From today’s copblock:
Former Greece, NY Police Chief Merritt Rahn, now a convicted criminal who has served about 2 1/2 years in State prison for four felonies and three misdemeanors related to his cover-up of serious crimes committed by two of his former officers, has been granted parole.
In 2008 former Rochester, NY Police officer and Greece Police Sgt. Nick Joseph was off duty, drinking and doing cocaine at Spenders bar on Lyell Ave. in Rochester, NY when he got behind the wheel of his brother David Joseph’s (Joseph is a Sgt. with the Rochester, NY Police department) Ford Fusion and while racing on interstate 390 North, doing in excess of 80 miles per hour, rear ended a stalled vehicle which was parked on the shoulder.
In that vehicle was Alexis Sharpe, a young pregnant mother.
The impact ruptured Sharpe’s placenta and she had to undergo emergency surgery, forcing her to deliver her daughter, Azaria, 14 weeks prematurely.
Azaria spent 93 days in the hospital and suffers ongoing medical problems.
Joseph fled under the cover of darkness immediately after crashing into Sharpe’s vehicle.
The incident led to Greece, NY Police Sgt. Nick Joseph being convicted of aggravated vehicular assault, two counts of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and first-degree perjury; as well as two misdemeanors: driving while ability impaired and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Key evidence in Joseph’s trial included surveillance video from the bar which showed Joseph downing drink after drink, as well as cocaine residue on the airbag of the Ford Fusion.
Nick Joseph was sentenced 3 to 7 years in New York State prison.
The investigation into Joseph’s incident led to former Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn also being charged with several felonies in connection with Joseph’s hit and run, including guilty of tampering with public records, hindering a prosecution, falsifying business records, falsely reporting an incident, and two counts of official misconduct in an attempt to cover up the Joseph incident.
Merritt Rahn was also found guilty of offering a false instrument for filing in the case of former Greece Police officer Gary Pignato’s background check.
In Rahn’s 2009 trial, cell phone records showed several calls made between Joseph and Rahn after Joseph’s hit and run.
It is believed that Rahn tried to cover-up for Joseph, including telling Joseph not to immediately go to the hospital for a cut on his forehead which he suffered in the accident, so as to avoid blood tests which would have shown alcohol and cocaine.
Merritt Rahn was convicted and sentenced 1 2/3 to 5 years in New York State prison.
But he served just 2 and half years….
Another “heroic” action – and “heroic” double standard on display….