This week, a few stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Ex-Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire Scheme
Former Chicago Police Officer Jerome Finnigan was the ringleader of an “elite” Special Operations Section that ransacked homes without warrants and shook down drug dealers for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
Last Tuesday wearing an orange jump suit and shackles, he admitted to those crimes as well as to the most outrageous charge — that as an officer, he ordered a hit on another cop.
But as part of his plea deal made public in federal court, Finnigan pled guilty only to the murder-for-hire charge and to a tax charge; an agreement where he would see no more than 13 years in prison for his crimes.
Four years after Finnigan’s arrest, it remains unclear what federal prosecutors won out of the negotiation.
While Finnigan’s plea deal says he cooperated and that he would continue to do so, the 28-page document offers no hints that the investigation would go any higher than it had since his 2007 arrest.
He downplayed the murder-for-hire plot, calling it: “for lack of a better word, [a] charade” and said “it was not my intent to kill anybody.”
Denver Cop Convicted of Rape Free on Bond Until Sentencing
A Denver police officer convicted of rape and kidnapping will remain free on bond for the two months until his sentencing date, despite his victim’s concerns for her safety.
A judge recently set bond for Hector Paez at $50,000 and his sentencing for March 1.
Denver District Court Judge John Madden noted that his family had put their property up as collateral for a bond.
“It would have an enormous impact on your family and children,” Madden warned Paez about failing to appear in court.
Madden also told Paez he must remain in his home in the meantime, unless he’s meeting with his attorney.
On May 16, 2010, Paez arrested a woman on an outstanding warrant, drove her to a secluded spot and coerced her into performing oral sex.
The woman has said multiple times she’s afraid of retribution from Paez and pointed out that he threatened her — saying he knows where she lived — as he released her the day of the attack.
For part of her testimony at trial, Paez turned and stared her down, she said.
Jurors convicted Paez of Class 4 felony sex assault and Class 2 kidnapping. They also found him guilty of the misdemeanor of lying to authorities.
The lightest sentence he could receive is probation. For the rape, the most he faces is an indeterminate sentence to life in prison. The kidnapping carries a penalty of up to 24 years in prison.
Former Detroit Police Officer Officer Admits Lying on Time Sheet to Collect $30,000 in Overtime
A former Detroit police officer, Kim Mosby-Colbert, pleaded guilty to lying on her overtime sheets and collecting nearly $30,000 in overtime pay she never earned from October 2009 through June 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced this week.
Under the terms of her plea deal, she faces up to six months in prison. She also could be ordered to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution when she is sentenced in March.
“We hope that prosecutions like this one will let public servants know that they will be held accountable for their conduct and will deter them from stealing public funds to which they are not entitled,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.
Although all public servants’ paychecks consist solely of money stolen from taxpayers – otherwise known as victims – apparently it is wrong to steal. That seems inconsistent.
Are these really the type of actions you want to continue paying for?
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.