|By Barbara Boyer, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Although McGovern returned within an hour of the
Blood-test results for McGovern, 61, of
A year after the fatality, Berner's widow, Carrie, said she believed authorities orchestrated a cover-up to protect McGovern. She said authorities should not have allowed McGovern to leave and should have conducted sobriety and breath tests right after the accident.
Faulk, in an interview, said it was unacceptable that McGovern left the scene to feed a cat. Had that happened with one of his employees, Faulk said, he would have acted administratively.
"Notwithstanding the anguish of this tragedy, we continue to rely on the findings of the investigation conducted by the
"The joint investigation concluded that no evidence whatsoever existed to indicate that Detective Sgt.
"I just want to know the truth," said
There are more than a thousand investigative pages that include police records, witness testimony, transcripts of dispatch calls, phone records, and insurance reports. McGovern declined to comment but maintains through his attorney,
"He absolutely did nothing wrong," Sitzler said. "He did everything asked of him that night."
According to law enforcement records, McGovern had been drinking at a pig roast on the afternoon and early evening with other law enforcement officers. A friend of McGovern's told an investigator McGovern had at most four beers. Another friend said he later saw McGovern with a beer at the Flying W bar in
Sitzler said there was no evidence McGovern was driving drunk. He said he believed Berner, who was riding a Honda CBR 1000 motorcycle, hit a hole or defect in the road that made him lose control.
Berner locked his front brake, went into an 84-foot skid, then was thrown from his bike into the opposite lane, state police records show.
State police, in a crash reconstruction report, concluded Berner caused the accident by improperly braking and going in excess of 80 m.p.h. The state police detectives who wrote the report based their conclusions partially on an assumption that McGovern was driving 50 m.p.h., the speed limit, which
Records show McGovern called 911 a few minutes after 10, and told a county dispatcher, "the guy drove off a motorcycle . . .. It looks like it's really, really, really bad." Asked whether another vehicle was involved, McGovern replied, "it looks like it might have been a vehicle involved afterwards."
Mann declined to comment for this article.
Authorities documented that McGovern later told authorities he left to feed his friend's cat, Happy Feet, while the friend was vacationing in
Records show that twice after McGovern left the scene, he spoke by phone to Lt.
Abadia was connected by dispatch to Mann. Mann expressed concern about alcohol, that it appeared McGovern was involved, and that McGovern left and had not returned. Abadia said he would call McGovern, who then returned about
The sobriety test was canceled. It's unclear from police records who canceled it or why. Abadia did not return calls to The Inquirer.
McGovern agreed to give blood, according to police records.
McGovern tried to reach several attorneys
After speaking to Sitzler, McGovern told
McGovern, who has been a law enforcement officer since 1975, was put on paid leave last July and has since returned to work. He is scheduled to retire in January, when he will reach 25 years of service with the Prosecutor's Office.
(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services