It’s an attempt to try and set the record straight.
That’s why Corporal Daryle McCormick said he decided to speak out.
McCormick is the officer accused of taking items and cash from an undercover operation, and giving them away, including to former Chief Willie Lovett.
“Do you feel like a scapegoat in this case?”
“Yes. I do,” said Cpl McCormick.
Scapegoat, fall guy.. but not a criminal.
That’s what Daryle McCormick and his attorney want to make clear.
“He never stole any property. He never lied during any investigation,” explained Page Pate, McCormick’s Lawyer.
McCormick is accused of taking TV’s and thousands of dollars in cash from an “undercover storefront” while working with the ATF on “Operation Pulaski”.
He was even caught on surveillance cameras, cameras he knew were there, doing it late at night when no one else was there.
“Remember these are undercover storefronts,” said Pate. “Daryle was not one of the front guys that were undercover. So when is he going to go in there that is not noticeable to the potential suspects in the case? He has to go in after hours.”
As for the reason he took those tv’s, cell phones and cash?
Because ATF agents and his own commander, then Chief Willie Lovett, said it was ok.
“They said yeah, keep Chief Lovett happy, and that was the consistent theme throughout the ATF operation,” explains Page Pate.
“Were there other ATF Agents who did the exact same thing Daryle did?”
“Certainly the same if not more,” said Pate. “That doesn’t make it criminal. It may not be right, but its not criminal.”
“This only became an issue in 2014 when the Chief was prosecuted,” Pate said. “The ATF then said this is a problem for us. Someone has to be responsible.”
That person according to McCormick, was him. A SCMPD Corporal taking the fall for ATF money and property mismanagement.
“The problem there is again is the lack of any accountability for the ATF side as to what is happening with that money,” said Pate. “There’s no ledger to be able to track what’s happened. So it shows up at the end of the day after the agents are in there spending it on food and beer and whatever else. That they are short, again point the finger at this guy.”
“I’m human, I feel hurt,” said Daryle McCormick. “Very shocked because what was said in the press conference is not Daryle McCormick, and people in the community and law enforcement community know this.”
Daryle McCormick is not facing criminal charges right now. He is cooperating with the Federal investigation into the ATF and Operation Pulaski.
He has filed an appeal to the city manager, and he is not sure if he will show up at the appeal hearing for his firing.
McCormick says he doesn’t know if he wants to work for a department that doesn’t want him.