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Saturday, February 23, 2013

City To Fire Cop After Appeal Fails In Superior Court

With conviction upheld, city to fire suspended cop

By MARK MARONEY - mmaroney@sungazette.com ,
Williamsport Sun-Gazette

A former city police officer suspended without pay since 2007 won't get his job back now that the state Superior Court affirmed his conviction Thursday on charges of tampering with public records and obstruction of justice.

Thomas H. Ungard Jr. may not return to the department because of the rules required under the Confidence in Law Enforcement Act, which prevent him from being a police officer now that the court affirmed his conviction. City Police Chief Gregory A. Foresman deferred comment on specifics of the ruling to assistant solicitor J. David Smith, but confirmed that Ungard will be terminated under the state law regulating law enforcement officers.

Ungard, who was charged along with former police Cpl. Dustin Kreitz by the state attorney general's office in June 2007, was lieutenant and in charge of the Lycoming County Drug Task Force. He and a former city police chief used a pickup truck in June 2006, a vehicle forfeited by a drug dealer, for a fishing trip in Canada. Read more...

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'll take 'Terrible Drug War Policies' for $800 Alex.

That asset forfeiture is one of the most abused programs ever. Bush knew it would be when he signed it, it's a cash grab for local departments... the only problem is what they grab is private citizens' property.

If it was written better I'd be all for it. But as it is, all it does is grant law enforcement the ability to confiscate any property they think might be used for drug trade.

Here is the kicker: Evidence and conviction not required. Purely based on the officers judgement.

Even if you can prove them in the wrong your chance at getting the property back is nill as is any other compensation.
(you aren't allowed to sue them in court and there are purposely obstinate procedures in place to make sure your process for challenging the forfeiture takes longer than it does for them to liquify and spend your assets).

See, criminal forfeiture is carried out after a sentancing, requires a trial and actual justice. These drug asset forfeitures are civil forfeitures and you'll love this:

"In civil forfeiture cases, the US Government sues the item of property, not the person; the owner is effectively a third party claimant. Once the government (officer) establishes probable cause that the property is subject to forfeiture, the owner must prove on a "preponderance of the evidence" that it is not. The owner need not be judged guilty of any crime."

You can't make this stuff up.

And it's only furthered the justification for never having a large amount of cash. Anything over X dollars seen by a cop will usually be assumed to be used for nefarious purposes and be confiscated (and spent on new toys for the police dept). This isn't new.

If you think this drug task force cop is the only one acting like he owns whatever property he happens across, you would be terribly mistaken.

But then again, what's stealing and trampling a few people's rights when we have a WAR to fight, right?

Anonymous said...

11:08 writes a powerful message, like a true jail house lawyer

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! a bad cop imagine that.sad side of it is that it took 6 years to fire an outlaw.

Anonymous said...

I could not have possibly said it better myself. Thank you, 11:08 poster.

Anonymous said...

yes it takes awhile to get bad cops and jail and prison guards out of the system. Just look at potter county. I does happen even when the DA. Supports them. Its just a matter of time.