SANTA ANA, Ca. (Sept. 11, 2020): In January 2020, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department identified a potential discrepancy with military orders submitted by a Deputy Sheriff. The deputy, who is assigned to custody operations, is also an Army Reservist. An internal investigation began immediately. It was discovered that the orders were not legitimate and are suspected to have been fraudulently created. The deputy was placed on administrative leave.
After this discovery, the Sheriff directed a review of all orders submitted by United States Armed Forces reservists. Several employees were believed to have created fraudulent documents allowing them to have military leave.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department conducted criminal investigations into the actions of six additional employees who are suspected of submitting fraudulent military orders. These fraudulent orders, once submitted to the Department, allowed these employees paid time off from their work assignment with the belief that they were serving their county as military reservists.
Due to the nature of the allegations, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department criminal investigations have been referred to the proper federal authorities for investigation.
To date, one deputy sheriff was released on probation, and six additional employees have been placed on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation and subsequent internal investigation.
“Especially today, as we commemorate the actions of courageous men and women of the armed services on Patriot’s Day, it is a dishonor that these members of our organization took advantage of military service for their own personal gain,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. “The actions of these seven individuals do not represent the values of this organization and absolutely do not reflect upon the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who have courageously served our country as members of our armed forces.”