Prosecutor: Cops in Syracuse probe leaked document
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—A district attorney has accused police officials of criminally leaking a document in the sexual abuse investigation of Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.
In a news conference Wednesday, prosecutor William Fitzpatrick accused Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler and Deputy Chief Sean Broton of leaking a witness affidavit to embarrass the district attorney's office. At issue is the handling in 2002 of Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis' initial claims that Fine had molested him.
Mayor Stephanie Miner defended the police officials Wednesday, saying police had conducted themselves "with complete professionalism and integrity."
The Syracuse Post-Standard newspaper has published details from the affidavit. Miner said Fowler and Broton did not authorize the release of any documents to the central New York newspaper.
Davis and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, former ball boys for the Syracuse basketball team, say they were molested more than 25 years ago by Fine, who is on paid leave from the university. Fine has called the charges "patently false."
Fitzpatrick said the chief or deputy chief leaked an affidavit from Davis' former girlfriend Danielle Roach to the newspaper while refusing to turn the document over to the prosecution.
Roach said she tried to contact the district attorney's office in 2002 but her phone calls weren't returned. Fitzpatrick said a check of phone records shows no messages from Roach or anyone else about someone being abused by a basketball coach.
Fitzpatrick also accused Fowler of implementing new procedures restricting prosecution access to all reports in the possession of police.
"You do not have a police chief. You have a fiefdom," Fitzpatrick said at a news conference in his office.
Fitzpatrick said police were trying "to deflect attention from what they did or didn't do in 2002," when Davis says he first reported to police that Fine had molested him.
Miner accused Fitzpatrick of "histrionics and grandstanding."
"Chief Fowler, Deputy Chief Broton and the Syracuse Police Department have conducted themselves with complete professionalism and integrity throughout this process," Miner said. "We are focused on trying to find the truth in this highly charged environment."