Syracuse Police hand over investigation information to DA’s office
Syracuse Police have begun handing over information on their investigation of the Bernie Fine case to District Attorney William Fitzpatrick. YNN's Bill Carey says it's the first step toward a return to some semblance of peace within the local criminal justice system.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It is a case that has drawn attention from across the United States and a story which has exposed divisions in the criminal justice system in Syracuse. A case that's led to strong words from the District Attorney aimed at the city's chief of police.
“These are the paybacks of a juvenile mind. Someone that really, really doesn't belong in law enforcement,” said Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.
The police chief saying he's just doing his job.
“Since I've been the chief, I've been professional about my business. I've conducted myself in a very professional fashion and I will continue to do so,” Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said.
At the heart of the dispute, access to information. What police knew and what the District Attorney wanted to know.
Syracuse Police decided early on not to make any public statements about their investigation until they could determine what exactly had happened back in 2002. That led to the DA's questions about a possible cover up of early decisions made in the Fine case.
The Police Chief says his first knowledge of the case was when the accuser, Bobby Davis, went public with his accusations on November 17th. He says his first priority was investigation, not sharing information with the DA.
Fowler said, “I haven't said word one about this case. This is the first interview that I've done. I'm not in a battle with the District Attorney's office. I have a professional job to do as chief of police and that is exactly what I'm doing. It's exactly what I've done since day one.”
The chief claiming he hasn't had time to become involved in a battle with anyone.
“Someone had to stay focused on these victims here. And you're looking at that person. That is where my focus is and that is where my focus will remain, on the victims that are involved in this case,” Fowler said.
Fowler vowing to work with the DA's office, as well as the U.S. Attorney, in finding answers to what happened to Bobby Davis.
DA William Fitzpatrick confirms his office has begun to receive information from the police department. He calls that a "positive" development.