Pennsylvania’s state police commissioner will release details today of his internal review, which shows that 14 department employees were fired for sexual misconduct, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The state police’s Bureau of Professional Responsibility investigated 163 allegations of sexual misconduct from 1995 to 2001 and was able to substantiate 68 of them, a source familiar with the findings told the Inquirer.
In all, 79 state police employees – 75 troopers, two liquor control agents, and two civilian employees – were disciplined for sexual misconduct, the source said.
Previously, state officials said that only 37 of 118 overall sexual misconduct allegations investigated during the seven-year period were substantiated. Also, state officials had said no troopers were fired in those cases.
Allegations include troopers having sex in barracks and police cars, soliciting sex from prostitutes and confidential informants, asking for sex in exchange for fixing tickets, and viewing pornography, along with numerous cases of rape and harassment.
Col. Jeffrey Miller, who was ordered by the governor to review recent misconduct allegations, will disclose his findings at a news conference today – publicly acknowledging the full extent of a problem that until now the department had considered an internal matter. Miller is expected to propose several recommendations to curb future cases. They include a “zero tolerance” policy, an early intervention program to identify problem behavior before it reaches a critical stage, and additional training at the state police academy for all cadets on the consequences of violating the Code of Conduct, the source said. Reports of widespread sexual misconduct surfaced this month as part of a recent federal civil suit filed against Michael K. Evans, a former trooper who went to jail for repeated sexual misconduct.
As part of the suit, the woman’s attorney obtained complaints of sexual misconduct against troopers in 89 cases from 1995 to 2001 to buttress his client’s claim that sexual harassment within the ranks was rampant and unchecked. Thomas Sheridan, attorney for the plaintiff in the federal suit against the state police, said the new numbers of substantiated claims indicate the agency fostered an atmosphere where sexual misconduct was allowed to flourish. And he questioned whether appropriate disciplinary actions were taken.