Records show officers involved in corruption case filed for bankruptcy

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:


ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News is learning that several of the officers charged in the federal police corruption investigation experienced major money troubles.

Ten former and current police officers are facing federal charges for taking cash bribes in exchange for protection during purported drug deals.

"If you have money troubles, you are going to look for ways to make money," said William Thomas Jr., who is a former federal prosecutor. Thomas headed up the Drug Unit at the U.S. Attorney's office in Atlanta.

Channel 2's Rachel Stockman dug into the officers' financial backgrounds and found out that several of them filed for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Northern Georgia.

According to records, Veteran Police Officer Kelvin Allen filed for Chapter 7 in 2005, former DeKalb County Jail officer Monyette McLaurin filed for bankruptcy in 2006, and DeKalb Jail officer Chase Valentine filed for Chapter 7 in 2005.

"It certainly could provide some backdrop on why they did what they did," Thomas explained.

The 10 former and current officers were arrested after an undercover sting operation, which prosecutors said revealed that the officers were paid thousands of dollars in exchange for protecting drug transactions.

According to the complaint, some of the officers would use their patrol vehicles during the deals, and would carry their service weapons.

Steve Berne, the attorney for veteran Atlanta police officer Kelvin Allen, who is charged in the case, said, "He's not guilty of the charges and we expect he will be exonerated."

Channel 2 Action News continues to make efforts to reach the other officers for comment.

William Thomas Jr. said proving police corruption is a difficult task.

"Certainly, the existence of tapes is going to be a significant hurdle for these individuals to overcome," Thomas explained.