Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants


Sworn / PI confict of interest from the other side
by Edward L. Woody

January 5, 2003

This could be an even worse conflict of interests than I first thought.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see previous letter from December 10th -- > Letter to Chief Bratton: Official LAPD policy allows abuse - either be a cop, or be a private eye ... but not both

It just occurred to me that anyone who may have hired an attorney to defend them in a criminal case might have received less of a defense than they deserved or paid for.

What if the law firm they retained hired a private investigator for their case ... a licensed private eye who was also a sworn police officer ... and they were convicted because that police officer / private investigator sided with the police department, withholding, ignoring, or never looked for evidence which would have freed the client?

Simply put, how can private investigators / police officers properly investigate the defense of their clients, if they are loyal to the police department?

How many cases could be involved? Hard to tell, because no one convicted will ever know whether the P.I. they paid to work their case was also a cop ... unless a list of all cop / private eyes and their client lists are made public.

It seems to me that the appeals court could be very very busy processing all the cases that may have been corrupted this way. I know many lawyers who would hire a cop / P.I. just to get their wealthy clients off later in appeals court.

This situation absolutely needs to be corrected ...

How can cops arrest criminals with one hand, help the criminals beat the case with the other hand, and take money with both hands? Where lies the loyalty of the police officer / private investigator?

Isn't this vigilante justice? The cop / P.I. becomes the judge, and decides whether or not the accused is guilty or not, based either on his loyalty to cash or to the police department. He'd have to decide whether to help the defense or the prosecution, as he sees fit ... or as finances dictate.

De Oppresso Liber,

Edward L. Woody

Los Angeles
323 / 850-6181