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Corbett's son-in law implicated by fellow officers

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By The Philadelphia Inquirer

Published: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 5:58 p.m.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said on Friday that theft allegations involving Officer Gerold Gibson — son-in-law of Gov. Corbett — were brought to his attention in late fall by Gibson's commanding officer in the Narcotics Field Unit.

Several of Gibson's fellow officers had voiced suspicions that Gibson, 43, was stealing clothing, sneakers, and jewelry from the homes of suspected drug dealers during raids and warrant executions, Ramsey and police sources said.

“Obviously, we had to look into it,” Ramsey said.

Within days, Ramsey and other high-ranking police officials, including Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross, Internal Affairs supervisors, and two narcotics commanders met with FBI investigators to discuss the case.

Normally, Ramsey said, the department would handle such theft allegations internally, but given the “obvious sensitivity involved,” he wanted the case investigated with the discretion and resources of the FBI.

“The fewer people aware, the better,” Ramsey said.

The three-month investigation into Gibson's alleged misconduct concluded Thursday morning when Gibson pocketed $140 from a car wired with surveillance cameras during an FBI and Internal Affairs sting operation.

Under the belief that a drug arrest had just been made in the car, Gibson was asked to drive it back to a narcotics field office so a search warrant could be obtained. Investigators had hidden $400 in marked bills throughout the car, sources said. Gibson had no authority to search the vehicle, Ramsey said.

After Gibson dropped the car off, investigators found about $140 missing, which they found on Gibson.

Neither Mayor Michael Nutter nor Corbett had prior knowledge of the investigation, Ramsey said, and were not told of the matter until the sting was conducted.

Ramsey briefed the mayor personally. The mayor then put him in touch with Corbett's chief of staff. Ramsey said he did not speak to Corbett personally.

Internal Affairs should complete its investigative report by late next week, Ramsey said.

“Then I will take what I believe to be appropriate disciplinary action,” Ramsey said. “Termination,” he said, “certainly falls within the range of possible penalties.”

Once the department completes its investigation, the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide if Gibson faces criminal charges. Gibson has been placed on administrative leave.

Gibson and Corbett's daughter, Katherine, married in 2010. The couple have a 1-year-old son, but have been separated for a few months, sources said.

Gibson has at least one other child from a previous relationship, police sources said.

Katherine Corbett Gibson was hired by the Office of Attorney General in 2012. She is a deputy attorney general assigned to the Philadelphia office.



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