Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Did A Sex Scandal Force Police Watchdog Kelvyn Anderson Out?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

He gained a reputation as a reformer and a watchdog while investigating allegations of police misconduct. But did his own misconduct, in the form of an alleged sex scandal, force Kelyvn Anderson out of office?

Anderson, the executive director of Police Advisory Commission, which investigates allegations of police misconduct, resigned last week.

His departure was first reported on Feb. 2 by  newsworks.org. In the story, where Anderson was hailed as a "longtime reformer," he explained that he was "leaving to pursue opportunities for consulting around police and community issues."

Later that same day, Anderson told The Philadelphia Inquirer that a recent executive order from Mayor Jim Kenney broadening the commission's duties had provided "the right opportunity for a new leader to step in," the newspaper reported.

But knowledgable sources tell a different story --- that Anderson's departure from office was proceeded by an investigation of the Police Department's Special Victims Unit. An investigation into allegations that Anderson had a sexual relationship with a woman who was appealing a police misconduct case against officers in the Northeast Detectives Division.

According to sources, the woman went to see Anderson to protest her complaint of police misconduct, which was determined by Internal Affairs to be unfounded. The two allegedly began a sexual relationship in exchange for Anderson allegedly getting those misconduct complaints reinstated.

When the woman supposedly decided that Anderson had defaulted on that promise, she went to see the District Attorney's Office, who sent her to the Special Victims Unit. When asked for proof of an affair, the woman supposedly showed the cops text messages on her cell phone from Anderson, sources say.

When the cops called Anderson on the woman's cell phone, he declined to talk until he consulted his lawyer.

The investigation into the woman's claims, however, supposedly ended with a call from a top official in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, who allegedly instructed SVU to shut down the investigation of Anderson.

A spokesman for the D.A. denied that charge.

"The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office does not discuss its investigations, including investigations done by the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit," wrote Cameron Kline, a spokesman for District Attorney Seth Williams in an email.

"The office does not go into details about our charging decisions and we certainly do not 'shut down' investigations," Kline wrote. "Each charging decision is made on the evidence, and with the highest prosecutorial standards."

A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson responded to a request for comment by saying, "Contact Mr. Anderson for the reason of his resignation."

That hasn't been easy.

Anderson did not return phone messages seeking comment. At his old office, Edwin Pace, a special investigator for the Police Advisory Commission, said that Anderson "moved on for advancement in his career."

When asked about allegations of a sex scandal, Pace replied, "I really have no knowledge about that, sir."

Anderson, who has been executive director of the Police Advisory Commission since 2013, was "a top watchdog for the department as it made significant changes to its use of force policies and began a pilot program for body camera use, among other initiatives," the Inquirer reported.

Mike Dunn, a spokesman for Mayor Kenney, was quoted in both the Newsworks and Inquirer stories about Kenney's search for a replacement for Anderson. But when Big Trial called last week for comment, Dunn wouldn't come to the phone.

Instead, Dunn referred a request for comment about Anderson's departure to another Kenney spokesperson, Lauren Hitt. This is called passing the buck. Hitt did not respond to calls and emails, and is presumably still hiding under her desk over at City Hall.

Ralph Cipriano can be reached at ralph@bigtrial.net.

2 comments:

  1. Why didn't I read this in the Inquirer? Is Lauren Hitt still hiding under her desk?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Probably. But the Inky got on this story today, and in a very classy move, also credited Big Trial for breaking it:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime/Philly-Police-investigating-Kelvyn-Anderson-former-head-of-Police-Advisory-Commission.html

    ReplyDelete

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