LAPD Officer Convicted of Workers' Compensation Abuse
Los Angeles: It took only 30 minutes today, February 1, 2005, for a jury to return a guilty verdict against a nine-year veteran LAPD officer, Mariana Carmen Gallegos, on three counts of felony workers' compensation fraud and insurance fraud. This is the first time an LAPD officer has ever been convicted of such an offense.
Chief William Bratton said, " I'm gratified by today's jury verdict. The LAPD will not tolerate any abuse of our workers compensation system. As we did in the case of Ms. Gallegos, we will aggressively seek out those officers who compromise the safety of the public and their fellow officers by their failure to report to duty when they are physically capable of performing their duties."
In 2003, Gallegos was assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau, performing administrative duties. She reported to her supervisor that an old injury had worsened, and she could not report to work. She began to collect disability pay while recuperating at home.
Information came to the attention of LAPD managers that Gallegos was working overtime security details at Dodger Stadium and the Staples Center.
Investigators assigned to Professional Standards Bureau began surveillance on Gallegos and video taped her working at both locations in spite of her injury claims. A criminal investigation by LAPD led to her arrest in 2003, and the District Attorney filed felony charges in early 2004.
Gallegos has been relieved from duty, without pay, since her arrest and assigned to home pending the outcome of the investigation. The conviction will clear the way for Gallegos dismissal from the Department. State law disqualifies persons convicted of felonies from being peace officers.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2005, in Department 111.
This news release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.