Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Colwyn police dept., borough hall raided by investigators

Local and federal law enforcement officers served search warrants on Colwyn Borough Hall and the police department this morning as part of an investigation into Rochell Bilal, a Philadelphia cop and president of the Guardian Civic League who has been moonlighting as a public-safety director with Colwyn, according to the Daily News' William Bender, who was at the scene.

Colwyn police dept., borough hall raided by investigators

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FBI agents leave the Colwyn Borough Police Station on May 9, 2013. They also visited the borough hall building. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )<br />
FBI agents leave the Colwyn Borough Police Station on May 9, 2013. They also visited the borough hall building. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )
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Local and federal law enforcement officers served search warrants on Colwyn Borough Hall and the police department this morning as part of an investigation into Rochelle Bilal, a Philadelphia cop and president of the Guardian Civic League who has been moonlighting as a public-safety director with Colwyn, according to the Daily News' William Bender, who was at the scene.

In April, Bender and Daily News writers Dana DiFilippo and Barbara Laker reported on Bilal's side gig, which is a violation of city police rules. Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he'd order an Internal Affairs investigation into Bilal after he was informed of her second job.

Looks like he wasn't kidding.

Bill said law enforcement officers with the Delaware County District Attorney's Criminal Investigation Division, Philadelphia police and the FBI's Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory raided borough hall and the police department this morning.

A source familiar with the investigation told Bill that it revolved around Bilal.

Colwyn Mayor Daniel Rutland, who previously said he couldn't gain access to Bilal's payroll records even though they're supposed to be public, said he didn't know what today's raid was about.

"I'm in the dark," Rutland told Bill. "Who would have thought this little town could be like this? Amazing."

If a raid in Colwyn sounds familiar, that's because it is. One year ago, on May 4, 2012, county detectives raided both the borough hall and police station looking for information on the alleged Tasing of a juvenile in a holding cell by borough police Ofc. Trevor Parham.

Parham was eventually charged with simple assault and official oppression for Tasing the teen. He admitted to the Tasing but a judge found him not guilty of the charges following a bench trial in October. 

Today, Bill reports that Parham was back in uniform, standing in front of the Colwyn police station when authorities executed their search warrants.

Word is that Colwyn has a regularly-scheduled borough council meeting tonight. If tonight's meeting is anything like the council meeting I attended last year following the Tasing, there's sure to be fireworks.

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About this blog
In The Daily Delco blog, Daily News reporters William Bender and Stephanie Farr dig up all the dirt - from crazy crimes to political malfeasance and everything in between - in Delaware County.

E-mail tips to Bender at benderw@phillynews.com or call him at 215-964-2099. Follow him on Twitter: @wbender99

E-mail tips to Farr at farrs@phillynews.com or call her at 215-854-4225. Follow her on Twitter: @farfarraway

William Bender and Stephanie Farr
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