PW's look at the week's misdeeds.

By Brian Hickey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 23 | Posted Mar. 21, 2001

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John Leca, a Philadelphia cop who left the force after accusing fellow officers of wrongdoing, lost a federal "whistleblower" suit last week that claimed, in part, that police officials denied him a promotion because he broke their blue wall of silence. In the suit, Leca sought the promotion, back pay and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. During an interview in the minutes leading up to the verdict, the 41-year-old told PW stories about ranking officers who let drunk drivers with suspended licenses in possession of cocaine drive away without charges, and about a boss who once encouraged Leca to ignore drugs found on the front seat of a police cruiser. Several years back, Leca claims, a captain wanted to let a tipsy stripper walk away from a DUI accident that killed her passenger. It was incidents like these that drove Leca to wear a wire and videotape fellow officers, documenting internal wrongdoing so he could expose it. But when he went to departmental investigators with the evidence he'd gathered, his peers found out and labeled him a rat. Now, more than three years after he quit the force to avoid firing, a jury in U.S. District Court handed down a decision not in Leca's favor, saying that the city, the police department and several individual officers did not, in fact, punish Leca for going to Internal Affairs. In the wake of last Wednesday's decision, Leca said, "I don't regret doing what I thought was right. There I was at the bottom of the food chain putting it all on the line. I guess I lost." Leca's problems started in the mid-'90s, when he made three visits to the Internal Affairs Division. In 1995, he told department investigators that his sergeant, Gregory J. Hauck, used a racial epithet to describe then-Commissioner Richard Neal. (Hauck got a five-day unpaid suspension.) A year later, he returned to IA with what he thought was proof that 26th District officers essentially let criminals walk in order to keep arrest statistics down. It was after this IA visit that the groundwork for his lawsuit was laid. "They denied my promotion to detective and gave me my first negative evaluation in eight years after that," Leca says. "This was all because I was doing my job. I thought they [the officers] were a danger to the public and were obstructing justice." But after going to IA, he was parceled off to a desk-jockey position reserved for officers who are "pregnant, injured or waiting to be indicted." He lasted less than two weeks in that position before turning in his badge and gun. But attorneys defending the city and police department offered a much different version of events. They said Leca had a tendency to consider any bit of guidance or correction as retaliation for speaking up and would then pen complaint letters to everyone from his superiors to former Attorney General Janet Reno. The list of witnesses in the eight-day trial included Police Commissioner John Timoney and Deputy Commissioner John Norris. In short, the defense said Leca's allegations had no merit. The jury agreed. Though the union wasn't named in the suit, Fraternal Order of Police President Richard Costello disputed those claims as well. "When it comes to crop circles and UFO sightings, I expect him to show up on the Discovery Channel," Costello said. Norris was less abrasive, saying he was happy "the department has been vindicated." Still, Leca says all he wanted was that boost to the detective rank so he could better support his six children. As for what he learned from the experience? "You can speak up. Just be ready to pay the price."

NOTE OF ALARM A group of unknown imbeciles plastered a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood with anti-Semitic posters last weekend, proving yet again that idiocy springs eternal. City Police Cpl. Jim Pauley says 76 posters with swastikas and the slogan "White and Proud" were found posted along several streets and on a few homes in the Frankford and Mayfair neighborhoods of Philly--areas that have been plagued by similar problems for about a year. The propaganda was found on Algard, Fanshawe, Hellerman, Revere, Robbins, Sackett and Walker streets, and along Unruh Avenue. Listed on the small white posters was a phone number for the American Nazi Party (ANP), as well as a message pointing potential hatemongers to the group's new and improved Web site. Hoping to track down the culprits, police sent the posters to a lab for fingerprinting. "What's unusual about this case is that the posters were handwritten. We haven't seen that before. They usually just print fliers off the American Nazi Party's Web site when they do this," says Joshua Bartash, assistant director of the local Anti-Defamation League. Offering user-friendly hate on its site, the Michigan-based ANP provides printable handbills including "Aryans Awake!" and "Why White Nationalism?" for a confused and impressionable target audience that believes "the only way to shock our people awake is through bold action!" Bartash says those fliers have sporadically popped up in Northeast Philly during the past year but don't usually focus on one particular hate group. "Someone went out of their way to do this. We have to figure out the motivation. It could be one or two people or a larger group. We're not quite sure." Investigators didn't say whether specific homes were targeted or if the signs were just scattered without a pattern. As of press time, nobody has been questioned in connection with the distribution.

