A former Philadelphia police officer has pleaded guilty to using a confiscated Porsche to drive his stepdaughter to prom, prosecutors announced Friday.
James Coolen Jr. admitted to the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after taking the car, which was sized in a narcotics investigation, from a secured parking lot in April of last year, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced.
“James Coolen betrayed the public trust and his fellow Philadelphia Police officers when he improperly and illegally used a 2018 Porsche Cayenne SUV, that was impounded as evidence in a case that he was assigned to, as transportation for his stepdaughter’s prom,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement.
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Surveillance video showed Coolen driving into the Philadelphia Police Department Narcotics Bureau Headquarters’ secure parking lot in his own pickup truck and then driving away in the SUV on April 25 of last year, the district attorney’s office said.
The DA’s office said another officer saw Coolen get into the Porsche and drive away from the secured lot.
The PPD’s Internal Affairs Unit also found surveillance footage from Coolen’s neighbor, which showed the SUV parked at Coolen’s home, in addition to photos of the vehicle at the house, Coolen’s fingerprints on the Porche’s GPS system and GPS data showing Coolen had used the vehicle to take his stepdaughter to prom, the district attorney's office said.
The vehicle was returned to the lot two days later and the driver, who was not identified on surveillance video because it was too dark, left in Coolen's pickup, the office added.
“It is never easy, but it is always right, to hold a friend or colleague accountable when they do wrong. I thank the PPD Internal Affairs Unit and my office’s Special Investigation Unit for their hard work in bringing this case to a just conclusion,” Krasner said.
Coolen resigned from the force and turned himself over last year. He pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to one year of probation, the district attorney’s office said.