Investigations Clear Stewart Of Abusing Police Authority
SWESTFALL — An independent investigation that took almost one year to complete has cleared Eastern Pike Regional Police Department (EPRPD) Asst. Chief Eric Stewart of any wrongdoing.
This is in relation to a complaint filed by Mill Rift resident Rollin Cook alleging that Stewart was misusing his policing authority by threatening him with a citation after Cook contacted EPRPD about two incidents in which he claimed Stewart, Cook’s neighbor and former coworker at the Pike County Jail, was target-practicing too close to Cook’s home. Responding police said they found nothing wrong.
At a May 2013 EPRPD Commission meeting, it was agreed to hire an independent investigator to look into the allegations especially since Stewart is the brother of EPRPD Chief Chad Stewart. James Schultz, a former state trooper and owner of Schultz Investigations out of Honesdale, conducted the yearlong investigation.
According to the report, after the target-practice incidents, the two met while Stewart was off duty and Cook was driving an unregistered, unlicensed golf cart. Cook said he felt threatened when Stewart mentioned that Cook was being petty about the shooting incidents and if he continued, Stewart could cite him every time he drove his golf cart on the road.
Schultz found during his investigation that neither Stewart nor the EPRPD had issued citations against Cook for driving his unregistered golf cart and that the situation was blown out of proportion between former friends, coworkers and neighbors.
Through the investigation, Schultz also found the area in which Stewart was target practicing appeared to be safe, heavily wooded and at least 250 yards from the Cook home. In addition, Westfall Township has no ordinance against shooting, nor were any state, criminal or game and wildlife laws violated... for complete story, get this week's issue.