Contractor Ready to Start Over After False Arrest - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Contractor Ready to Start Over After False Arrest



    Local Contractor Speaks Out After False Arrest

    A Radnor contractors name is cleared after being accused of stealing from a church. Now he speaks out after suing the DA for false arrest. (Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014)

    Walter Logan is ready for a fresh start.

    "Today is now the first day of the rebuilding and the eliminating of that cloud that's been hanging over me and my family," Logan said during a news conference on Wednesday.

    Officials say Logan, a Radnor building contractor, was wrongly accused of ripping off a suburban Philadelphia church. On Tuesday he received an apology and $1.6 million as part of a lawsuit settlement.

    The lawsuit states that Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought unfounded theft charges against Logan.

    Ferman apologized to Logan, whose alleged crimes she once called "particularly despicable" and "really very low."

    Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown had hired Logan's contracting company to build additions to its campus back in 2003. Several years later, that same church accused Logan of stealing from them.

    "When Mr. Logan insisted on being paid he got a letter," said Mark Tanner, Logan's attorney. "The letter said, 'we are throwing you off this job.'"

    The District Attorney's Office began to investigate Logan's work. In 2009, he was arrested and charged with swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the church.

    "He was shocked," Tanner said. "He didn't do anything wrong."

    An independent arbitrator later determined that it was the church who bilked Logan out of payment for his work. According to the arbitrator, the church actually owed Logan more than $300,000 in overdue fees and damages.

    After the charges against him were dropped, Logan filed a civil suit in federal court against both Ferman and the church. According to the lawsuit, the head of the Montgomery County detectives who supervised the investigation into Logan's work is also a member of Salem Baptist.

    NBC10 reached out to the former chief of detectives as well as Salem Baptist Church for comment but we have not yet heard back from them. However, church officials denied the allegations against them in court documents that they filed in response to the lawsuit.

    The District Attorney’s Chief of Staff also told NBC10 that Ferman can’t comment because she is a witness in the upcoming lawsuit against the church. However, in a statement released Tuesday by Logan’s attorneys, Ferman said there was “no credible evidence” against Logan.