Charges lodged against 13 Maryland police officers and a recently retired officer were dropped Monday by the Office of the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney.
The office said it dropped charges because of new evidence the defense brought to prosecutors’ attention. The accusations, from five months ago, were for theft and misconduct.
In a statement, the office of Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy said, “After the indictment in these cases, we were approached by defense counsel who raised issues not previously uncovered in the initial investigation.”
The officers were accused of a double-dipping scheme — working secondary jobs with a private security firm while also on duty with the police department — between January 2019 and March 2021.
When prosecutors brought the charges, they said 13 of the officers were accused of stealing between $1,500 to under $25,000 for working both jobs at once. One officer stands accused of stealing between $100 and $1,500.
Additionally, federal prosecutors charged the alleged orchestrator of the double-dipping scheme, former police lieutenant Edward Scott, in a separate case, according to NBC Washington.
The state’s attorney’s office said the new information from multiple sources includes new witness statements and more detailed records. The office’s Public Integrity Unit has determined that the cases would be best resolved administratively inside the police department rather than in a court of law.
“Here, these officers will be held accountable for their actions, and that will be handled internally through the police accountability process,” the office said in the statement.
Although the office’s statement acknowledged new evidence, it did not say what details from the evidence led to the decision to drop charges. WTOP has reached out to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for those details.
All of the officers were assigned to the Special Assignment teams of District Three and had their police powers suspended in 2021.
The State’s Attorney’s Office said the police department’s investigation was based on two sets of timekeeping payroll records.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo and Rick Massimo contributed to this report.