A Pennsylvania officer who was put on leave last October has now been charged
with felony and misdemeanor accusations. The woman is facingcriminal charges for theft over allegations that she unlawfully accessed funds from a police-run
organization. She is being charged with five different counts in connection
with this alleged theft.
The woman was placed in charge of the Police Athletic League in 2011 when
the program was re-instituted. She was informed at that time that she
would not receive any additional compensation above her salary as a Harrisburg
police officer. Superiors placed her on suspension when a department audit
reportedly discovered that there were discrepancies in the bookkeeping.
The woman stated that she was innocent of wrongdoing and that she was suspended
as a result of protesting discrimination, though no further information
regarding her allegations was disclosed. Authorities are claiming that
the woman has stolen an estimated $7,000 through checks she supposedly
wrote for herself. They have further alleged that time sheets were submitted
for times when the woman was on duty as a police officer, rather than
when she was performing duties for PAL.
The Pennsylvania prosecutor's office has filed the criminal charges
against the 43-year-old officer and stated that the Dauphin County Attorney
General's Office will handle the case. This woman has already asserted
that she was innocent and she is presumed to be so unless she is found
guilty in a court of law. She will likely work with her defense team to
determine the best course of action going forward. Moreover, she will
be granted access to the evidence that the prosecutor's office will
attempt to use against her and be allowed to challenge the validity of
the evidence. Regardless of what strategy she chooses to employ, the burden
of proof in any criminal case is on the side of the state.
Source: pennlive.com, "Attorney General Kathleen Kane files criminal theft charges against suspended
Harrisburg police officer", Christine Vendel, July 22, 2014