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Defiant Raleigh private police agency chief sentenced

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A judge called Joseph Conover the worst kind of cop.

Joseph Conover would not apologize to his victims in court Wednesday when asked if he wanted to make any statement.

The 39-year-old is accused of abusing his power, using excessive force, and falsely arresting people he was sworn to protect.

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"You turned out to be as bad a cop as you could possibly be and appears to the court to be completely out of control," said Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens during sentencing.

Conover entered a plea deal. The state says his guilty plea on the felony charge ensure he will not be able to work again as a law enforcement official.

Conover was the chief of a private police force that oversaw security at Raleigh apartment complexes.


He is accused of using Tasers on people and pepper-spraying them.

The state says victims would try to call 911 for help only to be taunted.
Conover even went to a City Council meeting and blasted Raleigh Police for interfering with his operation.

He was arrested last spring and indicted on 13 felonies including Obstruction of Justice, Willful Failure to Discharge Duties, and Simple Assault.

"This was the worst case of abuse of authority that I have experienced and seeing up close in my 20 years working in the criminal justice system. This is the kind of person that does not need to wear a badge," said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. "These sort of people need to be shut down and punished for this type of behavior."

Conover was sentenced to a maximum of 18 months in prison, plus three years of probation.

There are also several civil lawsuits pending.

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