Wednesday 30 November 2022
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Onondaga County DA Opens Investigation Into SPD’s Deputy Chief

By Staff



Syracuse Police Deputy Chief Shawn Broton

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick’s office has opened a criminal investigation into Syracuse Police Department Deputy Chief Shawn Broton’s conduct, for releasing the sealed arrest record of an employee in the DA’s office, reports stated.

Syracuse’s Post Standard has reported Broton revealed a sealed arrest record to the Liverpool police chief last year, which showed Liverpool’s newly hired part-time officer, Peter Rauch, had a felony arrest record.

The DA’s office also employs Rauch as a process server.

As a result, Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio recently asked a judge to appoint a special prosecutor to the case, writing, “the victim of the alleged criminal conduct is a member of the district attorneys staff, and the perpetrator of said conduct is a deputy police chief of the Syracuse Police Department. Therefore, we are requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor to complete this investigation to determine if, and what, criminal charges should be filed.”

Reportedly, the charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Rauch’s 2006 arrest had been dismissed, then sealed from the public. However, Rauch signed a waiver allowing the release of privileged information to the Liverpool police department.

Both the DA’s office and SPD have declined to comment on the matter.

This move is the latest amongst several which have come following a longstanding feud between Fitzpatrick’s office, and SPD Chief Frank Fowler. The feud began in 2011, during an investigation into allegations of child-molesting against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.

Since then, SPD has launched its own investigations, multiple times, into Fitzpatrick’s office, amidst allegations of the DA’s misconduct, as well.

Most recently, Broton and Fowler have sought a special prosecutor to investigate Fitzpatrick’s confiscation of a video camera from a man who had videotaped the DA’s speech during an office Christmas party in 2011.

Subsequently, Broton’s lawyer said the DA unfairly targeted Broton, as the result of a grudge against the SPD.

Supreme Court Justice James Tormey has reportedly appointed Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara as special prosecutor for the case against Broton; however, McNamara has backed out of the investigation, due to the fact that his son is an employee of the Onondaga County DA’s office.