Former Staten Island DA Clerk Traded Info to Get Crack for Husband
STATEN ISLAND — A former clerk at the Staten Island District Attorney's office traded information with a drug dealer to score crack for her husband.
Rene Collins, 46, was fined $10,000 by the city after she offered to give information from the DA's office in exchange for free crack for her husband, Robert Edmonds, and tried to use her position to prevent the arrest of Edmonds last year, the city's Conflict of Interest Board (COIB) announced on Tuesday.
Collins sent several text messages riddled with typos to dealer Devon Bishop promising to give him the "120" on investigations into him by the DA in exchange for crack for Edmonds, according to court documents.
"Hey its robs wife can u give him 2 on the arm till tomorrow nite nd give him ur full name (real name) nd I will check it out tomorrow nd let u know if any surprises cummn k," Collins texted Bishop in January 2013. According to court documents, "2 on the arm" meant free drugs.
The next day, Collins texted Bishop back saying, "Hi its Rene I didn't go to work today im sick I wil check tomorrow for u also I wil hav ur money before 9 tonite," according to court documents.
In February 2013, Collins tried to use her city ID to stop police from arresting Edmonds after they saw him buy drugs on a West Brighton corner, according to court documents.
A detective observed Edmonds after they saw him buy drugs from Bishop on the corner of Broadway and Seneca Street and asked another officer to check it out, according to court documents. Edmonds went into a car and drove to his and Collins' home nearby and walked in while the undercover officer waited outside, according to the documents.
When Edmonds came out out and the detective questioned him, Collins came out of the house with her identification from the DA's office in her hand, screaming and telling police to get away from her husband, court documents read.
The detective tried to talk to Collins, but said she was "very irate" and continually yelled she worked for DA Dan Donovan. Police did not find any drugs in Edmonds' possession and later left the scene.
After hearing about the incident, another detective recognized Collins and visited the home, recovering 43 ziplock bags of crack from Edmonds and arresting him.
"You know me! My husband hasn't done anything wrong," Collins yelled to the detective, according to court documents.
Four days later, Collins texted Bishop again asking for more crack in exchange for the "120" about Edmonds', according to court documents.
"Hi ita robs wife can u give him 2 til tomorrow or friday will give u 60 in return," she texted.
The next day she asked Bishop to lend Edmonds "2 more" and less than ten minutes later texted, "Also pleas delete my texs thans," according to court documents.
Collins worked in the human resources department for the DA, but it was unclear for how long or when she stopped working there, or why she left the office. Her duties included administering payroll and she was assigned on a rotating basis to Donovan's desk as a secretary when his regular one went to lunch, according to the COIB.
The COIB fined Collins, who failed to show up to several court dates on the incident, $10,000 for providing confidential information to a drug dealer and attempting to use her city ID to impede the arrest of her husband.
The district attorney's office declined comment.