Two officers expected to plead guilty in
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Two veteran officers are expected to plead
guilty Monday to charges following an investigation into police corruption, U.S.
Attorney John L. Brownlee said Thursday.
Charles Saunders and Roy Fitzgerald were charged in April of
2005 with accepting money and sexual favors from a nightclub owner in exchange
for overlooking illegal activity at the club. They have signed agreements to
plead guilty to making a false statement to a federal agent as part of a plea
bargain, Brownlee said at a news conference.
Indictments against them on charges of bribery,
conspiracy and witness tampering were dropped as part of the plea bargain.
Saunders, 47, and Fitzgerald, 46, each had served more
than 10 years on the city's police force.
"These are serious charges and serious crimes,"
Brownlee said. "Both will either resign or be terminated and they will never be
police officers again."
Charles Phillips, 42, former manager of Maxx's Nightclub,
pleaded guilty in April of 2005 to bribing Saunders and Fitzgerald with money
and sex with prostitutes. In exchange, they didn't report illegal activity, such
as parking violations, drunken driving and other traffic offenses Phillips
committed and they tipped him off to investigations into drug use and
Another employee at the nightclub, Jason Madison, 24,
pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit perjury after prosecutors said the
officers convinced him to lie to a grand jury to cover up their involvement with
Phillips faces up to 20 years in prison, and Madison
up to five years.
Saunders and Fitzgerald each face five years in prison.