Fired Police Officer Hits The Jackpot In Court

Posted: October 07, 1988

The payoff came yesterday for a fired member of the now-defunct Police Department's Chief Inspector's Squad.

A jury acquitted former Officer Howard Wiley, 46, of taking about $18,000 in bribes from five admitted gamblers. The gamblers said the money had bought protection from arrests during 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Wiley, a 23-year veteran when he was fired in November 1986, denied ever taking a dime from any of the gamblers.

"I'm glad," Wiley said last night of the acquittal. "It's been a tough two years for myself and my family and my friends."

During the period in question, Wiley said his squad made more than 125 arrests.

"I'm just glad that it's over and I hope I can get my job back," he said.

Defense attorney F. Emmett Fitzpatrick contended the gamblers had falsely accused Wiley to save themselves from prosecution.

"These people were doing this because it was an easy way for them to continue their numbers operations," said Fitzpatrick. "They're still in business. One said he was phasing out, but he's been phasing out since January."

One of Wiley's former co-workers, Chuck Walters, testified that the gamblers disliked Wiley because he was too tough on them.

"They hated him out there," said Walters.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Wzorek had accused Wiley of taking the ''easy money" payoffs on a monthly basis.

In January, a Common Pleas jury reported it was deadlocked after hearing the same evidence against Wiley, and was dismissed.

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