Cheese, Parsley, Flowers apparently not a good mix in towing business

Posted: May 11, 2014

K&B AUTO-BODY shop, a family-owned business in Frankford, has a "friendly office staff" and prides itself on its "ability to offer quality work with excellent service," according to an online description of the company.

Apparently co-owner William Cheeseman considered a police radio dispatcher to be part of the family, too.

Dorian Parsley, 44, a 16-year veteran of the department, is accused by the feds of giving confidential police information - such as locations of auto accidents - to Cheeseman and two other tow-truck operators, Stepfon Flowers and Chad Harris, who at times worked for K&B.

She allegedly did it in exchange for bribes, collecting thousands of dollars in cash, from February 2011 to December 2013, authorities say.

The U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday announced the unsealing of an indictment Thursday against Parsley, of Philadelphia; Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J.; Flowers, 24, and Harris, 22, both of the city. All four are charged with conspiracy and bribery. Parsley and Flowers are also charged with honest-services fraud.

According to the indictment, Parsley "circumvented the [Police Department's] rotational towing program and surreptitiously texted" locations of car accidents and disabled vehicles "from her personal cellphone directly to certain tow-truck operators who paid [her] cash bribes in exchange for the information."

For extra cash, Parsley allegedly also gave the tow-truck operators the names and addresses of vehicle owners.

A few years back, "in response to a series of highly publicized, violent encounters between tow truck operators," the city instituted a rotational towing program "to stop wreck chasing and to prevent accident victims from being taken advantage [of] by tow truck operators who engaged in price gouging," the indictment says.

K&B, on Kinsey Street near Worth, was on the rotation list.

Flowers gave Parsley $100 to $150 a week in exchange for the locations of auto accidents from February 2011 to December 2013. Cheeseman allegedly made weekly payments of $100 to $200 to Parsley from September 2012 to December 2013, according to the indictment.

And Harris allegedly paid Parsley about $200 about once a week from April to October 2013.

Police yesterday said Parsley, a civilian employee, is being suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Parsley's lawyer, Jonathan J. Sobel, said yesterday that he and his client "haven't gone through the indictment yet" and will be "looking to resolve the charges with the best results possible for Ms. Parsley."

Fortunato "Fred" Perri Jr., Cheeseman's lawyer, said, "We're still reviewing the facts and circumstances of the indictment and any other allegations made by the government." He added that "Mr. Cheeseman has been a well-respected member of the business community for the past couple of decades."

Both lawyers said their clients would plead not guilty.

Harris' lawyer, Anna Durbin, declined to comment. Gregory Pagano, Flowers' lawyer, did not return a call yesterday.


On Twitter: @julieshawphilly

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