A private firm monitoring the Pennsylvania State Police after a sexual-misconduct scandal says the force still lacks strong disciplinary guidelines, reports the Associated Press. A report by Kroll Associates said the agency has made progress in recent months but still needs better rules requiring a speedy investigation when a trooper is accused of misconduct. The firm said state police should judge misconduct cases quicker. Some disciplinary procedures take so long that accused troopers can retire before any punishment is imposed. The report was released on the day that a federal judge cleared a former commander of civil liability for the agency’s failure to discipline a trooper accused of sexually assaulting several women. Former State Police Commissioner Paul Evanko had been sued by three women who said he and other high-ranking officials knew the trooper had a history of unsavory conduct, but never punished him or removed him from duty.
The judge refused to dismiss similar suits against eight other state police officials and the trooper, Michael K. Evans. Evans pleaded guilty in 2000 to sex crimes against three teen girls and three women. He is serving a 5- to 10-year prison sentence. Gov. Ed Rendell hired Kroll Associates to monitor the scandal around Evans after the state’s inspector general criticized the way the force handled 163 sexual-misconduct complaints between 1995 and 2001.