Dispatcher, tow-truck operators plead not guilty

Posted: May 16, 2014

THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday.

Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward.

William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.

A fourth defendant, Stepfon Flowers, 24, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, had entered a not-guilty plea Wednesday.

All have been released on $25,000 bond.

According to an indictment unsealed last week, the four entered into a scheme in which Parsley texted confidential police information - such as locations of auto accidents - to the tow-truck operators in exchange for bribes. She allegedly collected thousands of dollars in cash from February 2011 to December 2013.

Under the Police Department's rotational-towing program, a dispatcher is first supposed to alert the next tow-truck operator on a call list about the location where a tow is needed.

The rotational system was instituted in 2011 after a series of highly publicized, violent encounters among tow-truck operators competing for business. In one case in September 2010, a Philadelphia tow-truck driver killed a rival operator.

On Twitter: @julieshawphilly

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