About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NorCo's Attempt to Bully David Collins

CPT Collins in his civies. 
On Friday, I told you that CPT David Collins, who supervises 10 lieutenants and is the Prison Rape Elimination Act Compliance Officer, has been suspended. He was walked out of the jail on July 13. For obvious reasons, he's declined to speak with me. He's got enough problems. But based on what I know about him myself, along with what I've heard from others who are familiar with his situation, I can offer a glimpse into what has happened. From where I sit, it appears that the Corrections Director Dan Keen and HR Director Amy Trapp are attempting to bully a man with integrity. They are both going to fall flat on their faces.

Who is David Collins? 

Let me first tell you a little bit about Collins. I got to know him years ago, and respect him as a straight shooter. "I wear the white shirt with double bars," he told me several years ago, when the County made the mistake of going after another jail employee. He was there to testify, but warned the County he would tell the truth if called to testify. They never called him.

He says what means and means what he says.

He's an Easton boy. He graduated from Easton High School, where he played basketball. Though he's a big man who looks like an NFL offensive lineman, he wanted to study and teach the fine arts to children and enrolled at Kutztown University. Life got in the way. His college dreams took a back seat to raising a family, and one of which he's very proud. He has four daughters, one of whom is still in school. He also is a grandfather and worships at Shiloh Baptist Church.

The man who wanted to teach fine maintained his interest in local youth. He was a program director at St. Anthony's Youth Center. He managed some programs at the Easton Area School District while working at jobs to support his family.

President Judge Robert Freedberg saw something he liked in well-spoken Collins, and recommended him for a job with Northampton County at the Juvenile Justice Center. He started working for the County in 2002  In 2009, he transferred to the jail. By 2011, he was a Lieutenant. Just two years later, in 2013, he was promoted to Captain.

He is the jail's first African American captain at a jail that has only one captain. He said his ethnicity makes his job "twice as hard." If he advocates against discrimination, he is accused of being a troublemaker or playing the race card. But if he refuses to back up someone with a bogus complaint, he's called a token.

He walks a fine line. For a big man, he does it well.

In his 15 years with the county, he has never been disciplined for any infraction.  His evaluations have all been off the charts.

And sometimes, at night, he'll teach inmates how to draw.

Collins is a Whistleblower

Collins is actually on paid administrative leave No one has accused him of smuggling in contraband or getting rough with inmates. His suspension relates to what Amy Trapp has called "unfounded allegations" concerning the Department of Corrections. These are complaints that Collins first made to Deputy Warden James Kostura. Most of them focus on Dan Keen's leadership. Though Kostura informed Collins that Keen would meet with him, nothing happened. So Collins went to the HR Director, Amy Trapp.

In 1986, Pennsylvania enacted its own version of the Whistleblower Law. This protects county employees from retaliation for reporting, in good faith, instances of wrongdoing or waste. That appears to be precisely what Collins was doing. Whether he is right or wring is irrelevant. The only question is whether he has acted in good faith. Moreover, Collins kept his complaints in house.

Sanctioning Collins for reporting in good faith about things he thinks are wrong violate the Whistleblower Law. This also violates is First Amendment rights, which he still has no matter what uniform he is wearing.

Collins Allegations are Fact Based

It appears that many of the allegations made by Collins have a factual basis.

- He was assigned to investigate an assault of a female inmate, which ultimately resulted in the suspension (with pay) of a female corrections officer. The materials he obtained and supplied were never turned over to the DA for the prosecution of an inmate who ultimately entered a guilty pleas. Keen also never turned these records over to HR Director Amy Trapp, which probably explains why the corrections officer was suspended with pay and was paid by the county for several months to do nothing. In her time off, the female corrections officer was able to become a tattoo artist.

- Corrections officers are taught a variety of measures to subdue unruly inmates. One of these is called the brachial stun, in which someone uses the spine of his hand to hit another person on the side of the neck from behind. This is meant to stun the victim, bu it can also kill him.One of Collins's complaints, I'm told, is that Keen was using this technique on one of his lieutenants. He snuck up behind him several times to administer this blow, and then laughed. It might be funny to Keen, but not to the Lieutenant being victimized.

- In a meeting this Winter concerning some program, Amy Trapp disparaged a lieutenant who complained about the program, calling him a "pussy." This is unprofessional behavior. (I know for a fact that Trapp has been insulting like this to other county employees).

- Keen is absent for extended periods because he teaches corrections at Penn State. (I question whether he is being paid on the county dime and by PSU). From 6/12-6/15, Keen was teaching a class there He wanted to teach lieutenants and took five of the jail's 10 lieutenants with him. This left Collins with five lieutenants to run the jail. One of them was on restricted duty. (Keen had previously told me that he would be doing all future teaching at the jail). He carted five county employees halfway across the state and put them up at The Radison, at county expense, while he stayed at the more expensive PennStater. He did this knowing that the Controller and I have both raised questions about unnecessary travel.

There are numerous other complaints that Collins may have made, according to staffers. Some may very well be unfounded. All are being made in good faith. Instead of suspending Collins, Keen should have just met with him like an adult. I see no reason why this had to happen.

What Trapp and Keen are doing is trying to scare Collins into submission. They want him to shut up while Keen pushes for a new jail that will double your tax bill and Trapp buys more popcorn machines. The last thing they need is someone talking about waste and wrongdoing.

