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Despite close of criminal case in Wilson, hard feelings linger

   On Wednesday, the spokesman for the suspended Wilson baseball coaches said he wanted some results of an internal State Police probe released when completed. Baia_atlas_presser_FOR_WEB12505721H5351947

   A little more than 24 hours later, the agency released a statement to the press on the status of the investigation. It was not what Paul had hoped to hear.

   The State Police announced its probe was over; it found no wrongdoing had taken place.

   Read a story from today's Buffalo News on the end of the internal investigation. (Photo at right taken at coaches' press conference Wednesday, Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)

   Here's some of State Police Chief Inspector Colonel Anthony Ellis' statement:

   "All investigative and police actions concerning this matter were in accordance with State Police Rules and Regulations," Ellis said. "The review concluded that a thorough and proper investigation was conducted and the matter is now closed."

   In his statement, Ellis disclosed that Paul's allegations spurred the agency's internal review. Take a look at his full statement here.

   State Police confirmed on May 19 that they had begun an internal probe into how its investigators handled the alleged hazing case, which was triggered after an April 17, 2008, team bus ride.

   Paul recently began serving as spokesman for teacher-coaches William M. Atlas and Thomas J. Baia. Child endangerment charges against the coaches were dropped by a prosecutor Monday.

   After the investigation came to light in May, Paul was asked by The Buffalo News whether he was the one that called for the probe. He declined to comment at the time.

   Joseph Barrett, president of the New York State Police Investigators Association, also issued a statement Thursday saying the standard of proof required for arrest had been met in this case.

   He called Paul's claims "uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct."

   He also said, "This is a common tactic used by defendants in criminal cases, to attack the police, so this is not unusual that Mr. Paul would be reduced to this."

   Read Barrett's full statement here.

   Paul, who was unaware of either statement until called by a reporter Thursday afternoon, said his camp was disappointed by the news.

   Baia_atlas_presser_crowd_for_web_12505721H5351748 Paul, who on Wednesday said the charges against the coaches came due to a rush to judgment by State Police, called the end of the internal probe "a clear, quick rush to judgment, again." (Photo at left from press conference held by coaches Wednesday, Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)

   He also called the review "unethical."

   Paul said there was evidence introduced at the players' trial which showed police wrongdoing.

   "It appears that the New York State Police internal investigation swept that information under the rug and covered it up," Paul said.

   Paul said he heard about four weeks ago that the State Police were considering wrapping up their internal investigation. At that point, he said he contacted the head investigator and told him he would question such an end in the press.

   His message was heard "loud and clear," he said.

   Paul called Thursday's announcement of the closed investigation a response to the negative press the agency received thanks to Wednesday's press conference.

   "It smells of an incomplete investigation," Paul said, "favoritism of the State Police taking care of the State Police."

   Paul said there are "other options" for an investigation into the New York State Police, "one of which is the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

   Paul said he and his clients are reviewing that option and will have more information at a later date.

   -- Aaron Besecker

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