A week before she retired, the Philadelphia Daily News reported on her hiring in Colwyn and an ensuing investigation by the Philadelphia police's Internal Affairs Bureau.
Rutland said that he had vetoed Bilal's appointment but that the council still hired her, which created a tempest in the borough of 2,200 residents. Under state law, the mayor of a borough oversees public safety and controls the police department, he said.
According to the search warrant, Philadelphia police twice denied Bilal's request for outside employment in Colwyn. She held both jobs simultaneously, however. The warrant states that she is being investigated for alleged theft - apparently for getting paychecks from two departments.
In an interview, Bilal said she carefully separated her work in Philadelphia and Colwyn, where there are 10 part-time officers, including herself.
"I never worked there on city time, never, ever," said Bilal, who is president of the Guardian Civic League, which represents black officers. "This is a malicious attempt to damage my credibility."
Bilal said "a few bigoted politicians" who run Colwyn were trying to discredit her.
"There's some racist stuff going on here," she said. "They're making it out to be more than what it is. . . . It's ridiculous."
Bilal said the investigation was being conducted by Philadelphia police, who subpoenaed payroll records from Colwyn. The warrant was signed by a Delaware County district judge and the FBI's involvement was only to provide the computer technician, she said.
Rutland, who is white, said there was no racial motivation on the part of local officials because "none of us called anyone in" to investigate.
He said Colwyn, which borders Southwest Philadelphia, is about 80 percent black.
Crystal Powell, Colwyn's solicitor, said she was aware a warrant had been served but could not divulge any further information. The Delaware County District Attorney's Office confirmed it assisted Philadelphia police in serving the warrant but declined to give details.
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