Officers implicated in “Tainted Justice” still pulling paychecks

    A series in the Philadelphia Daily News on police corruption has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize. But the officers involved in the case continue to collect their salaries while on desk duty, including one accused of sexually molesting several female suspects.

    A  series in the Philadelphia Daily News on police corruption has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The series exposed a group of rogue police officers who allegedly used tainted evidence to arrest and convict people on drug charges.

    But the officers involved in the case continue to collect their salaries while on desk duty, including one accused of sexually molesting several female suspects.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation along with the police department’s internal affairs division.

    But Bradley Bridge, from the public defender’s office, says the investigation continues to delay justice for victims.

    “Near as I can tell, it’s been about 15 months that the F.B.I. has been investigating these police officers,” says Bridge. “That strikes me as a really long time – particularly a long time when people are jailed or imprisoned. Then it becomes a real problem for cases to get continued.”

    Bridge has filed petitions to re-visit 53 cases where people were convicted using evidence from the officers involved and their informant.

    David Rudovsky is an attorney representing four out of about a dozen people who have filed federal civil rights complaints against the officers and the department.

    Rudovsky says an F.B.I. investigation and a police internal affairs review are holding up resolution of the civil cases.

    “I think this is a long time for an investigation,” says Rudovsky. “It is true the investigation might be broad in scope, there are a lot of cases involved. We’re hoping it will be wrapped up soon. The officers should know where they stand and those who were arrested should know where they stand.”

    Attorney Jeremy Gonzalez Ibrahim represents three people who filed federal civil rights lawsuits against the officers and the police department.

    Ibrahim says he’s not surprised that the ongoing F.B.I. investigation has not been resolved more than a year later.

    “It’s not surprising. Though it might be disappointing from a plaintiff’s point of view, that its going to take so long,” says Ibrahim, “it’s just the nature of the creature that the feds have to investigate.”

    The F.B.I. and the police department say they will not comment on an ongoing investigation.

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