City Desk

Pershing Park Case: Celebrating The Scapegoats Part 2

Shooting, Columbia Heights

Earlier today, we linked to the Examiner's great investigative piece on District employee bonuses. Among the District employees that received a hefty bonus was none other than the Office of the Attorney General's scapegoat in the Pershing Park mess: Tom Koger.

Koger's boss, who must have approved his more than $2,000 bonus in October, is none other than Ellen Efros whom AG Peter Nickles assigned to take cover the two Pershing Park cases after Koger was reassigned.  Good to know performance did not get in the way of a sweet bonus.

Indeed, the Pershing Park case has a history of treating their scapegoats well.

Koger wasn't the first official to be rewarded after falling on his sword.That honor goes to Assistant Chief Peter Newsham. When the D.C. Council first began probing into the false arrests from Sept. 27, 2002, Newsham was the police official who took the blame for the arrests.

The false arrests have cost the District millions in settlement agreements and lawyer fees. Recently, Newsham's attorney filed a request for more than $40,000 in legal fees. And that $40,000 only covered two months worth of legal work. The case has been going on since the fall2002.

According to court records, Pershing Park only cost Newsham a written reprimand "for failing to follow the guidelines in the mass demonstration handbook."

Chief Charles Ramsey testified in deposition that the reprimand was eventually removed from Newsham's file after a few years.

Ramsey also noted that Newsham "didn't lose any responsibilities as a consequence of this mass arrest" and that the official is "one of the best members that the department has ever had."

Either Newsham masterminded the false arrests of hundreds of individuals on Sept. 27, 2002 or he was simply an outstanding official who took one for the team. The department's actions suggest what the D.C. Council suspected: that Newsham was just the fall guy.

Newsham currently an assistant chief in charge of investigations.

*photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Even the French peasants were less apathetic than the DC citizenry - & far, far braver. What does it take for the beaten down poor people in DC to revolt?

    Why are the self-obsessed navel-gazing transient yuppies so uninvolved in DC other than kickball leagues, restaurants, & bars? Why do they have no interests in helping the people here achieve full civil rights?

    The student population in DC rivals that of many "college towns" in percentage terms. Yet the students here are mindless sheep. Is it b/c other than Maryland & UDC, the colleges are private schools with kids who are simply more selfish than public school kids?

    When we bring out the guillotine, we start with the self-obsessed navel-gazing transient yuppies. Revolution! Power to the people!

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Double all these bonuses. Give Pete Nickles a $100,000 bonus. DC cops won a huge victory in this case.

    Champagne for everyone! Even though kicking the shit out of a bunch of kindergarten liberal retards is no big deal, hey - a win is a win. Pete & the boys won - big time. Bonuses for every motherfucker who destroyed evidence, beat the shit out of kids, hog-tied punks, & then tossed a few dollars to the cheap whores.

    Huge, huge win for Pete Nickles. Congratulations, Mr. Nickles.