PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Fire Captain Yolanda Stallings went running out of federal court and away from our cameras.
Only CBS3 was there as the once-decorated ranking official in the paramedic unit was arrested Thursday and arraigned before a federal judge on an obstruction of justice charge. Sources say Stallings obstructed justice in an ongoing investigation — which has been a source of trouble for her, for more than a year.
Eyewitness News uncovered Stallings is accused of setting fire to her Acura in Washington, D.C., in Feb. 2016, along with two other people. A complaint outlines the details, filed in Superior Court in Washington D.C.
Court officials say one of the defendants is her brother-in-law.
All of this, records show, ties back to an investigation CBS3 broke in July, when the captain was charged with theft by deception, among other offenses, by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Documents show Stallings and her co-defendants torched her car and then filed an insurance claim for the loss of the vehicle, estimated at $18,500. Court records reveal the three defendants texted after the car was burned and claim filed.
On Thursday afternoon, Stallings was ushered into federal court in handcuffs. She said nothing during the five-minute court appearance. A federal magistrate approved her release on $25,000 bond. She’ll have to surrender to Metropolitan Police in Washington next week to answer to charges there.
“It was a warrant, we dealt with the warrant and now we are going to proceed with the case,” Tariq El Shabazz, Stallings’ attorney told us while leaving court.
He described her “a pillar in the community,” and claimed this was the first they were hearing of the case. That’s even despite the fact Stallings, days after our initial report, resolved her criminal troubles with the Philadelphia DA’s Office by entering into an accelerated disposition program.
“Of course she’s very upset, I would be upset by the statements of individuals of those who brought this warrant in D.C.,” El Shabazz said. “I guess they’re doing what they’re doing and we’ll deal with them when we get to D.C..”
A spokeswoman with the Philadelphia Fire Department said they do not comment on personnel matters, and added the case would be handled according to the labor contract.
City records show Stallings, as of the end of 2017, was still a captain in the paramedic unit with an annual salary of $93,948.