. at a Costco store, 12221 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park. Police then discovered that Duncan was formerly an officer in their department, from 1995 to 2005, last assigned to the investigation division.

Duncan was originally charged with theft greater than $1,000 but less than $25,000, and when he was booked, police discovered methamphetamines on his person, leading to additional charges.

Overland Park Police said Duncan resigned from the police force to pursue other interests. Duncan posted a $3,500 bond Monday after his first court appearance, and his next hearing is scheduled later this month.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Greenville Police Officer Charged In Crash


A Greenville City Police officer is charged with driving too fast for conditions after deputies say he slammed into the back of an ambulance.

It happened Wednesday night on Interstate 85 southbound. The ambulance slowed down for traffic near the Laurens Road exit, when Officer Benjamin Cothran plowed into the back of it. Deputies say the ambulance was not carrying any passengers, but the driver and an emergency technician were on board.

Officer Cothran was cited for driving too fast for conditions. He's the second officer to receive this citation in one week. Cothran, and both people in the ambulance were transported to Greenville Memorial where they were treated and released.

Officer Ken Derrick Accused in Insurance Scam


The ex-husband of a former State Attorney's Office employee who was charged earlier this year with insurance fraud now faces the same charge himself.

The charges against Ken Derrick, 37, are the fallout of his call to the Winter Haven Police Department about a fully clothed officer he found in the home he and his ex-wife shared.

Derrick, a former Lake Alfred police officer, was arrested Monday. He is accused of using health insurance in the name of his ex-wife, Kristie, to pay his medical bills.

Derrick was released from the Polk County Jail on Monday, after posting $1,000 bail.

Kristie Derrick, 34, was arrested in May on the same charge.


Kristie Derrick was fired from her job as a clerk in the State Attorney's Office last year after being accused of falsifying insurance records by telling her insurer that she was still married.

The couple had divorced in 2001. Kristie Derrick was hired by the State Attorney's Office in July 2006.

Kristie Derrick's insurance provider, United Healthcare, does not cover former spouses.

According to an arrest affidavit filed by the State Attorney's Office, Ken Derrick had last gone to Winter Haven Hospital complaining of chest pain on June 21, 2007.

His hospital admissions paperwork listed the United Healthcare insurance policy of Kristie Derrick and his relationship to her as "spouse."

Kristie Derrick is also listed as his spouse and emergency contact on multiple forms.

As a result of the hospital visit, United Healthcare paid $6,935 for his treatment, the affidavit stated.


On July 24, 2007, State Attorney Executive Director Sam Cardinale questioned Kristie Derrick, asking whether she was married, the affidavit stated.

Initially, she said she was, and then immediately said she was divorced. She said that the listing Ken Derrick as her husband on her personnel records and employee health insurance was an oversight because they had lived together as husband and wife for several years, the affidavit said.

The day after her conversation with Cardinale, Derrick was fired.

In an Aug. 7, 2007, letter, Derrick protested her firing, and inquired about appeal rights.

In the letter, she said the office's requirement that she cooperate with a law enforcement agency's investigation invaded her privacy, and "invaded her common law marriage."

Eligibility for health care coverage includes the employee, spouse and children. Florida doesn't recognize common law marriages.

Investigation into allegations of insurance fraud began after Ken Derrick filed a complaint with Winter Haven police that he went to the home he still shared with Kristie Derrick and found police Sgt. David Keigan standing fully clothed and standing in the shower.

Keigan eventually was demoted to officer for ignoring his duties by leaving the city on June 6, 2007.

Police officials said he left his police vehicle in a parking lot at a branch courthouse where Kristie Derrick worked. They drove to her Auburndale home in her car.

This sparked an internal affairs investigation at the Police Department and at the State Attorney's Office.

According to arrest affidavits, the Derricks still share the same home in Auburndale.

If both Derricks are convicted, the State Attorney's Office will seek restitution on behalf of United Healthcare, said Chip Thullbery, administrative state attorney.

Deputy Helps Woman Flee


A Middlesex County sheriff's officer has been charged with interference with custody in connection with a case against a woman who allegedly fled to India with her two children in violation of a court order.

Officer Ryan Ramdass, 33, of Kendall Park was suspended without pay from his job following his arrest Thursday at the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, authorities said. Ramdass has worked at the Middlesex County Courthouse since he began with the office three years ago.

Police said Ramdass, who shared a home with the woman, his girlfriend, helped her leave the country June 8.

The father of the children, a 4-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, was called by staff at their pre-school when they failed to show up shortly after they left the country, said Brian Gillet, assistant Middlesex County prosecutor.

Authorities said the father attempted to find out where they were throughout that week and reported them missing to the police on Sunday, Gillet said.

The mother and father are divorced and have joint custody of the children, he said. Ramdass was also charged with hindering apprehension and false swearing. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the interference charge alone if he is convicted.

Authorities have not released the name of the woman or what charges she faces.

Ramdass was freed after posting 10 percent of $35,000 bail in cash, authorities said.

As a sheriff's officer, Ramdass made $54,781 in 2007, according to public records.

Officer Chong Kim Accused of Inappropriate Searching

A Scottsdale police officer has resigned after being accused in an e-mail of illegally searching a 19-year-old woman who had summoned police.

Officer Chong Kim, an officer for a little more than two years, has been under investigation since Tuesday, when he was questioned about a call at a Scottsdale apartment complex near 66th Place and Osborn Road.Kim was responding Sunday to a call about a possible break-in at the woman's apartment.

Officer David Pubins, a Scottsdale police spokesman, said the woman's mother sent e-mails to police and several news outlets, alleging that when Kim arrived he "illegally searched" her daughter.

Pubins said the case is still under investigation.

"We take all of these allegations seriously," Pubins said.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Officer Derek Nugent Suspended for Excessive Force

A handcuffed Kalamazoo teenager struggles with a Public Safety officer as he is led down a hallway toward a booking room when the officer shoves him into a wall, injuring his face, according to video of the incident released Tuesday.

The city of Kalamazoo released video of the May 22 incident after the Kalamazoo Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

The officer involved, Derek Nugent, has been placed on a 10-day, unpaid suspension, Acting Public Safety Chief Jim Mallery announced Monday.

The teenager, who is African-American, lost three teeth. In a complaint filed with the department, his family has alleged that Nugent, who is white, was harassing the youth because he is black.

The officer involved, Derek Nugent, has been placed on a 10-day, unpaid suspension, Acting Public Safety Chief Jim Mallery announced Monday.

The teenager, who is African-American, lost three teeth. In a complaint filed with the department, his family has alleged that Nugent, who is white, was harassing the youth because he is black.

The Gazette is not naming the teen because he is a minor and he has not been charged with a crime.

The video was taken from two security cameras inside Public Safety's Crosstown Parkway headquarters.

The view from the hallway camera shows the teen enter the hallway accompanied by two Public Safety officers. The video is shaky and much of the audio is unintelligible but it is clear the teen is yelling at the officers, one of whom repeatedly tells him to "face the wall."

The teen shouts profanity and is eventually turned toward a wall as an officer appears to hold him by the back of his neck.

About two minutes into the video, Nugent begins walking the teen down the hallway toward a booking room when a tussle occurs and the teenager appears to jerk away from Nugent.

Nugent then shoves him into the cinder-block wall.

The youth immediately falls to the floor, begins crying and moaning, and asks Nugent why the officer had broken out his teeth.

The other officer, who has not been identified, stood at the other end of the hallway.
Nugent drags the youth, whose knees are on the floor, into the adjacent booking room where a second camera continues to record the incident.

The video from that camera shows the teen continuing to writhe in pain on the floor. He repeatedly shouts, "You broke my teeth!"

Another officer briefly peers into the booking room and then leaves. After a few minutes, Nugent picks the teen up onto his feet and walks him back down the hallway as the youth remains doubled over at the waist.

Public Safety officials have said the teen was then transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital and later released to his legal guardian.

The teenager was originally arrested for allegedly violating rules at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center. Since 2005, 20 misdemeanor and felony charges have been brought against the teen, but he was not prosecuted for any of them because judges determined he was mentally incompetent to stand trial.

On Monday, Mallery said he believed Nugent did not intend to harm the teenager but said his actions "would not be condoned." Mallery publicly apologized to the teenager and his family.

Mallery said Nugent has been a Public Safety officer for nearly 10 year and this is his first excessive-force complaint.

The teen's legal guardian, who is related to his father, said Tuesday she is unsatisfied by the suspension and wants Nugent criminally prosecuted. Court records show the teen's mother is in prison but do not make clear where his father is.

A Detroit-area attorney has said he may represent the family in a civil action.

Officer Helps Man Impersonating a Gynecologist

A prominent Hasidic businessman from Rockland County was arrested and charged with impersonating a gynecologist to allegedly sexually assault women.

To make matters worse, the already stunning allegation grew even more shocking when it was learned that a Rockland County police officer is accused of helping him.

The alleged incidents took place inside a building on Park Avenue between 34th and 35th streets, where women told detectives they'd been molested during what they thought was a gynecological examination.

When Manhattan sex crime detectives who work out of the same building investigated, the man they arrested turned out to be Zalman Silber, a Hasidic businessman and philanthropist who moved to Rockland County from Boro Park in Brooklyn about a year ago.

Silber's lawyer is the former Rockland County District Attorney, Kenneth Gribetz, who claims that two of the four women did not pick Silber out of a lineup.

"It was a lineup conducted with numerous Hasidic people. Mr. Silber was not identified by two of the victims. Two of the victims did do it," Gribetz said.

The Ramapo Police Department is now also buzzing because a ten-year veteran has been suspended without pay after one of the women told investigators the officer pretended to be a doctor conducting an exam while Silber allegedly watched.

Though no one would talk about this story on the record, there are hearings underway at the Ramapo Town Hall that will determine the future of the police officer.

Gribetz said there is more going on than meets the eye.

"I think the facts will come out that this was an offshoot of a very upsetting divorce that transpired in Mr. Silber's life. And what is taking place is really a disgrace, and society and law enforcement owes him an apology when all the facts come out," he said.

Postponements have caused the hearing involving the Ramapo police officer accused of posing as a fake doctor to drag on for at least four weeks. The next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Officer Having Sex with Inmate


A corrections officer at the Columbia Correctional Institution is accused of having sex with an inmate and giving him snacks and magazines.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Department says the 45-year-old Portage woman is likely to be charged with multiple felony counts of second-degree sexual assault of an inmate, delivery of articles to inmates and misconduct in public office.

Detective Sgt. Daniel Garrigan says the accusations came to light after the department did an internal investigation on the woman last fall for a policy violation.

He says the investigation showed she had sexual contact with an inmate at CCI and at Waupun Correctional Institution.

The Department of Corrections says the woman is on administrative leave. Online court records show formal charges have not yet been filed.

Chief Information Officer Pete Collins Accused of Misconduct

Austin's chief information officer has been accused of misconduct.

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, city officials said a city employee called the legal department last week alleging the city's chief information officer, Pete Collins, was using city resources for a personal project.

City Spokesman Gene Acuna said Collins was immediately placed on paid administrative leave. The case was then passed on to City Manager Marc Ott and APD who is investigating.

"The city manager takes these allegation seriously and wants them investigated fully and impartially," Acuna said.

Collins has been a city employee since 1993. He started out as an Austin Police Officer. He's overseen the city's Information Technology Department since 2004.