Personnel charged with falsifying records to boost salaries and benefits
By BVN Staff –
San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael A. Ramos on Tuesday announced the indictment of seven current and former Sheriff’s Department employees who allegedly falsified training records to boost their salaries and retirement benefits.
The seven, who allegedly collected $2,000 to $15,000 each, were charged with grand theft, authorities said. In addition, some were charged with conspiracy and perjury.
Six of the defendants appeared in Superior Court Tuesday morning for arraignment. They were: former Sheriff's Capt. Hobart Gray, his wife and former sheriff's training specialist Angela Gray, retired Assistant Sheriff Michael Stodelle, Lt. Russell Wilke, training specialist Sallyann Christian, and Deputy David Pichotta. Retired sheriff's Lt. Bill Maddox failed to appear, and Judge Michael Dest ordered that a warrant be issued for his arrest if he does not appear in court on Friday for his arraignment.
Five of those charged were current or former sworn deputies, including one former assistant sheriff, authorities said. Two of those charged were involved in the department’s training program.
The defendants claimed to be taking required community college courses but did not attend. If convicted, each could serve up to a maximum five years in prison.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say this was a very disappointing day for the Sheriff’s Department,” said Sheriff Rod Hoops. “But if you look at the reality of it, we have 3,500 employees in our department.
This Sheriff’s Department will not be defined by the alleged acts of a very few individuals.”
A special grand jury was impaneled after the Sheriff’s Department received a tip that deputies had been falsifying records for the Peace Officers Standards and Training program.
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