A federal investigation of a rogue Philadelphia narcotics squad fell apart because witnesses were reluctant or not credible, evidence was scant, and an accused officer the FBI believed was about to cooperate with them changed his mind, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2009, investigators began a probe of four officers accused of misconduct in stories by the Philadelphia Daily News. The newspaper reported that an informant in a drug case said the officers had falsified warrants and fabricated evidence. The series, “Tainted Justice,” reported that nearly two dozen bodega owners said the officers disabled security cameras and robbed them during raids.
On Monday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced that in the absence of any criminal charges stemming from alleged thefts or falsified warrants, the officers involved were facing departmental sanctions. He fired Officer Jeffrey Cujdik for falsifying a warrant and having a business relationship with an informant. He suspended and transferred three other officers, and suspended a supervisor. John McNesby, president of the Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Tuesday that the union would contest the punishment. He said witnesses in the case were not credible and added that he “fully expects” Cujdik to get his job back through arbitration. “These guys did nothing wrong,” McNesby said. “They were doing their jobs.”