Franklin launches 2nd investigation to determine if employees broke procedures

Franklin launches 2nd investigation to determine if employees broke procedures (Image 1)

An internal investigation into improper use of a juvenile database by Franklin Police Department employees found no clear evidence of wrongdoing.

However, News 2 has obtained a copy of the report from the city of Franklin and found that the investigation raises enough red flags that city administrators are launching another internal investigation to see if employees broke rules and procedures.

“The investigation focused on allegations of inappropriate use of a juvenile database. That was basically a no finding as far as effort by Metro police as requested on my behalf. We recognized the importance of that investigation and seriousness of the allegation and metro did a thorough job, taking some three months,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey said. 

He added, “The evidence did not point to a specific finding, we moved on, but there were some issues identified in the investigative report itself regarding the conduct surrounding the investigative process, and we are looking at that now.”

According to the internal report conducted by Metro police at the request of the Franklin Police Department and later obtained by News 2, a detective claimed a co-worker, in the summer of 2012, inappropriately accessed a sensitive juvenile database that allegedly contains information regarding one of Police Chief's Dave Rahinsky's children.

The report also states the detective that made the claim had concerns about what she may have seen on her co-worker's computer screen.  However, she did not express her concerns to supervisors.

On May 3, 2013, News 2 reporter Andy Cordan called the detective to ask a few questions about the case.

According to the report, the detective states, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Immediately following Cordan's phone call, the detective meets with Chief Rahinsky and tells him what allegedly transpired the year before.

“There's never any indication that anyone who wasn't on the approved investigative team for juvenile cases ever accessed the database and that is very limited group that is maybe four people in our entire police organization,” Stuckey said.

He continued, “We take seriously the child advocacy center who manages that system we take seriously the integrity of protecting juvenile information.”

The report indicates the detective with concerns should have immediately reported the alleged violation back in 2012.

The report also indicates the detective's co-worker denies the allegations and is “adamant she did not search the NCA Trak or any other database and the detective is also adamant she didn't show the other detective any information.”

News 2 asked Stuckey on Monday if one of the detectives is being less than honest.

“Yes, and that is why you try and get evidence and there was no evidence to support one side or the other. It's one of those things that you can't go with your gut feeling, or what you think, you have to go where the evidence takes you. And we didn't have evidence that validated the allegation,” he said.

After multiple interviews and computer forensics, Metro's report indicates there is not conclusive evidence of a juvenile database breach, but Metro investigators document numerous incidents where Franklin employees are deceptive, using poor judgment and violating Franklin's city departmental policies.

“Yeah, we will be following up with those employees and looking into that further in the coming days,” Stuckey said.

As it relates to the database investigation, it is now officially closed.

Stuckey said no one has been disciplined and that a second investigation regarding other possible city violations will begin soon.

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