SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Orange County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty today to filing a false police report in connection with taking a credit card from a suspect. She later gave the card to her son who then used it.
Angelina Cortez, 41, was charged in September with one felony count of filing a false police report. An Orange County Superior Court judge reduced the charge to a misdemeanor today over the objection of prosecutors. The judge sentenced Cortez to 120 hours community service and one year informal probation. She had faced a maximum sentence of three years in jail if convicted.
Cortez was assigned to a training officer on November 19, 2018 when she and her training officer responded to a call of a man stealing wine and batteries from a San Clemente 7-Eleven store. Cortez is accused of taking the theft suspect’s credit card, putting it in her uniform shirt pocket and later giving it to her son, who then used it. The card was never booked into evidence.
“The public must be able to trust that law enforcement officers will carry out their duties lawfully,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “When the law is broken by the very people who are entrusted to enforce it, the integrity of the entire criminal justice system is compromised. We will not allow the rule of law to be abused by someone in a position of power who chooses to prey on the vulnerable.”