DA Fitzpatrick accuses Police Chief of sabotage in Fine investigation

DA Bill Fitzpatrick / file photo

At an unrelated press conference Wednesday morning, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick revealed new details about the Bernie Fine investigation.

Fitzpatrick is blaming the Syracuse Police and Chief Frank Fowler for leaking that information to The Post-Standard in an attempt to discredit his office. He's also accusing the police department of sabotaging his investigation by withholding records the DA TMs office says it needs for its investigation.

Now I have a chief that TMs intentionally trying to sabotage an investigation. A chief who is preventing finding out if an innocent man has had his reputation besmeared or whether a person has been victimized in a most violent disgusting manner. That TMs my objective, to find and get to the truth of that, and I will do it with or without Frank Fowler. He is irrelevant to me, Fitzpatrick said.

Somebody, it could only be one of two people, it had to be either the Chief Frank Fowler or the Deputy Chief Sean Broton, leaked that affidavit to the press at the same time their attorney is in front of Judge Murphy saying we cant turn this over because it would compromise their investigation, said Fitzpatrick.

The two sides are clashing right now, after the DA subpoenaed records from the police investigation.

Fitzpatrick said, Is anybody in this room going to pick up the phone or go over to City Hall and say, ~Mayor, what are you doing about the fact that your Chief and/or your Deputy Chief leaked information to the media in an effort to embarrass the DA office, contrary to your specific instructions? TM Whose in charge?

Fitzpatrick claims that since the subpoena, police have been retaliating by shouting obscenities and leaving messages on his car.

The relationship between Chief Fowler and Deputy Chief Broton is not good. The adults are not running the Syracuse Police Department, said Fitzpatrick.

It TMs taken a national case to expose what TMs been happening the last two years, namely, you do not have a police chief. You have a fiefdom. And somebody has to step up tell it like it is, and let the adults take over, Fitzpatrick said.

When Fitzpatrick was asked if his involvement with the Boeheim Foundation would be a conflict of interest, he said that any claim of that sort would be absurd. Fitzpatrick stated that Jim Boeheim is not under investigation.

Fitzpatrick responded to reports that a friend of the man accusing Bernie Fine of molestation actually contacted the district attorney's office in 2002, but got no response. Fitzpatrick denies that his office ignored the phone calls. Fitzpatrick says that he believes the friend did call, but there they could be any number of innocent reasons he did not get message.

We put in a call to the police department, but have not received a response yet.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said the department would not release information to anyone until it was done.