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Dead police trainer still subject of child porn investigation

1-16-2010 Vermont:

A criminal investigation is underway at the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford. State police suspect the academy's training coordinator used a work computer to access child porn and then took his own life after becoming the target of a criminal investigation.

The investigation of a police academy trainer took a turn for the worse Saturday.

State police say 44-year old Dave McMullen of Cornwall committed suicide behind a maintenance shed at the academy, one day after police seized his home computer as part of a criminal investigation.

"All indicators reveal this was a self-inflicted would. An intentional act by Mr. McMullen. There is no indication anyone else was involved," said Major Ed Ledo of the Vermont State Police.

Police believe McMullen used a computer at the academy to view child pornography, something that came to light during an unrelated personnel investigation. While child porn wasn't actually found on the computer, emails suggested it had been accessed.

"As a result of those titles being found in Mr. McMullen's e-mails, is indicated that there was potential. We knew it was pulled in from an outside source based upon further examination of that one computer," said Ledo.

Police are examining McMullen's home computer in addition to four taken from the academy. At this time, police don't believe any others at the academy were involved in the incident.

McMullen was the training coordinator for homeland security and counter-terrorism at the academy. Prior to that -- he worked for 16 years at the state department of corrections and as a part-time police officer in Vergennes.

Police aren't releasing any details surrounding the personnel investigation. ..Source.. by


Investigation into Vt. Police Academy trainer continues

1-19-2010 Vermont:

Police are still searching for answers in connection with a child pornography investigation at the Vermont Police Academy.

"At this point we don't have any information to indicate there was any child pornography on what we've examined so far," Vt. State Police Maj. Ed Ledo said.

Ledo says the investigation of former police academy trainer Dave McMullen could take weeks.

Autopsy results confirm McMullen shot and killed himself Saturday after becoming the target of a criminal investigation involving child porn.

"Nobody expected the suicide," Ledo said. "I didn't see that coming. None of the investigators did either, but as a result of that it makes you wonder. It makes us wonder. We're suspicious people anyway."

McMullen and several others at the academy were suspended last week during an unrelated personnel investigation. It was during that investigation that human resource workers came across two emails on McMullen's computer with titles suggesting child porn, prompting them to contact police.

"They were terms that you or any reasonable person would conclude this isn't right," Ledo said.

Police seized that computer and three others, as well as a computer and several items from McMullen's home. They also interviewed McMullen shortly before his death. But they say nothing major came to light during that interview.

"Nothing at all," Ledo said. "Nothing to confirm suspicions that there was porn. Had that been the case he would have been charged at that time."

Reporter Keagan Harsha: But he denied viewing child porn during that interview?

Ledo: Exactly.

McMullen did leave behind two suicide notes for his family but police won't elaborate on what those notes said. In the meantime, forensics teams continue to analyze the computers searching for evidence. And police say that analysis could take more time than originally thought because one of the hard drives is severely damaged. ..Source.. by Keagan Harsha - WCAX News


No charges in Police Academy investigation

7-12-2010 Vermont:

No criminal charges will be coming from an investigation into the Vermont Police Academy following the suicide of a trainer there.

The state attorney general says suspicion of possible misconduct came to light in late 2009, when inappropriate e-mails were discovered on four employees' work computers.

Investigators found evidence of child pornography on the computer of training coordinator Dave McMullen, and as he became the target of the investigation he killed himself.

The attorney general's review indicated that no other academy personnel were involved and with McMullen dead, there are no grounds for a criminal prosecution.

"There is no reason to move forward on anyone else, because no one else is involved in having child pornography or being linked to Mr. McMullen," said Vermont State Police Major Ed Ledo.

All of the pornography that was found was located on McMullen's personal computer. None was found on any of the computers seized from the police academy. ..Source.. by


Vermont court denies newspaper access to records

3-31-2012 Vermont:

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's highest court (Rutland Herald v. Vermont State Police and Office of the Attorney General (2010-434)) has ruled that records of a criminal investigation at the Vermont State Police Academy will remain confidential.

The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling denying the Rutland Herald access to files on a criminal investigation of possession of child pornography by a trainer and other police academy employees. The investigation ended after the trainer committed suicide after suspected child pornography was found on his computer.

The newspaper ( ) argued that the investigative records should be open because the investigation was over and because it was an internal investigation.

Supreme court justices said state law doesn't contain an expiration clause making records public after an investigation has concluded. The ruling further said there's nothing that sets apart internal investigations. ..Source.. by

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