“Corruption complaints have piled up against the Pennsylvania State Police in recent years.”

Posted on Thu, Nov. 12, 2009

Cases indicate a rash of bad behavior

Philadelphia Daily News

Corruption complaints have piled up against the Pennsylvania State Police in recent years. Here are nine of the more notable ones:



* Capt. James Murtin, commander of Troop N in Hazleton, is under investigation for allegedly using a state-police credit card to buy a satellite radio and directing state police mechanics to install and repair it in his police car, a state police supervisor said. Murtin also caught criticism in April 2008 after he allegedly yanked six uniformed troopers off a riot detail during unrest at Bloomsburg University to move furniture and do other tasks at his home. Internal investigators cleared Murtin in the furniture probe, but critics charge a cover-up.

* Capt. Willard Oliphant, head of the state police’s internal-affairs division, is cleared after an investigation for allegedly dumping his personal household trash in state police Dumpsters on a weekly basis for several years. Two troopers who brought the allegations [Snip]

* Lt. Rodney Witherite files a federal lawsuit against nine officials – including Oliphant and Murtin – and former State Police Commissioner Col. Jeffrey Miller, alleging that he was repeatedly transferred and harassed after refusing a superior’s order to use police computers to snoop on the new beau of the superior’s estranged wife.


* A Monroe County towing operator snags a $3.25 million verdict from a federal jury on claims that Maj. John G. Rice and Lt. David Douglas, of Troop N, improperly removed him from a referral list to tow vehicles. Jimmy A. Schlier, of Wreckers International, which also serviced state police vehicles, told the court that he got bounced from the list after he got in a billing dispute with state police over work he had done on state-owned vehicles.

* Trooper Mario J. Diana wins a $501,000 federal civil verdict against two supervisors, including Oliphant, who Diana claimed had secretly taped a phone call with him while he was home on medical leave in 2003.


– Dana DiFilippo


5 responses to ““Corruption complaints have piled up against the Pennsylvania State Police in recent years.”

  1. Concerned Citizen

    A friend of mine lives in the Nash Rd. trailer park in West springfield Pa. And because of where she lives she is mistreated by the state police and all the other important agencies including the school district. Since when has being poor and livng in a Trailer Park constitute being mistreated. She had made a Complaint that her Children had been assaulted by older kids and held against their will and the exact comment she got from the police was “It would make the world a better place if you all just kill each other up here.” She has not dealt with police since because it is not worth her time and effort to be blown off. Since then her house has been broken into twice and her children are affraid to play outside because the older and larger children intimidate them. When is enough enough. The police are there to help everyone not just the ones that they feel are worth the help. I have left myself anonymous so that neither I nor my friend recieves any retaliation. Thank You, Concerned Citizen


  2. Pennslyvania has a long record of corruption, from the highest levels of government to the local ‘Boss Hogs’. In fact, at this point you can call institutionalized.

    Money buys you a politician or a cop, or both if you need them.

    Remember, judges also are fond of corruption, especially when they are the benefactors. District attorneys are also one of those that love to have their hands greased with money.

    That’s the way it is in Pennslyvania.


  3. I have to agree that there is often times the misconduct of police officers is covered over. The system does not allow a poor person to be able to obtain a lawyer to sue the departments like state police, local judges, attorneys, or even children services. There is a great need for these cases with concrete evidence to stand united to obtain any possible avenue of justice or even partial respect. We all get sick of state [police treating every citizen as we are beneath them. Since 911, we have all learned, each and every citizen has no faith in the lies of politics or the lies that our government has any ability to protect us. A service we must pay for that turns into abuse on ourselves.
    Part of the problem is people in positions of power (Judges, District Attorneys, police officers, children and youth workers, etc) protect their own and the system is set up that allows them to continue to do so. Seperating where a person must go to turn in the different areas of the system (PSP Commissioners, Judicial Bar and Bar Associations, etc.) acting in unethical and corrupt ways, makes the case against them weaker. The only true oppertunity to demand the system above does the service we are forced to pay for, is in a joint unity of citizen’s cases not being seperated by the authority above them. And their open authority in wiretapping makes local authorities capable without due cause to harrass any “whistleblower” they prefer, which is unconstitutional in all ways. As seems to be the reality of many of the new regulations enacted since 911.


  4. Three days ago we called the state police for an incident in Simpson pa. Being that my husband and myself were both police officers -years ago, we always thought that we would be the last people in the world to file a complaint against them. Wrong-we have family members that still are police.The conduct, attitude and inept handling of the situation was un-believable. We own multiple houses in the area and we are in our 50s’,never in trouble etc… To say we were talked to like we were mud on the bottom of their shoes is putting it nicely. When we went to the barrack to file a complaint, they literally attempted to sweep us and our complaint out the door. they spoke with us on the front steps of the building! Never wrote down anything etc. You are suppose to be able to file a complaint at the barrack 24/7. We went home and contacted Internal affairs ourselves-we will see how that goes-that was yesterday -still waiting for a return call. Please do not stand for the way the PA State police treat the citizens of the commonwealth. We pay their salary with our taxes. They are sworn in-have codes of conduct and rules and regulations to follow.THEY ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW OR ANYONE ELSE. We spent an entire day on the computer and phone trying to find out how to contact the Commissioner of PSP. Why would that not be made public-He too is a public servant. We have a call into the Governor office-because he is the one that appointed him. The citizens of PA should demand the respect and correct conduct from our state police.


  5. A police officer would not want to lose his job for BS,, and they make a lot of money so why would they do anything dishonest.


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