Prosecutors dropped 13 Thousand Oaks drunk driving cases and a sheriff's deputy was suspended after it was discovered that the deputy may have inserted false information into the arrest reports, authorities said Thursday.
Deputy Christopher Williams, 37, has been under investigation and on paid leave since late December for allegedly filing false reports, said Chief Deputy Richard Rodriguez, who oversees the sheriff's internal investigations division.
Authorities believe that Williams, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, copied the same information by computer onto several arrest reports in order to save time.
Williams could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Thousand Oaks defense attorney Dennis Kucera said he discovered the problem when a client complained that his arrest report didn't accurately describe what happened.
"I began to snoop around and found that several of the deputy's arrest reports contained an identical chunk of text," Kucera said. "Each arrest report described word for word the suspects leaning on the deputy's car and fumbling with their wallets. My client didn't even have a wallet that day."
Prosecutors said the arrest reports were questionable and therefore the cases had to be dropped.
"We don't like dismissing cases, but the credibility of the reports were called into question," Deputy Dist. Atty. John Cardoza said.
Cardoza said he could not remember the last time so many cases were dropped because of a deputy's suspected misconduct.
The drunk driving cases, which date back to 1994, were dropped in December, authorities said. If found guilty by the department, Williams could face punishment ranging from a written reprimand to firing, Rodriguez said.