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Comments 1 - 23 of 23
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1. John Leca said... on Nov 8, 2008 at 10:02PM

“I guess if people read ALL the articles about Joseph Dilacqua and his cover up of the DUI of then Capt. Brady they will figure it out. Philadelphia is a corrupt city and includes the judges who let Joseph Dilacqua and Brady walk free without explanation. As for the comment by Richard Costello (shooting his mouth off) I guess he wants to try and protect the FOP who was involved in Union Racketeering with Jim McDevitt calling me and asking me to drop the case against the Philly Police. Philadelphia Weekly should put ALL the articles on the internet. Maybe I will post the actual police documents on the internet which includes the Internal Affairs investigations..........”

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2. John Leca said... on Aug 21, 2012 at 05:16PM

“Correction Jim McDevitt was NOT the person who called me. It was in fact Kenny Rocks and the affidavit to the FBI reflects that.

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3. John Leca said... on Aug 21, 2012 at 05:40PM

“This information has been made public through use in Federal Court proceedings.



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4. John Leca said... on Aug 25, 2012 at 02:39PM


If you notice this Performance evaluation was prepared just a few days after I had gone to Internal Affairs on 10-9-1996 and made criminal accusations against both Sgt. Gregory Hauck and Lt. Joseph Dilacqua. Who prepared the Performance evaluation? Them. Another thing to note is that on the day I made my complaint to IAD Inspector John Norris called my Capt. William Sprenkle and notified him that I made complaints against him. Hauck and Dilacqua. The Capt. then notified both via phone. Not only of the complaints but also that I presented documents and referred to both audio and video taped evidence. IAD investigations are supposed to be confidential but apparently when a cop makes a complaint against a superior it is NOT.

I was not made aware that Hauck and Dilacqua had even done a Performance evaluation on me until...”

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5. John Leca said... on Aug 25, 2012 at 02:56PM

“On 10-9-1996 I spend 5 hours with IAD reporting what I see as criminal conduct of Dilacqua and Hauck. IAD calls Capt. William Sprenkle that same day and not only tells him that I was there BUT also that I have a substantial amount of evidence that ncludes documents and audio and video tape. Sprenkle then calls Hauck and Dilacqua who then prepare the Negative Performance Evaluation on 10-16-1996 just 7 days later. As you see it is unsigned because I was NEVER made aware that it existed until 2/7/1997 by Thomas Nestel. I contact the FOP and Kenny Rocks says that they will do nothing about it because it is past the time. So Police Supervisors who KNOW I have filed a serious IAD complaint get to prepare my evaluation, not present it to me for review or signature (placing it into my personnel file WITHOUT my knowledge) AND the FOP refuses to represent me or fight for me in anyway. BUT the can call me and tell me to drop my complaints in exchange for my Detective promotion.”

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6. John Leca said... on Aug 25, 2012 at 03:26PM

“As you can see I sent an affadavit to the FBI and even called them. I spoke with a female agent. I told her I worked for a "company" and gave her the circumstances. She said it was "extortion" and that someone would be in touch with me. She then asked what was the "company name"? I said the Philadelphia Police Department.

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7. John Leca said... on Aug 25, 2012 at 06:30PM

“BTW I have as of today NEVER been even asked to sign the evaluation by ANYONE in the Philadelphia Police Department.”

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8. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 02:58PM

“Philadelphia Police ERASE CRIME

Philadelphia Police Chopshop NEVER INVESTIGATED.

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9. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 03:48PM


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10. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 04:18PM

“Hauck Neal Leca


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11. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 04:21PM


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12. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 05:47PM

“Above link do not copy the quotes to see the youtube video.

Capt William Sprenkle.

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13. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 05:50PM

“Do not copy and paste the quotes on the end of the links for the youtube videos.

Capt William Sprenkle.


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14. John Leca said... on Aug 31, 2012 at 10:45PM

“Yep that is me a silenced whistle blower. Here you go more to come.

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15. John Leca said... on Sep 2, 2012 at 09:54AM

“This is the beating of Anthony Becker AND a girl named Susan Bowers in which both were beat with aluminum flashlights about the head. Give me a minute and I will post Acevado's IAD interview. BTW the FBI concluded they were struck accidentally with Police Batons. The FBI never interviewed Acevado and I pushed to get it done along with Charles Kluge (PAC and retired FBI along with Investigator William Smith of PAC) Acevados report was then sent to the FBI who did ZERO.


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16. John Leca said... on Sep 2, 2012 at 10:18AM


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17. One Who Knows said... on Jun 28, 2013 at 01:52PM

“The irony of John Leca is that he was an honest cop who was willing to publicly tell the truth about police crimes. As always happens to such good cops, the department tried to paint him as a lunatic. Even with overwhelming evidence which supported many of his allegations, the brainwashed jury still bought the fabricated explanations given by the cops. In the jurors' minds, crooked cops can do no wrong, yet honorable police critics can do no right. Don't worry, John, I have posted thousands of anti-Philadelphia police comments (at thousands of websites) which trash the Philadelphia Police Department via facts, figures, and extrapolations therefrom. I have a dozen or so police-crime websites that have received tens of millions of hits. John, you are not the only person in the world who was wronged by what Amnesty International has suggested is the nation's most criminal police force, nor are you the only one publicizing it.”

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18. John Leca said... on Oct 21, 2013 at 01:36PM

“Thanks for the support. John.”

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19. Anonymous said... on Nov 23, 2013 at 12:28AM

“People will never understand how it feels to be so wronged until they experience it first hand or see a family member go through it. I can admit that was me. I do think however more people are experiencing it first hand with the current administration and union. The same tactics are being applied, history repeats itself, no one person can win alone, seek a different way to resolve this problem. I see more people standing up to defend themselves. They may believe and feel that they are alone. That's not the case this time, too many people are being wronged. Put your thinking caps on !!!”

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20. John Leca said... on Dec 17, 2013 at 10:29AM

“Yes the standardized Philadelphia Police Tactics that are actually similar to what all organizations use to discredit individuals who do not go along with "the program" continue today. A Police Officers real duty is to the "people" but the Police Department and Mayor just want Officers to keep quiet about wrong doing. I had actually reached out to Mayor Nutter when I was in the midst of my battle. Nutter was a City Councilman and I had written to him about the racial slurs during roll calls. Nutter never responded to me at all. Currently Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs is avoiding conducting interviews of me and collecting digital evidence that I have about some new investigations. Just beware because there are no organizations that have interest in the truth and I am including the FBI, DOJ, Media, PAC. They ALL want to maintain their status with Philadelphia Police which is a tool for them. Also remember that the "truth" is worthless and will not protect you.”

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21. Whistleblower said... on Nov 5, 2014 at 09:33AM

“Hey John, check out the Wikipedia article, "Misconduct in the Philadelphia Police Department". It's longer than Chris Christie's menu. Feel free to post your own contributions.”

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22. Valery Bustillo said... on Dec 20, 2014 at 10:27AM

“John Leca, can you please email me. Valerymwhitney@gmail.com.
thank you.”

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23. What a Joke said... on Oct 18, 2015 at 11:09AM

“Hey John, congrats on sticking up for what is right. You sacrificed your career to be honorable, which proves that you have more integrity than 99.9% of all cops. You have more supporters than you think. We know that Philly has more than its share of crooked cops, but the good cops always cover for them so we rarely hear about them. We urban hillbillies ain't as dumb as you think.”


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