Union Co. DA: 39 cases dismissed due to lack of police paperwork - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union Co. DA: 39 cases dismissed due to lack of police paperwork

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MONROE, NC (WBTV) -

The Monroe Police Department was notified Tuesday by the Union County District Attorney's Office that 39 defendants' cases were being dismissed due to officers not completing the necessary investigation information in order for the cases to be prosecuted.

After meeting with District Attorney Trey Robison, Monroe City Manager John D'Agostino said the inaction and inability of officers to not complete the necessary paperwork needed for the district attorney to prosecute cases was inexcusable, according to a news release from the city of Monroe.

"What I want to say is that we are going to work very closely with the District Attorney's Office in a way that will result in a better delivery of justice because that is what Monroe tax-payers deserve," D'Agostino said in the release. "After speaking with Mr. Robison, it appears this negligence of duties is not a new issue and with a new city manager and new interim police chief, I assured him it will be rectified."

D'Agostino acknowledged in some cases that there may have been extenuating circumstances with the investigations and said interim Police Chief Bryan Gilliard has already implemented command structure changes to better monitor cases as well as made modifications to the computer case tracking system used by officers.

Additional changes include the possibility of a dedicated liaison between the police department and district attorney's office to better communicate investigation needs.

"This is a very serious issue that we accept full responsibility for," D'Agostino said in the release. "We welcome Mr. Robison's input and willingness to work together to ensure justice is served."

Gilliard is conducting an internal investigation to determine which officers are responsible for the case dismissals and to determine what additional measures need to be implemented.

Communicaitons officer Pete Hovanec said there are several officers under investigation.  

"This was more than one officer. We believe it was about ten officers, and we are still early in the investigation on our end, but the city manager and the police chief have made it very clear that there will be consequences for these officers," Hovanec said.

Each officer's actions will be evaluated and the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

"We are working extremely hard to ensure our entire department recognizes how significant and how serious this issue is," Gilliard said. "We have high expectations of our officers and this will not be tolerated."

According to Robison, the majority of the dismissed cases involved drug related charges or some type of financial fraud.

He also said none of the dismissed cases resulted in the release from jail any suspects charged.

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