News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


Pa. Chief Held Without Bail After Cover-up Charges

Pa. Chief Held Without Bail After Cover-up Charges

(Stock Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

December 17, 2009

SHENANDOAH, Pa. – A police chief, ordered held without bail yesterday on charges that he tried to cover up the fatal 2008 beating of a Mexican immigrant by white teenagers, was named in a 2006 lawsuit that said police had beaten to death a Hispanic teenager, then made it look like a suicide.

Police Chief Matthew Nestor, 33, was not charged in the teenager’s death in November 2004, but the allegations in the lawsuit, in Tuesday’s indictment, and in other civil claims depict a police department with hostility to minorities and a penchant for using excessive force.

Police “acted as feudal warlords in this coal town community that people were afraid of,” said John Karoly, attorney for the parents of David Vega, 18, in the 2006 federal lawsuit against the borough. “I would not suggest they were not abusive to everyone and anyone, but I would say the pattern certainly starts to appear that minorities took the thrust of their abuse.”

The suit names Nestor, Capt. Jamie Gennarini, and the Borough of Shenandoah as defendants. The officers have denied wrongdoing. A civil trial is scheduled for the summer.

Nestor, Lt. William Moyer, and Officer Jason Hayes were charged Tuesday with orchestrating a cover-up as the FBI investigated the fatal attack on Luis Ramirez by a group of high school football players. Hayes dated the mother of one of the accused players, and Moyer’s son played on the football team, according to the indictment.

Gennarini and Nestor were indicted separately in a scheme to extort money from illegal gambling operations.

Yesterday, Nestor was ordered held until trial at a bail hearing in Wilkes-Barre. Judge Malachy Mannion called him “clearly, unequivocally a serious danger to witnesses in this case.”

  • Dad_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Oh!!! This just gets worse. This is around 50 miles from my house and in the same county where I live. People are pretty upset about this as another Police Chief in the same county was removed for cause. And then at the Shenandoah, PA Police Chief's bail hearing today comes this: " A police chief charged with trying to cover up the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant by white teenagers has been ordered detained until trial. At a bail hearing today in Wilkes-Barre, Judge Malachy Mannion called Shenandoah police Chief Matthew Nestor "clearly, unequivocally a serious danger to witnesses in this case." Real sad day for LE here.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Thinker_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Corruption within LE is not acceptable at any level and especially at the top. If all that is alleged is true, then some serious jail time is needed for some former LEO's and a thorough house cleaning within the department and maybe the county will be in order...

  • Spartan_cops_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Pathetic, I've come to understand how this happens in PA from previous posts although it's pretty damn sad at the same time.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 4 years ago


    If Tiger Woods had not cheated none of this would have happened.

  • 082310163642_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Anyway we look at it is a lost.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


  • Metroguard_emblem_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Maybe Nestor thought that his position in the PD would protect him... What a waste of a good career...

  • 375956_401447159923274_1109023972_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I lived up in that area for ten years, and I did post this story yesterday when it broke. I am happy they have finally been caught. There is a lot more corruption in Schuylkill County than what happened in Shenandoah. In fact, those of you who enjoy Yuengling beer, it's brewed in Pottsville, PA which is also in Schuylkill County. KewlChick is pretty much right on target entering Schuylkill County is like going back in time 40 or 50 years ago, I still remember being in culture shock when we moved into our house. There is nothing like being up there is coal country.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    No it does not have to be this way and if anybody excuses this crap then they need their heads examinded. This happened in a small town in NC where diveristy ruled the day and many were not even competent enough to wear the badge. They had no real viable accredite hrs and report were vague and for some No reports ever put in!! The Chief was corrupt as June Fly in hail and the poor losers who were under him and following his bad JU Ju. were fired. They brought in the Feds and the whole town was about under Marshall law until a New PD could be formed and set into motion with accredidation. Some officer had to attend worshops and meeting to get them back up to par. It wasn't easy, but things are looking better since they restructured the whole PD. No place for corruption and mistrust and not fair to those officers who were legitmately accredited. Too bad. but when this happens it needs to be called out immediately and until bad things will happen to some good people too.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    jhnph..... i in no way condone how things are handled here.. i do as a matter of fact go and do my job and do it well. problem is that as much as we try and do things we as a commonwealth have things handled here much differently. numerous sheriff's have gone before the legislature and fought for the right to have full arrest powers. sheriff's here in PA do not have full arrest or investigative powers... the legislature fights and fights to keep things the way they are... secondly, all municipal departments are overseen by the PA State Police and governed by the Municial Police Officer Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) most other states call it POST. That is run by the state police.
    These small departments are not watched and only are brought to the attention of outside agencies when something like this happens. For these smaller departments and municipalities that don't have their own department or not part of a regional police department they are covered by the state police.

    So as much as we try and have tried, we continue to be last in line for many things here.. it's not that we don't try and believe me i'd be right there fighting with the best of them, but we can vote in and out who we want, each little barnie fife municipality wants control of their own little police force..
    things in PA are extremely different than across the country..

  • Pdpic_max50


    over 4 years ago


    they way they are talking they want to put this cheif on trial right next to the terrorist let them have a fair trial. if they did it the truth will come out but stop trying to pull activist bull by using the media to poision the jury pool.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    There may be a bad apple on an other wise healthy tree. No profession is immune to consequences for decisions made unintentionally or intentionally.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I hope everyone re-reads the way the lawyer chose his words...and accusations? Have the Leos been convicted yet? Seems most comments here have already convicted everyone. But when PC rules hinders LEOs....hardly ever hear anything?

  • Nys_omh_police_max160_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Right on SkoolCop. Why is it that most of the comments, especially from those that live in PA, sounds as if you are condoning what these people are doing? You are saying well thats the way it is in PA, nothing we can do about. BS!!!!!! There is a lot you can do. Or don't you care? We as LEO's are SWORN to up hold the law. To serve and protect everyone. Not just our own ass, or the legal residents, EVERYONE!!!! Next thing you're going to say is that these small dept, run around at night with sheets over their heads. Why don't you light a fire under those elected officials ass in PA so that they change things. Believe me there is plenty you can do to change the situation in PA or any other place in this country. I'd hate to be stuck in PA, as an Hispanic, And to think that we live in the 21st century, with an African American President in charge and there is still so much racial hate going around. Sometimes I think we live in 1930's. It wouldn't surprise me to hear someone say that crosses are still burn on front yards. The man killed while in custody Mr Vega was of Puerto Rican decent. Last I checked Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the USA, making it's residents US citizens. As an LEO myself, I don't care if someone is blue, black or yellow, I don't care if they are from Mexico, NY or Mars, I respect everyone the same even if I'm placing them under arrest for some crime, I give them the respect all humans deserve, because I would expect the same in return.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.