Cop in trouble for running check on Obama

August 7, 2009 8:17:24 PM PDT
A Philadelphia police officer is under investigation after he allegedly ran a background check on President Barack Obama. The police department has not officially released the officer's name, but sources have identified him as Gerald Corrento of the 18th District.

Law enforcement officials say the 18th District Officer was in his patrol car which, like most cruisers, is equipped with a Mobile Data Terminal, essentially a mobile computer with access to the National Crime Information Computer System.

Officials say on Wednesday at 7:45 a.m., the officer allegedly entered the president's name into the MDT, punched in the president's date of birth, and attempted to run a criminal background check.

That automatically sent a red flag to the US Secret Service which blocked access to the president's records.

Agents alerted the Philadelphia Police.

The matter is now under investigation by Police Internal Affairs.

"It's an inappropriate use of the MDT. We're certainly loooking into it and why that happened," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He said he can't think of a reason someone would use that system to look up the president.

The officer remains on duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Last month, 2 officers in Georgia got in trouble for allegedly doing the same thing. They were put on leave of absence as that matter is investigated.