KRMFL Suit Shows Devastating Consequences of City’s Decades-Long Failure to Monitor Police Informant Use

KRMFL filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a man who was falsely accused and convicted of unlawful firearm possession as a result of former detective Philip Nordo’s outrageous misconduct.

On February 19, a grand jury issued a presentment accusing Nordo, a former detective in the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homicide Division, of multiple counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault, stalking, official oppression, institutional sex assault, theft by deception, and securing execution of documents by deception. The presentment accuses Nordo of repeatedly grooming informants as sexual conquests, and of using his position of power and public trust to protect those informants at the expense of others. For decades, the presentment alleges, Nordo has cultivated intimate, inappropriate relationships with criminal informants and has abused those relationships by sexually assaulting the informants.

As documented in the Philadelphia Inquirer and outlined in the complaint, Nordo’s informants are not the only victims of his illegal behavior. In an attempt to protect one of his informants and sexual victims, Nordo fabricated evidence that a firearm which likely belonged to the informant instead belonged to KRMFL client Gerald Camp. As a result, Mr. Camp was convicted of illegal firearm possession. He spent 22 months in prison before his defense attorneys at the Defender Association of Philadelphia uncovered evidence of an inappropriate relationship between Nordo and the informant. Mr. Camp’s charges were dismissed and his conviction vacated.

As Wednesday’s complaint outlines, Mr. Camp’s nearly-two-year confinement is due, in large part, to failures on the part of the City of Philadelphia to train, supervise, and discipline police officers with respect to the use of informants. The City, the complaint alleges, knew of a long history of officer misconduct regarding informants and was aware of credible reports of Nordo’s extraordinary misconduct dating back nearly fourteen years. Instead of disciplining Nordo, the City promoted him to the Homicide Division, the PPD’s most prestigious investigative unit.

As Richard Ross, the Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner, acknowledged in an article reporting on Nordo’s criminal conduct, “What may have happened in this case is a failure of oversight from a supervisory standpoint, in what Nordo was doing and what type of latitude that he had.”

KRMFL attorneys Susan M. Lin and Jonathan H. Feinberg are litigating the case.

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