Cop With Blind Eye to Prostitution Loses Appeal

     (CN) – A New York state trooper who attended parties at his social club where strippers also served as prostitutes was properly fired, a state appeals court ruled.
     A New York state trooper for 18 years, Frederick Franklin Jr. belonged to a social club that rented its clubhouse to another trooper who hosted parties there and hired strippers to work at them.
     Several witnesses testified that the strippers engaged in prostitution on the second floor of the clubhouse. Though the club lacked a liquor license, it also served at these parties, witnesses said.
     Franklin admitted that he attended three of these parties.
     The Division of State Police charged Franklin with failing to take action to stop illegal activities, frequenting an establishment where the law was violated and providing false information during an investigation.
     Joseph D’Amico, the superintendent of the state police, fired Franklin after a hearing board sustained most of the charges.
     A five-judge panel with the Appellate Division’s Rochester-based Fourth Department upheld that firing last month.
     Franklin “gave numerous inconsistent statements regarding whether he knew the club lacked a liquor license,” the unsigned May 2 order states. “He evaded answering basic questions, and the Hearing Board found incredible his testimony that he had no idea what the term ‘extras’ meant in relationship to strippers.”
     Franklin’s actions were “indicative of a consciousness of guilt,” the justices added.
     “When asked by one patron at a party what was occurring on the second floor, petitioner told the patron, ‘you don’t want to know,’ thereby implying that petitioner knew what was occurring,” the five-page order states.
     Dismissal was appropriate, the also found.
     “Given the nature of the offenses, the higher standard of fitness and character, petitioner’s evasive conduct and his refusal to accept any responsibility for his conduct, we conclude that the penalty of dismissal does not shock one’s sense of fairness,” the justices wrote.

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