But if I know Collins, he will stand up to them. He's been suspended for doing his job. He doesn't roll the way they want.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. O'Hare you may think the man you write about is a stand up man. Then ask him why he sends his Lieutenants to do his dirty work and go after good officers that do their jobs and do it well. Maybe it is because he is too buddy buddy with many of the inmates and entertains their bogus complaints about officers because that inmate or inmates do not get what they want from those officers that do their jobs well.

Anonymous said...

Wow. A dead ringer for the Notorious BIG

Anonymous said...

126am, it was an inmate who exposed an officer bringing in cell phones, liquor and tobacco who later took a plea in court.

Anonymous said...

Trapp doesn't like people that stand up to her. She thinks she runs the place. She needs to go! Another lawsuit in the making. Collins, I commend you!!!

Anonymous said...

How long of a paid vacation does this guy get ?

Unknown said...

Do his dirty work? Check yourself they work for him which means they were doing there job. If that thought there was wrong doing they couldve reported him as he has done the higher ups.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, how do you quote somebody that you didn't talk to?

Anonymous said...

7:19...Stop posting and get busy on your grammar and spelling homework.

Anonymous said...

There should be an objective investigation with respect to the allegations made. If they turnout to be true, then Mrs Trapp and Mr should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this race. Whatever happens at the prison is of no consequence to me. However, I can and I will attest to the character of Captain David Collins. I had the opportunity to meet with Collins several years ago and to work with him on a county-related matter. He is a man of integrity, a man of good moral character and a man who acts according to his conscience and who does not succumb to pressure from less honorable forces in the County. He is courageous even in the face of adversity. Best of luck to you, Captain Collins.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, how do you quote somebody that you didn't talk to?"

I have talked to CPT Collins on several occasions. That is how I can quote him. He declined to speak about the specifics of his suspension.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"How long of a paid vacation does this guy get ?"

That's exactly what this is. We are paying him to stay home.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

His character and friendships with the inmates is disturbing. Only a matter of time before the lid blows on this one-

Bernie O'Hare said...

A person who posts an anonymous comment like yours is in no position to judge another person's character.

Anonymous said...

Hey 716, I'm guessing a lot shorter since this article. Get your popcorn ready!

Anonymous said...

What is so disturbing about the way he treats inmates u mean like people fyi everyone in prison isn't bad

Anonymous said...

If Brown has problems with this issue, how is he going to build the new prison he is planning?

Anonymous said...

Where is he planning to build the new prison?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brown won't say more until after the election. He does not want to lose votes .

Anonymous said...

He is building it in Nazareth. Ask the zoning board or planning commission, they know

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Apparently part of the secret Republican platform is the building of a new prison near Gracedale. Here come the taxes.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Cathy Allen will meet secretly with prison staff to get Keen removed like she did Jason Rosati? Oh I forgot, she hand picked Keen, so probably not.

Anonymous said...

I did check myself and I have a correction to my post earlier this morning. There is a difference when Captain Collins orders his clowns of Lieutenants to specifically target the officers that do their jobs because he is a so called Easton boy and most of his backyard barbecue friends are locked up there. I am willing to bet he does not follow policy when it comes to reporting his backyard barbecue friends and relatives. Maybe someone should look into all the cases of officers that have been terminated or suspended since his goon Lieutenants and he took over Internal Investigations. I believe they lack the proper Certifications and or Act to perform that duty. If I were one of those officers I would be contacting an attorney.

Anonymous said...

Brown and gang can't manage this situation yet he and his county council cronies are planning a new prison build at Gracedale, that should go real well.

Anonymous said...

Is it true they plan to build a new prison?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, Brown wants to build a new jail, but will try to keep quiet about it until after the election.

Anonymous said...

Someone should check how many years are left on the DUI center lease.

Anonymous said...

Probably four to six months, that is the average time it usually took when investigating officers by these Keystone cops. Snails work faster.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Brown in conjunction with Cusick and Angle will build the prison then make the pitch now is the best time to sell Gracedale. So they say we need the prison and not Gracedale and the sale of Gracedale will help finance the prison.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although the new prison is being pushed by the Rs on Council, Ron Angle is not one of them. He thinks it's insane.

Anonymous said...

July 18, 2017 954pm, someone should check to see what the settlement was about against Keen when he worked there.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Your OT comment was deleted.

Jason Rosati said...

6:05 It was not a secret that they were trying to terminate me. It started with Tom Corra, who would go above the Directors head (Matos)to HR and complain about my supervision techniques ( Requiring officers to look professional)Then used Jen Green to make up charges of harassing her. Then Chris Naugle the Prison investigator to continuously make faulse charges against me and conspire with the above mentioned. Then there was Kim Yedlowski ( Kathy Allens snitch) you all know that story. Then to top it all off, here came My Pal Al Crivillaro. He knew that his job was on the line. He was directly told by Allen herself, his days were numbered. Well, what better way to save yourself then to sacrifice another. (LIAR)

It's not how I wanted to go, but I'm glad it happen. I just wonder, what happen to all of the above mention people? OH, that's right FIRED!!!

Those of you who still work at NCP, be safe and shine your boots

Anonymous said...

Jason Rosati. Love and miss you!!!!!

roberto morales said...

Me. Collins is more than a stand up guy. I can remember playing basketball at St. Anthony's Church with him and watched him mentor youth. It's a shame that people on here write bullshit just to raise an eyebrow. The guy does a hell of a job and he's standing up for what's right. We should all support that and stand behind him. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and risk your job to fight for what's right. Hats off to you Dave.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious...
If keen is so bent on a new facility, why did he just spend a few hundred THOUSAND dollars on cameras pointed directly at officer stations on every block AND a door control system that slows response time by about 50%?