Saturday, November 01, 2008

Officer Darrin White Charged with False Pretense

A former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was arrested and charged with false pretense Friday after other members of the department raised questions about the hours he worked.

The former officer – Darrin White, a 16-year veteran of the force who worked in the Hickory Grove division before resigning this May – turned himself in at Mecklenburg jail and was released on a written promise to appear in court.

A Police Department news release says the charge stems from allegations dealing with White's reported work hours and pay with the city. White's annual salary was $63,338, according to city records, but it's unclear how much money is in dispute. An internal investigation is also under way.

A police report, which would provide details about the alleged crime, wasn't immediately available. Internal Affairs Capt. Chuck Adkins said there is an internal investigation into White's actions, but that he couldn't release details because of employee confidentiality laws and because the internal investigation is ongoing.

“We always defer and allow the criminal case to be pleaded first,” Adkins said. “Then we conclude the internal investigation.”

White's number isn't listed, and he couldn't be reached for comment.

The results of both investigations will be turned over to the state and could affect White's certification as a law enforcement officer.

It's the third false pretenses case involving a CMPD officer that has become public in the past two years.

In October 2007, Jerome Whitlow, 35, was charged with obtaining property by false pretenses. Then-police Chief Darrel Stephens said Whitlow failed to report to an off-duty security job at a construction site, but filled out a time report reflecting that he was there.

In January 2007, Officer Alan McGraw was arrested on the same charge, accused of lying about security work he'd been hired to do at a county park.

More Information:

Three Vancouver Officers Arrested for Drunk Driving


Three police officers arrested for impaired driving in three separate incidents in British Columbia is distressing news for Bob Rorison of MADD's Greater Vancouver chapter.

But Rorison believes others will likely be more upset than him.

"You can bet next time any police officer stops someone for drinking and driving, they'll get a loudmouth drunk, screaming that police have no right to make arrests because they're worse than anyone," said Rorison.

"A few bad apples have destroyed the credibility of all police officers."

Rorison said it took a generation to get out the message that drinking and driving is not acceptable, arguing the arrests of the police officers have reversed all the advances of the past decade.

Late Friday, the RCMP announced a third B.C. police officer had been arrested within the past year for impaired driving.

Cpl. Darren Baker, of the North Vancouver RCMP, is to appear in court in January. He was arrested last December and charged when officers spotted him allegedly driving erratically.

Two weeks ago, a New Westminster police officer was arrested in North Vancouver after allegedly crashing an unmarked police car into a sign. New Westminster Const. Tomi Hamner is to appear in court next month. Like Baker, Hamner is a school liaison officer.

Their involvement with students makes the arrests even worse, said Rorison.

News of the police arrests this week coincided with the Mounties' announcement of the arrest on impaired charges last March of the North Vancouver school board chair, who is up for re-election this month.

The most serious arrest involved an RCMP officer from Richmond after a fatal crash last weekend in the suburb of Delta that claimed the life of 21-year-old motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson.

Delta police are recommending that RCMP Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson be charged with impaired driving causing death.

Although he has not been charged formally, Robinson was identified by RCMP as the officer involved.

Robinson was also identified as one of four officers who were called to Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007, to confront a Polish would-be immigrant, Robert Dziekanski. Dziekanski died after being hit by a police Taser.

A report on that incident has been forwarded to Crown counsel, who will decide whether to lay charges.

Const. Annie Linteau, spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the officers arrested for impaired driving also face code of conduct investigations.

Cpl. Baker, of North Vancouver RCMP, and Const. Hamner, with the force in New Westminster, are on administrative duties. Const. Robinson is suspended with pay.

"We are certainly concerned and certainly we take these seriously," said Linteau.

"We do have 6,000 members in the division and, as far as we can see, these are isolated incidents."

B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen said police forces, like all employers, have a responsibility to ensure that assistance is available to their members who may have a substance abuse problem.

"The law will apply to everyone regardless," said van Dongen. "It's absolutely unacceptable that people will drink and drive on a public road."

Officer David Lebron Trial for Misconduct Begins


A police officer accused of helping seamy bars evade police crackdowns has gone on trial in Rockland County.

A prosecutor said in an opening statement Friday that Spring Valley Officer David Lebron protected taverns rife with prostitution, drug dealing and violence by tipping them to police raids. Lebron's lawyer told jurors they would find "a dearth of credible evidence."

The 39-year-old Lebron faces charges including falsifiying business records and official misconduct. He has been suspended without pay since his arrest a year ago.

He has said authorities tried to frame him because he filed a civil rights lawsuit after not getting promoted.

Lebron has been on the Spring Valley force for 10 years, after about six with the New York Police Department.


Information from: The Journal News,

Officer Charged with Taking Bribe

A Suffolk County police officer was in criminal court yesterday, only he was the one wearing handcuffs.

That's because Suffolk police arrested Bruce W. Blanco, 48, Friday on charges he extorted and accepted a bribe from a contractor in the form of a $15,000 brick patio he had the contractor build at his home.

In exchange, police said, Blanco, of Commack, on Friday gave "false testimony" in traffic court about a May 8 car stop, essentially "fixing" a speeding ticket for the contractor, police said.

The contractor, Adam McCabe, was allegedly driving 97 mph when Blanco pulled him over, police said.

Blanco, a 22-year police veteran, was released on his own recognizance yesterday morning after arraignment in Central Islip. He spent Friday night at the 7th Precinct lockup.

There is audio and videotape, not from the original traffic stop, of Blanco negotiating the terms of the patio construction in exchange for making the speeding ticket go away, said Spiros A. Moustakas, assistant district attorney with the Suffolk County DA's government corruption unit.
In court, Blanco stood handcuffed, with his attorney, Christopher S. Rothemich of Islandia, who entered a plea of not guilty on Blanco's behalf.

A representative of the Police Benevolent Association was also with Blanco. After he was released, Blanco said nothing, and Rothemich declined to comment.

At his Commack home, which features new, slate-gray brick outside the front door, members of Blanco's family refused to speak with a reporter.

Blanco's next Suffolk County Court appearance was scheduled for Dec. 15. He is suspended without pay.

Police charged Blanco with second-degree grand larceny for stealing McCabe's property by threatening that he would be imprisoned for speeding if McCade didn't build the patio, court records state.

He is also charged with second-degree bribery solicitation, for receiving the $15,000 worth of work to his home, court records state.

Blanco made statements to investigators that on the day he pulled McCabe over, the laser equipment used to measure vehicle speed wasn't properly calibrated, Moustakas said.

"I knew from the start the summons was going to be dumped anyway," Blanco said, according to Moustakas.

When confronted with evidence that he had paid McCabe $1,500 for $15,000 worth of work, Blanco said he had only paid $1,000, Moustakas said.

Blanco faces a maximum penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison on each charge, Moustakas said.

More Information: