Another deputy from the Temple City Sheriff's Station has been charged with criminal wrongdoing.
Deputy Glen Cozart, 31, a field training officer, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of planting false evidence on arrestees, filing a false report and lying in court while under oath, all felonies.
Cozart is the fifth deputy from Temple City Station--which has jurisdiction over several cities and unincorporated areas in a 62-square-mile area of the San Gabriel Valley--to be charged with or convicted of criminal offenses in the past year.
The case against Cozart, a 10-year sheriff's veteran, arose after the district attorney's Special Investigations Bureau was notified early last year about a problem with testimony given in court by the deputy, said Roger Gunson, who heads the bureau. Prosecutors said the motive is unclear.
Cozart testified in a criminal case in Pasadena Superior Court that he retrieved a piece of evidence, a photograph, from someone's pocket. Yet the photo was not creased, crumpled or dogeared as it would be if carried in a pocket, Gunson said.
"It caught the court's attention, because the physical evidence was inconsistent with the testimony," he said.
Sheriff's officials had already begun investigating Cozart from tips received by deputies in the department's Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, Gunson said. The investigators combed arrest reports written by Cozart and his partner dating back to May, 1990.
Cozart is accused, among other things, of: filing a false report and lying while testifying during the trials of two defendants charged with selling cocaine; falsely testifying that he found a gun on another defendant, and falsely accusing another man of cocaine possession and carrying a concealed weapon.
Cozart, who was suspended in September, 1991, during the investigation, is charged with nine felonies: four counts of false arrest, four counts of perjury and one count of filing a false police report. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 10 years in state prison. Arraignment is set for July 23 in Los Angeles Municipal Court. He posted $20,000 bail.
In the other cases involving Temple City deputies, three--Edward Perez, 35, Brent Mosley, 27, and Steven W. Switzer, 31--were accused in September, 1991, of stopping elderly motorists and stealing their credit cards. They also fraudulently charged more than $100,000 worth of electronics gear, sporting goods, appliances, toys and jewelry using the stolen cards.
All three pleaded guilty and were sentenced to state prison. Perez received five years and Switzer four. Mosley, the last to be sentenced, was ordered Wednesday to serve a three-year term and pay $5,000 in restitution.
Former Deputy Lloyd Shoemaker, 33, was accused in October, 1991, of raping two women and engaging in lewd conduct with a third after he allegedly stopped them during late-night patrols. His trial is set for Sept. 9.
The station has had a history of misconduct involving its deputies--including 13 who were accused of beating three Temple City men in their apartment in 1989. Lawyers for the three men settled for $925,000 and a promise of medical care for their clients.
Attorneys who have filed suits against Temple City deputies have called the station a "hornet's nest of misconduct." They say deputies have a decades-old reputation of beating up people and complain of lax supervision.
Capt. Robert Mirabella, who assumed command of the station in February, has promised to forge a bond between deputies and the communities they patrol.