Four more officers have come forward with accusations that Doddville Police Chief Charles Wilbur directed his department to underreport crime the past two years.
Three weeks ago, Gotcha! revealed a Doddville officer’s assertions that Doddville’s drop in violent crime the past two years was really a smoke-and-mirrors routine. The officer, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said to keep crime numbers low, officers convince crime victims not to file charges. Other times, the officers underreport the value of stolen goods to avoid larceny charges or downgrade serious felonies to misdemeanors.
Three more Doddville officers — one current and three former — have corroborated those accusations, confirming that Doddville’s five- and three-percent drops in violent crime the past two years resulted from underreporting those crimes.
While Wilbur has vehemently defended his department, these latest accusations have rattled the long-time police chief. Wilbur has declined to speak to the media, hiding behind “No comment.”
However, these accusations have caught the attention of City Councilwoman Laura McGraw, who vowed to investigate the allegations.
Connecticut Governor Alan Henninger apparently will escape his latest scandal unscathed.
On Friday, Valerie Sommerville, a member of Henninger’s staff, and Bruce Mowry, the Connecticut official in charge of the purchase and upkeep of state vehicles, both resigned. Their resignations came in the wake of Gotcha!’s revelations that Henninger’s nephew Thomas Perkins operated a shell company that received kickbacks from auto parts suppliers that sold replacement parts to the state.
Sommerville and Mowry both apologized and resigned for their role in the scandal, each asserting the Governor had no knowledge of the situation. Their fall-on-you-sword mentality apparently satisfied internal investigators, who cleared the Governor of any wrongdoing.
“I hope this brings this unfortunate chapter to a close,” the Governor said in a release Monday. “My office will continue to adhere to stringent ethical standards, and corruption will not be tolerated.”
The Governor declined further comment.
However, multiple sources said that tolerating corruption is exactly what the Governor did with regard to Perkins and his shell company, Nutmeg Auto Parts Supplier. Those sources, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, repeatedly asserted that the Governor directed other state employees to work with Thomas.
Thomas received about a five-percent kickback on each purchase Connecticut made from auto part suppliers Thomas worked with. Nutmeg has supplied Connecticut with replacement auto parts for the past three years.
Prior to founding Nutmeg, sources tell Gotcha! that Thomas had enrolled in and then dropped out of Connecticut State University and experienced two brief run-ins with the law — one for public intoxication and another for driving under the influence. Both charges were later dropped. Thomas has repeatedly declined to speak with Gotcha!.
Henninger currently is serving his second term as Connecticut governor. He has two years remaining on his term. Rumblings of corruption have hounded Henninger’s time in office, but thus far, his Teflon has done its job.
Doddville’s drop in crime could really just be a drop in ethics.
One current Doddville Police Department officer has told Gotcha! that Police Chief Charles Wilbur and his subordinates have pressured their officers to juke crime stats.
The officer, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said, “With all of these cities talking about their lower crime rates, these guys feel like they have to drop (the crime numbers) every year to keep their jobs.”
According to the officer, Wilbur and company have pushed Doddville officers to underreport crime for the past two years. To keep crime numbers low, officers will convince crime victims not to file charges. Other times, the officers will underreport the value of stolen goods to avoid larceny charges or downgrade serious felonies to misdemeanors.
The anonymous officer said this type of thing happens “every day” in Doddville.
The proof appears to be in the reporting. Violent crime officially dropped in Doddville five percent in YR-03 and three percent last year. At the time, Wilbur chalked up those drops to “increased police presence and smarter law enforcement strategies.”
On Friday, Wilbur maintained those drops in crime were legitimate and bristled at any suggestion to the contrary.
“We don’t juke numbers here in Doddville. We fight crime,” Wilbur told Gotcha!.
However, the Doddville officer who spoke to Gotcha! reiterated that Wilbur feels the pressure to lower crime each year to save his job, and if that means underreporting crime, then so be it.
Juking crime statistics to make it appear crime is low is nothing new to police departments across the country — notably the New York Police Department. Maybe Doddville is growing up, taking a big city approach to its small city problems, wallpapering over the cracks that won’t go away.