The state's top prosecutor announced Thursday that nearly fifty former and current California Highway Patrol officers were accused of collecting more $225,000 in an over-the-year overtime scheme.
According to a statement by Rob Bonta, California Attorney General, the officers at the East Los Angeles station allegedly exaggerated how many hours they worked between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018.
The total number of charges against them includes grand theft and fraudulent claims during a scam that brought in $226,556, Bonta stated.
He said that trust is an essential part of law enforcement success. "These defendants ignored the law by their alleged acts and did not think about how their conduct might impact the California Highway Patrol and the community who trusted them to protect or serve." CHP did a thorough investigation and worked with DOJ to bring these officers to justice.
In a statement, the highway patrol stated that it was a professional law enforcement agency and holds its employees to the highest standards. The CHP is committed to investigating all allegations of misconduct.
Highway patrol stated that the officers employed by the department were placed on administrative leave and their peace officer powers were removed.
The statement by the agency did not indicate whether administrative leave was paid for or unpaid, nor how many officers were still on the force.
Prosecutors said that the highway patrol opened an investigation in May 2018. They allegedly received overtime hours that they didn't work, while being assigned to safety details in a maintenance program or a construction-zone programme.
Bonta stated that three former officers also kept fake hours while monitoring congestion in traffic lanes.
He said that they had created fake warnings and assistance for drivers to support fraudulent overtime claims.
Bonta stated that the officers were arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday and Thursday. Bonta stated that the defendants were scheduled to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court Thursday and Friday.