Parole for former Phila. cop in utility theft case

Posted: August 08, 2014

Former Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Aisha Perry seems to have learned that a 10-minute rant at the judge is not the path to freedom.

After a brief court appearance in which she said she was "humbled" and sorry and respected the jury that convicted her for stealing utility services, Perry was paroled from her six- to 23-month prison term on Thursday by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Earl W. Trent.

Trent had sent Perry to prison on June 12 after two extraordinary in-court tirades, one after a jury found her guilty and the other when she was sentenced and accused the prosecutor of being a liar who was "jealous of my lifestyle."

In sending Perry to jail, Trent cited her lack of remorse and said her "rehabilitative potential is poor."

Perry, 55, has since had the chance to consider her situation, ensconced in Lehigh County Prison for security reasons. She wrote letters of apology, and defense attorney Tariq El-Shabazz asked Trent to reconsider his sentence.

Trent told the lawyers he didn't need to hear more. He denied the reconsideration motion after Assistant District Attorney Terri Domsky argued that it was not merited.

Instead, Trent immediately paroled Perry to begin her five years probation and start paying her $5,000 fine and restitution totaling $11,166 to PECO and the Philadelphia Gas Works for utilities the jury found she stole bypassing meters at her properties.

It's unclear if Perry still plans to appeal her conviction and sentence as she said at sentencing. So far, court records show, no appeal has been filed.

Perry, who worked 31 years on the police department and was a "whistleblower" about police corruption, was tried with George Suarez, 56, a 26-year veteran officer, who was also convicted of stealing utilities.

Unlike Perry, however, Suarez apologized for his conduct and by sentencing had already reimbursed PECO $4,833.

Trent credited Suarez' remorse and sentenced him to 6 to 12 months of house arrest, a $1,000 fine and five years probation.

Perry was found guilty of stealing gas and electricity at her home on Winchester Avenue in the Northeast and an investment property she and Suarez bought in the 1900 block of West Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia.

Suarez's utility thefts involved the Girard Avenue property and two others he owns in the 2200 block of West Tioga Street in Tioga and the 500 block of Devereaux Avenue in Crescentville.

jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

www.inquirer.com/crimeandpunishment

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