Self-Proclaimed Whistleblower Phil Roberts Wasn't Retaliated Against by the Phoenix Police Department, Feds Say

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Phoenix police officials should have more closely examined allegations made by police Sergeant Phil Roberts about falsified border-related kidnapping statistics before deciding to investigate him for making those claims, according to a federal investigative report obtained by New Times.

That message, found in a 33-page report by the U.S. Office of Inspector General, was hardly a victory for the embattled police sergeant who claims he has endured repeated acts of retaliation at the hands of police officials for exposing the department's fake kidnapping statistics.

However, the OIG did not find that internal investigations or reassignments that Roberts faced in 2010 had anything to do with his claims against the police department.

Roberts, who calls himself a whistleblower, wanted the feds to say the reason he was pulled from the unit investigating kidnapping cases, placed under investigation for misconduct, assigned to desk duty, reassigned to jail duty and prohibited from working off-duty jobs was because he shed light on bloated stats.

But they didn't.

At the heart of this specific "whistleblower" matter is a 2009 federal $1.7 million grant that Phoenix police received to help combat the 300-plus kidnapping cases tied to human smuggling or drug running. It's those case where undocumented immigrants or people in the drug trade are taken hostage until family members or shady business associates fork over money or drugs.

As a way to protect tax dollars, these grants come with "whistleblower protection" clause for individuals who expose gross mismanagement, gross waste, or an abuse of authority when it comes to those specific dollars.

For reasons unrelated to his kidnapping stats allegations, things already were looking bad for the 25-year police veteran. Roberts had "a serious suspension and/or termination pending" against him, according to police command staff interviewed by federal investigators.

(What got Roberts twisted up were his nearly 50 memos packed with allegations of corruption and fraud against police officials, which internal city investigators kept finding were riddled with misleading and false statements.)

The feds note in their investigation that Roberts was given notice that he was under investigation and placed on desk duty on August 26, 2010. On October 7, 2010, he was reassigned to jail detail and was prohibited from working off-duty jobs.

Roberts says all of those actions taken against him were because he wrote an August 2010 memo packed with allegations about bad stats.

But the OIG report details that Roberts was given his notice of investigation in August 2010, not because of his kidnapping stats memo, but because he was out on "stress leave" from December 29, 2009 until August 23, 2010.

The city simply couldn't serve him the notice while he was out on leave so officials waited for him to come back.

When he got back on August 23, 2010, he was promptly given his notice and scheduled for an interview on August 31, 2010 by Professional Standards Bureau investigators. Before that interview could take place, Roberts again went out on "stress leave" from August 30, 2010 through October 4, 2010.

If Roberts had not gone out on his well-timed "stress leave," the city would have given him notice that he was under investigation before he wrote his bad stats memo and the Phoenix Police Department would have been spared this federal investigation of retaliation against one of their own.

While this kidnapping stats saga is like a impossibly tangled ball of yarn, the federal investigation -- which Roberts asked for -- gives an outsider's view of his allegations.


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4 comments
Je5sterJackson
Je5sterJackson

The purpose of a blog entry in a newspaper? Really? Don't you want to know what is fact and what is fiction? Don't you want to know about the actions of someone in a position of power are?  Maybe you prefer someone to tell you what to think vs reading the facts and forming an opinion? Phoenix New Times doesn't take sides as far as I can see.  Republican or Demorcrat doesn't matter they are equal oportunity. 

Pxjustice
Pxjustice

Looks like the mud slinging is a tactic supported by the officer's union for their own personal vendettas and show of intimidation.  This Sgt is so narcissistic that he sacrificed his own waning reputation to throw a temper tantrum.  I hope he can live with any moments of sanity he has remaining to swallow the damage of his lies on the spin of kidnapping statistics.  How does he and the union explain making their own headlines using the numbers when it worked in their favor to gain attention on immigration laws.  Thankfully someone has provided the truth, He is not a whistleblower, he contributed to the stats not just in number but SPECIFIC details of what this means, he is on television citing them.  It sure sounds like nobody but PLEA believes him when you get down to it, and PLEA is far from having any integrity.  

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

What's the purpose of writing this blog entry?   Do the actions of one police sergeant who helped expose other police officers for wrongful usage of statistics for their own personal gain warrant a 5 page story about him?    Or is it because of his investigation into the latest poorly investigated crimes of the Baseline Killer which was hidden from some of the detectives already on the case?    That evidence he produced may have changed the outcome of the railroading suffered by the accused.    You're piling on and that's a fifteen yard penalty.   

Pxjustice
Pxjustice

I'm not sure if I was Roberts that I would want the support of someone who believes in the red herrings of the baseline case...  A jury heard it ALL and the suspect was convicted..hmm  .. by personal gain do you mean the reality of overtime associated with crimes that tend to happen 24/7 and not just during business hours.  OK then, perhaps you should read the original story where PHIL ROBERTS made over 60,000 sixty thousand!! dollars in JUST OVERTIME in the year he disputes as having high numbers of kidnapping activity.  While your at it, look up the definition of hypocrite, self absorbed, and delusional.  I also like the stream of consciousness dialogue mentioned in his 500 pages of inner monologue (OIG report).  There is also UNTRUTHFUL, ACTIVE COMPLAINER, NO MERIT, wow, sounds like lies to me. 

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