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OPD has hired back all 11 fired cops who lied on affidavits
OPD cop "(Burke's) failure to proofread his warrant before submitting it to the court hardly rises to the level of deliberate, intentional and willful reception," Burke's attorneys wrote. Sure, filing affidavits that are incorrect and not "proofread" to seek illegal search warrants is okey-dokey. It's the accident defense all over again, this time no one died, just a bunch of people end up in jail. Ooops.
Oakland cop accused of lying regains job
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
(09-17) 15:28 PDT OAKLAND -- One of four Oakland police officers fired for allegedly falsifying search warrants has won his job back through arbitration, his attorney said today.
Officer William Burke, an eight-year veteran, was fired by the city last year after officials said that he had lied on affidavits for search warrants in drug cases and lied to internal affairs investigators.
But arbitrator John Wormuth concluded that Burke had followed proper procedures and never intentionally lied to internal affairs.
Terry Bowman, Burke's attorney, said, "Billy Burke was thrilled that the arbitrator recognized that there was no justification for his termination. He feels vindicated and is thrilled to be back at work."
Three other officers, John Kelly, Francisco Martinez and Karla Rush, were also fired by the city last year. A hearing officer recommended last year that seven other officers who had been facing possible firing be allowed to keep their jobs.
Police officials have declined to comment on the matter, saying state law bars police from discussing personnel matters. [See California Police Bill of Rights summary.]
The officers told judges that substances seized from drug suspects had been identified by the police crime lab as narcotics when, in fact, they had not, city officials said. Those false statements were used to persuade judges to issue warrants that police relied on to gather more evidence.
But Burke said he relied on a commonly used search-warrant template and failed to delete a reference in it, making it appear as if he had already received lab results.
"(Burke's) failure to proofread his warrant before submitting it to the court hardly rises to the level of deliberate, intentional and willful reception," Burke's attorneys wrote.