The Philadelphia Police Department commissioner and the union are questioning the ethics of the two reporters behind a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on alleged department corruption, now slated for an HBO miniseries adaptation, saying that the reporters paid off one of their sources.
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, announced Wednesday that he had “evidence” that Daily News reporters Barbara Ruderman and Wendy Laker paid for utility bills, food, diapers and other gifts for a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a police officer, the Inquirer reported.
McNesby also claimed other parts of the story were fabricated, without citing specifics.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey reportedly questioned whether information in the award-winning “Tainted Justice” series of articles is accurate or if it is was “provided because of favors.”
Ruderman and Laker authored the series of articles about five years ago, reporting that five Philadelphia narcotics officers had faked search warrants, robbed bodega owners, and that one officer had sexually assaulted three women.
Federal prosecutors announced they would not file any criminal charges against any of the officers involved this spring, shortly after the publication of Ruderman and Laker’s book “Tainted Justice.”
Four of the officers named after the investigation were suspended but not fired. One was fired for related charges, but won a wrongful termination appeal at arbitration. The other four are also appealing the disciplinary actions taken against them related to these allegations.