A veteran Pennsylvania State Police corporal was arrested on accusations she tried to cover up a DUI arrest involving the father of another trooper, authorities said Friday.
Jennifer Ruhl, 50 of West Chester, was arrested on charges of obstructing administration of law, unsworn falsification, tampering with public records or information, and hindering apprehension or prosecution, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s office.
Ruhl was the patrol unit supervisor the night of Nov. 26, 2019, when a pair of troopers stopped a car for erratic driving in Lower Oxford Township and subsequently charged the driver with DUI, Chester County DA Deborah Ryan said.
After taking the driver to Jennersville Hospital to have blood drawn and arriving at the PSP Avondale station, the driver told one of the arresting troopers that his son was also a PSP trooper, the DA’s office said.
The troopers told Ruhl about the driver’s relationship to a trooper, Ryan said.
The report report from NMS Labs in Horsham, PA containing the results of the driver’s blood sample was returned to PSP on Dec. 11, 2019 — but then suddenly went missing (despite confirmation that it was received at the Avondale station), Ryan’s office said.
The report indicated the driver’s blood alcohol level was .093% and was requested again on Jan. 15, 2020, the DA’s office said. The legal limit for operating a vehicle is .08%.
Ruhl on Jan. 2, 2020, told a Police Communication Officer to change the name of the arresting/investigating officer for the case to hers even though she was not at the scene of the DUI, the DA’s office said.
A month later, on Feb. 6, 2020, Ruhl instructed another PCO to change the classification of the DUI investigation to a “towed vehicle,” authorities said.
Not long after, on Feb. 14, 2020, Ruhl prepared and submitted another report that changed all the information to include that the driver of the car was not impaired, the DA’s office said.
A fax sent on April 13, 2020, from the Avondale Station to the PSP Bureau of Records and Information, stated that the original information contained in the report about the driver’s arrest for DUI was incorrect and that no charges would be filed against him, the DA’s office said.
“This investigation demonstrates that no matter who you are, no person is above the law, and everyone must be held accountable,” Ryan said.
“We hold law enforcement to the highest standards, and the defendant betrayed her sworn oath with these criminal acts. Law enforcement must continue to police their own, just as Pennsylvania State Police did here.”
Ruhl — a 23-year veteran of PSP — was suspended without pay and she is expected to be arraigned later this month.
PSP Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards, Internal Affairs Division, investigated the case with the assistance of the Chester County District Attorney’s office.
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