Whistleblower lawsuit claims Romulus police chief covered up inmate's beating

Now-former Romulus police chief faces whistleblower lawsuit about inmate's alleged beating

By Hank Winchester - Reporter

ROMULUS, Mich. - The Romulus mayor's chief of staff was not saying much on Monday, but still more than the mayor himself has said. He refused to step out of his office.

"If you want a comment about the police chief, I will tell you that we are very sad and disappointed, and that would be the comment that I have," said the chief of staff.

Perhaps Mayor Alan Lambert thought Local 4 wanted to question him about the Michigan State Police investigation focused on him. Instead, as the chief of staff may have realized, Local 4 wanted to know the real deal about now-former Romulus Police Chief Robert Dickerson.

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Dickerson handed in his letter of resignation on Friday. He said he was disappointed the mayor has not stepped down given his legal issues.

However, the day before the chief resigned he was dealing with his own legal issues. The Local 4 Defenders have obtained the legal documents.

It all involves an explosive whistleblower lawsuit brought against the police chief by a former police officer. The case centers on an Aug. 12 incident. A Romulus police officer was caught by surveillance cameras allegedly punching an inmate who was handcuffed.

When an attorney submitted a request for the tape, it was denied. The officer who has brought forth the whistleblower case says the chief told him to get rid of the video. Instead, he filed a complaint with the Attorney General, and now this case.

The investigation is ongoing. The officer accused of beating the inmate was discharged and has since resigned. As for the tape of the incident, it likely never will be released.

"Judge (Robert) Colombo in the 3rd Circuit Court made a ruling that it was in the best interest of the person involved in the video, that his interest outweighed the public's interest in viewing that," said Romulus Police Cpt. John Leacher.

Robert Dickerson (above) accuses Lambert (below) of showing lapses in judgment and bringing "shame, mistrust, and embarrassment on the community."

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