Thursday, March 3, 2011 – 06:40 a.m.
Last Modified; March 3, 2011 – 07:00 a.m.
Everyone seems to be waiting on the anticipated release of results from a criminal investigation into allegations involving the falsifying of training records by sworn peace officers in the Sheriff’s Department.
And rightfully so!
The records in question were allegedly used to obtain a higher level of compensation.
There is also a question of sworn peace officers skipping out on mandated training and still receiving credit and pay.
Training needed to maintain qualification as a peace officer in California.
Stories are rampant as to who is involved and the consequences they shall face.
Documents used to seek additional certifications for the higher pay must be attested to under “penalty of perjury”.
Without dragging unconfirmed names through the mud, here is what is out there.
Number of individuals involved?: Anywhere from six to twenty-seven.
Classification of individuals?: Nearly all are sworn personnel with the rank of sergeant or above.
Potential penalty?: Felonies to misdemeanors, with resignations or retirements. Some retirements have already occurred, or are in progress.
How much could have been taken by way of improperly obtained POST (California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training) Certificates?
Those with fraudulent “Advanced” POST Certificates: Sergeant – $5,054.40/yr., Lieutenant – $5,803.20/yr.
Those with fraudulent “Supervisory” POST Certificate’s: Sergeant – $7,675.20/yr., Lieutenant – $8,798.40/yr.
The amounts for “Supervisory” or “Management” POST Certificates for the ranks of Captain, Deputy Chief, Assistant Sheriff and Undersheriff is not specifically spelled out in the Exempt Compensation Plan and therefore cannot be calculated. But they are significantly higher than the aforementioned amounts.
The elected Sheriff cannot receive POST compensation pay.
All amounts are used for the calculation of pension benefits.
The Sheriff addressed the Board of Directors of the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA) on Wednesday.
Sheriff Rod Hoops told the board the POST pay issue, which is being handled by the District Attorney, was being blown out of proportion and wasn’t a big deal.
Hoops said everyone would see for themselves soon enough.
Also, union President Bill Abernathie tendered his resignation, with an effective date a month from now. Abernathie denied having any involvement in the pay misconduct investigation.
Abernathie has been positioning incoming President Lauren Leichleiter to take his place since early last year. Now this will in fact occur. Leichleiter was appointed by the union’s board yesterday.
Several years ago four former sheriff sergeants were caught falsifying there time cards and prosecuted. The four individuals were allowed to plead guilty to infractions and retain their positions.
This had better not be the case this time around. Not any more.
The Board of Supervisors needs to ensure that all money isrecovered and pensions recalculated.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney has already set the standard.
What’s taking place in San Bernardino County is known in politics as a “circular firing squad”.
You can bet that those who are given breaks here, if any, will be torched by those facing the gauntlet.
It’s just the way it is.