No Criminal Charges For LPD Detective Accused Of Backdating Poli - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

No Criminal Charges For LPD Detective Accused Of Backdating Police Report

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A detective for the Lansing Police Department accused of backdating a police report during a trial will not face criminal charges, according to Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt. 

Detective Cathy Farrell was accused last October of changing the date on a supplemental police report to make it look like she turned in documents to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office in April 2012. Farrell was the lead detective on the case of Bryan Farmer, a man accused of sexually assaulting a mentally-ill woman. The documents in question were cell phone records related to the case.


After prosecutors realized there were discrepancies in the evidence, they turned Farrell’s case over to the attorney general to avoid a conflict of interest. The attorney general’s office then appointed Vailliencourt as a special prosecutor to investigate. Michigan State Police assisted with the probe.

Vaillencourt said on Monday no criminal charges will be filed because there was no evidence that suggested Farrell’s actions altered the outcome of the Farmer case.

However, Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski said his department will still conduct an internal investigation.
"The whole purpose of the investigation is to determine if she violated any policies and procedures of the Lansing Police Department,” said Yankowski. “And if she is found to have violated and policies and procedures, she will be held accountable. And again, that could range anywhere from a counseling notation to termination."

Yankowski said the investigation could take up to 90 days. A lawyer for Farrell insists the results of that probe find his client innocent. "I'm concerned about the fact that people think that there was some kind of ethical violation in the first place,” said Patrick O’Keefe. “Whether or not she backdated a police report isn't really the issue. The issue is if she did anything criminal and she certainly did not."

Other legal experts said undervaluing the role of ethics in this case sets a bad precedent, and could put citizens’ rights at risk. “Police officers are constantly placed in a position where it is their testimony and their testimony alone that convicts a citizen,” said attorney Andrew Abood. “And it is often a police report that is relied on by court-appointed lawyers to determine the facts. And therefore it is critical that all material facts are accurate. And there is no reason to backdate a police report, ever.”

Chief Yankowski said his department has high standards for ethics and police integrity, and that public trust is a priority. “Any time we’re dealing with police legitimacy, public trust issues, certainly we hold our officers to the highest accountable levels,” he said. “When it comes to any complaints against an individual officer or the organization…we hold ourselves accountable.”


Farrell remains on paid administrative leave.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Like her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter or email her at emorrow@wlns.com.
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