Sgt. Robinson said Jessica Jacobs, legislative counsel to Mr. Mendelson, confirmed that Mr. Willoughby’s office had looked into the matter. The sergeant said Ms. Jacobs read to him a written response from Mr. Willoughby to Mr. Mendelson stating that the inspector general had no problems with the police department’s handling of the investigation and decided that the transfer of funds issue was “not worth their time.”
Ms. Jacobs did not return calls for comment.
“It’s confidential is my understanding and the [inspector general’s] office must release it,” Denise Tolliver, chief of staff to Mr. Mendelson, wrote in an email. Mr. Mendelson’s office declined to disclose the letter.
When pressed for further comment, Ms. Tolliver said the chairman “has already sent a letter to the [inspector general’s] office asking for an investigation and MPD Internal Affairs is also investigating.”
At a recent council hearing in which Sgt. Robinson testified, Mr. Mendelson dismissed the matter by saying, “I’ve done all I can do” and invited the sergeant to take his complaints to other law enforcement agencies. Sgt. Robinson said he referred the matter to the FBI on Sept. 24.
Police chief’s response
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump denied that the speed cameras resulted in any defective citations.
She said internal affairs investigations are confidential but insisted that they were “acted upon.”
Ms. Crump said no sworn personnel are assigned to the automated traffic enforcement unit.
Sgt. Robinson refuted Ms. Crump’s claims that there were no statutory violations on the portable speed units, calling the statement “blatantly false.” He pointed to his own experience last November when he received a speed-camera citation that just last week was dismissed by a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing examiner because of the District’s “failure to meet its burden of proof,” according to a DMV notice. He said there are more than 100,000 similar citations, with a revenue potential of more than $10 million.
He also disputed the claim that his former unit had been civilianized, saying other sworn officers have been detailed back to the unit.
“I have been forced to remain in a detailed position because I adhered to the District of Columbia Ethics Manual and reported waste, fraud and illegal conduct to the appropriate authorities,” Sgt. Robinson said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Jeffrey Anderson is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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