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Fraud Charges Dismissed Against Gardena Cop

Posted on Saturday, February 01, 1997 at 12:00PM

Fraud charges against Gardena Police Officer David Burch were dismissed in October 1996. The complaint contained two counts alleging violations of Penal Code Section 72. It charged that Officer Burch filed two overtime slips for court appearances which the District Attorney’s office believed were not attended by Burch.

The department’s investigation concluded that two overtime slips submitted by Burch, one for September 11, 1995 and another for September 14, 1995, for a total of 12 ½ hours of overtime, were submitted by Burch despite not appearing in court on those dates at all or in part. The DA’s office filed the charges based upon on these conclusions.

Burch was represented in the criminal case by Stuart D. Adams, formerly of Silver, Hadden & Silver, and now with Olson, Goyette & Adams in Placerville. Adams contended that, at worst, the case was the result of poor record keeping and that Burch would never intentionally commit such acts.

Several motions were filed by Adams on Burch’s behalf which caused the DA’s office to take a closer look at the underlying investigation. The District Attorney’s office realized that the appearances were in preliminary hearings and that no transcripts of the proceedings had been pulled during the course of the investigation.

Copies of the transcripts were then ordered. It was immediately revealed upon review of the transcript that Officer Burch had been in court and testified all day on September 14, 1995. In the District Attorney’s opinion, this cast serious doubt on the whole case and the matter was dismissed.

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.