HARRISBURG - A former state parole officer from Philadelphia was charged Thursday with taking cash from parolees in exchange for overlooking positive drug tests or allowing people who should be jailed to remain on the streets.
The state Attorney General's Office filed public-corruption charges against Kenneth Dupree, 46, of Wissinoming, who worked as a parole agent for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole until April 2010.
He was charged with bribery, official oppression, and obstruction.
"Every day Pennsylvanians put their faith and trust into our parole officers, assuming they are going to do everything in their power to supervise serious and often violent offenders," Attorney General Linda L. Kelly said in a statement. "Mr. Dupree's actions are a breach of that trust."
Authorities said Dupree once tried to get a parolee to give him three $10,000 slabs of Corian countertops from a store where the man worked.
"When [the parolee] protested and told Dupree that he couldn't get him countertops like that without his boss becoming suspicious, Dupree told him, 'Oh, you can make it happen,' " reported a grand jury that investigated the case. He never got the countertops.
His lawyer, Richard Q. Hark, said credibility questions always arise when witnesses are convicted criminals. He said Dupree would review the evidence and looked forward to his day in court.
Dupree began working for the Board of Probation and Parole in 2003. His final salary was $51,000.