A Lawrence police officer, a 15-year veteran, was convicted in federal court Tuesday of bribery and obstruction of justice for soliciting a bribe from a towing company in exchange for sending business the company’s way.
Pedro Jose Lopez, 47, sat stoically as the verdict of guilty was announced three times. His family members sat crying in the front row.
Lopez is slated to be sentenced Jan. 14, and he faces close to three years under federal sentencing guidelines. He was convicted of bribery, obstruction of justice, and lying to a federal agent.
“This is about a police officer who used his position for his gain, then lied about it to the FBI,” said Assistant US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Lopez was indicted just over a year ago, accused of soliciting a free snow plow, valued at $4,000, from a company, M & W Towing Co., of Lawrence, in exchange for sending tow jobs to the company.
He later lied about it to an FBI agent and produced a bogus receipt.
Prosecutors alleged that he received other gifts from the company as he continued to send more business to M&W Towing.
Here’s a story from earlier this year that I missed (via CNN):
So, the police charged three guys with gun-related crimes, but the police chief interviewed in this video just laughs about the fact that a sheriff’s lieutenant negligently fired a gun in a residential area.
The CNN article actually mentions that this police dog was specifically trained to “paw” at the things it finds, so why exactly is it being used to find guns? If you train a dog to touch potentially loaded guns with its paws, what do you think is going to happen?
According to The Eagle-Tribune, former Essex County Sheriff’s Department employee Patricia Papa was indicted earlier this month after being accused of having a sexual relationship with an unnamed male inmate at the Correctional Alternative Center in Lawrence between March 1 and March 28.
Papa, who worked for the Sheriff’s Department for 14 years, served as a “reintegration coordinator.” She was responsible for helping inmates find housing and jobs after their release as well as ensuring that inmates received drug abuse and mental health treatment.
Papa plead not guilty to the charges during a hearing at the Salem Superior Court on August 18. She was released after her sister posted $500 for bail.
Prosecutors conducted their investigation into Papa’s alleged sexual misconduct after receiving a report of the results of an internal investigation by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecutors say their evidence against Papa includes recordings of telephone calls made at the jail, text messages, as well as a photograph and letters found in the inmate’s cell.
Papa’s case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Melissa Woodard.
If convicted, Papa faces five years in prison. Her next court hearing, a pre-trial conference, is scheduled for October 3.
I’ll post an update to this story when more details become available.