By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
In 1994, after he was indicted in Phelan's death, Molloy attempted to leave the country by changing his Army Reserve status to active while he was free on bail. At a second bail hearing in 1997, the judge raised his bond from $25,000 to $150,000.
Like Officer Francis Livoti, who recently was sentenced to seven and a half years for violating the civil rights of Anthony Baez after a Bronx judge acquitted him of having choked Baez to death, Molloy has opted for a "bench trial," gambling that a judge would be more sympathetic than a jury. Indeed, in 1996, Judge Lawrence Tonetti threw out the initial indictment against Molloy after a grand jury voted to indict. The case was reinstated on appeal. That Molloy is still on the force despite a documented history of alleged abuse and violence is indicative of NYPD policies that allow cops with a history of complaints to remain in uniform.
Although cops with more than six CCRB complaints in five years are supposed to be monitored, many, like Molloy, go unnoticed.
Says Sherman Jackson, a CCRB spokesperson: "Prior to 1996 there were serious problems with the CCRB. But since February 1996, we have almost completely eliminated the backlog."
Before being moved to modified duty after the Phelan indictment, Molloy had more than 400 arrests and 77 commendations, according to his lawyer. "The more active a police officer is, the more susceptible he is for having a civilian complaint made against him," Vallario said.
Counters Annie O'Connor, a spokesperson for the Friends of Hessy Phelan, a group seeking to call attention to the case: "Livoti had more than 400 arrests. That does not mean he is not a killer."