Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Akron officer gets bumped for Cynthia George comments

I think this one may be the talk-about story of the day ...

Veteran Akron detective Vince Felber, who co-authored "Perfect Beauty" about the Cynthia George case, has now been reassigned from the investigative unit to answering phones in the radio room. Police brass have launched an official internal investigation to see if Felber's comments broke any rules or procedures -- which ones we don't know yet.

I expect this one will become a major First Amendment debate. Should an officer be able to talk or write about a case he/she worked on once the case is officially cosed? Or should officers be limited in what information they can release as it might defame the department and/or release key investigative techniques?

The book hit the shelves three weeks ago, although I had a heck of a time getting a copy today. The area Barnes and Nobles were sold out . .and the Borders at Chapel Hill sold their last copy before I got there. At this hour, one of our Akron producers is driving fast to Montrose to try and score me a copy before tonight's 6 p.m. broadcast.

I spoke briefly with Felber by phone and he sounded confident that he hadn't gone too far. He told me, "most of what I have to say, I said in the book. The public has a right to know what really happened. I told a true story."

APD leaders aren't saying much right now ... other than confirming that Felber has been reassigned and that an internal investigation should take about three weeks. FOP #7 President Paul Hlynsky says the rank and file are backing Felber, and that there's nothing the public would find in the book that it couldn't have found through a public records request.

Several Akron officers tell me Felber is as good as it gets when it comes to investigating crimes in Akron .. and that he's meticulous with details. But after 16 years on the job, including the last 12 in the Detective Bureau, Felber is now off the streets .... Stay tuned ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hehehe can't wait to read it!