Evidence room thefts, drug use, misappropriation of drug funds
Top county detective charges lawbreaking
in central Pennsylvania DA's office
Posted February 27, 2005 -- A corrupt, ingrained system of insider justice exists in central Pennsylvania, says a top county detective who until recently had worked in the York County, PA, District Attorney's office. The allegations were made by Becky Downing, former chief York County detective, who until late in 2004 worked for York County District Attorney Stanley Rebert.
Former York County, PA Chief Detective Becky Downing.
"Ms. Downing discovered that Defendant Rebert, as the chief policy maker for the DA’s Office, employed a policy, practice, and/or custom of improper and/or unlawful conduct."
Downing's allegations are documented in a federal wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed on February 18, 2005. Her allegations echo and reinforce allegations reported in The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna. Downing's 33-page complaint details, among other things:
-- A corrupt system of insider justice prevails in central Pennsylvania. An insiders' friends network is protected from prosecution, while outsiders are unlawfully spied upon and persecuted.
-- Items including slot machines, stolen from the evidence rooms, and other public property, were unlawfully kept in the homes of DA Rebert and his associates.
-- Money from an unaccountable Drug Tast Force fund is used for unlawful and secretive purposes.
-- Associates of the DA’s of questionable background and character are allowed to work in law enforcement without proper and thorough background checks.
Chief Detective Downing's complaint includes the following:
Pattern of unlawful conduct: "Ms. Downing discovered that Defendant Rebert, as the chief policy maker for the DA’s Office, employed a policy, practice, and/or custom of improper and/or unlawful conduct.... Defendant Rebert wanted to portray to the public that he commanded a professional law enforcement agency.
Theft of slot machine(s) from the evidence room: "(Rebert) had the detectives retrieve a slot machine, which had been unlawfully removed from evidence, from his home.... Defendant Rebert had the two detectives place the slot machine in his office.... On April 10, 2003, Ms. Downing removed the slot machine (which was previously unlawfully removed from evidence and placed in Defendant Rebert’s home) from Defendant Rebert’s office and destroyed it along with other evidence that was being destroyed on that date.... Defendant Rebert objected because he wanted to keep the slot machine."
Intervening on behalf of friends in DUI cases: "On November 19, 2001, Defendant Rebert requested that Ms. Downing intervene in a DUI investigation involving the wife of the CEO of a large printing company. 88. Ms. Downing refused to intervene and advised Defendant Rebert that it would be improper and or unlawful for him to do so."
Lack of accountablility in Drug Task Force funds: "On August 14, 2003, Ms. Downing advised Defendant Rebert that (Assistant DA William) Graff improperly continued to permit former employees to have and use York County cell phones for reasons unrelated to legitimate official county business. The cell phone bills were being paid with funds from the Drug Task Force."
Lack of proper background checks of DA's associates: "On May 30, 2002, Ms. Downing learned that Defendant Rebert intended to hire John Daryman (“Daryman”) as a detective even though Daryman never applied for the open position and the application deadline had passed. On May 20, 2003, Daryman took the oath of office before Judge Kennedy. Daryman, however, had not yet taken a polygraph examination as required by the established rules and regulation.... It is believed and therefore averred that as of the date of the filing of this Complaint, Daryman has yet to take and pass the required polygraph exam."
The stinkin' badges : "At least one official DA’s Office badge has been confiscated by a law enforcement officer when a local business man displayed it to the officer during a traffic stop."
Official DA's Office badges passed out to community members: "On January 31, 2002, Defendant Rebert’s wife requested that Ms. Downing provide her with an official DA’s Office badge. Ms. Rebert advised Ms. Downing that she wanted to give the official DA’s Office badge to a local dentist. Ms. Rebert stated that if she provided the dentist with the official DA’s Office badge, the dentist would provide 'free' dental work to Youth Build students. Ms. Downing refused to provide Ms. Rebert with the official DA’s Office badge. Ms. Downing confronted Defendant Rebert about the improper/unlawful distribution of official law enforcement badges. Defendant Rebert stated to Ms. Downing that he previously had (the former chief detective) provide him with the official badges, which he distributed to office personnel and friends. Ms. Downing advised Defendant Rebert that this practice was improper and/or unlawful. At least one official DA’s Office badge has been confiscated by a law enforcement officer when a local business man displayed it to the officer during a traffic stop."
Cocaine addict in the DA's office: "In October of 2004, Ms. Downing advised Defendant Rebert that it was improper for him to refuse to investigate, discipline, and/or prosecute an employee for (1) stealing and improperly displaying crime scene photographs, (2) unlawfully representing that they were an assistant district attorney, (3) improperly attempting to intervene in criminal investigations, and (4) coming to work while addicted to cocaine."
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