3 parole board aides fired in wake of Philly cop's slaying

Walker
Walker
Posted: December 02, 2012

ASTATE parole officer and two of his bosses were fired Friday for their botched supervision of Rafael Jones, a career criminal who allegedly murdered a veteran Philly cop.

Authorities have said that Jones, 23, and an accomplice, Chancier McFarland, 19, stalked and gunned down Officer Moses Walker Jr. in North Philly on Aug. 18 during a botched robbery attempt.

The question of why Jones - who failed a drug test about a week before Walker's slaying - was still on the street soon took center stage.

On Aug. 30, Gov. Corbett ordered the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to conduct an internal investigation to determine if any employee errors or policy failures had occurred.

The investigation led to the firings of Jones' parole officer, Juan Rodriguez, and his supervisors, Rosa Hernandez and Michelle Rivera.

Walker's family filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the parole board, claiming that Rivera and Hernandez had denied a request from Rodriguez to have Jones arrested after he flunked the drug test.

"These employees were terminated due to violations of board procedures, the board's code of conduct, and shortcomings in the manner in which Jones was supervised," Michael Potteiger, the chairman of the state parole board, said in a statement Friday.

Potteiger said the board was considering replacing the agency's electronic-monitoring system, which requires the use of a landline phone, with GPS technology.

Jones was supposed to be under electronic monitoring, but there was no phone in his house.

Potteiger said he also called for the parole board to review its internal investigation process because he wasn't satisfied withhow long it took for the Jones investigation to be completed.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said he hopes Potteiger will release the findings of the investigation to the public.

"It's a start," McNesby said of the firings, "but it still doesn't bring back our guy."


On Twitter: @dgambacorta

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