07/13/2006

L.A. police corruption whistleblower arrested in perjury case

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES- A former police officer whose allegations of police misconduct resulted in scores of criminal convictions being thrown out was arrested on a perjury charge.

Prosecutors allege that Rafael Perez lied in his application for a California driver's license last June, the district attorney's office said in a statement Wednesday. They did not elaborate.

A call to a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator was not immediately returned.

Perez, 38, was taken into custody as he was visiting his federal parole officer, then booked into county jail. Bail was set at $60,000.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in state prison.

Perez helped launch the Rampart division corruption investigation in 1999.

After being charged with stealing cocaine from a police evidence room, he testified that he and fellow anti-gang officers beat, robbed, framed and sometimes shot innocent people.

But Perez emerged as the main culprit after his accusations against other officers were largely disproved.

Perez was sentenced in 2001 to five years in state prison after pleading guilty to grand theft and cocaine possession.

He was then prosecuted in federal court for shooting an unarmed man. He pleaded guilty to the federal charges and in 2002 received a two-year sentence.

The city paid an estimated $70 million to settle lawsuits stemming from the scandal.

Related Articles:
Judge refuses to overturn $5 million awards to LA officersThree Rampart scandal L.A. officers get $15 MillionLos Angeles police corruption settlements estimated at $70 millionJudge: Rafael Perez to remain in L.A. county jail facility
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