Thursday, September 5, 2002
Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Not Guilty to Filing False Reports
From Staff and Wire Service Reports
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pled not guilty yesterday to charges of filing false reports in nine cases.
Darrin Lee Wilkinson, 39, was arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court on 27 counts of filing false reports and public records violations. Judge John J. Cheroske presided over the Compton courthouse hearing.
Wilkinson also entered pleas to three counts for each of the reports he is accused of altering. He could face up to eight years and four months in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
Wilkinson was a detective in the anti-gang Operation Safe Streets unit, Deputy District Attorney Dan Baker said earlier this year.
A routine audit by the Sheriff’s Department’s internal criminal investigation bureau turned up 10 falsified reports written by Wilkinson in January. The prosecution alleged that in the reports, Wilkinson claimed to have done investigative work he didn’t do, such as interviewing witnesses or showing pictures of possible suspects to witnesses. Following an internal criminal investigation by the sheriff’s department, Wilkinson was relieved of his duties as a deputy in Operation Safe Streets, an anti-gang program.
The deputy was notified in January that he had been chosen for a federal task force, prosecutors said.
After a recent hearing, attorney Vicki Podberesky said her client expects to be “able to show that the reports he submitted are true and correct ... and that he, in fact, contacted all of the people he said he contacted.”
Wilkinson, who has been relieved of duty by the sheriff’s department, is due back at the Compton courthouse for an Oct. 4 pretrial hearing. Trial is set for Nov. 4.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company