Anne Arundel police officer is accused of falsifying military assignment to Iraq

October 20, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

A veteran Anne Arundel County police officer is scheduled to go on trial next month, charged with theft after being accused of collecting a paycheck from the department for two months after he falsely told his commanders he had been called up for military duty in Iraq.

Officer Andrew Barnett, 51, an eight-year veteran who worked as a patrolman in the western district, is scheduled to be tried Nov. 18, the department announced yesterday.

"It's extremely disappointing when any of our officers are involved in criminal activity, especially at a time when the country is involved in a war on terror," said Lt. Edward Bergin, who is leading the department's investigation.

Laura Robinson, one of Barnett's lawyers, said yesterday that her client "vehemently denies" the allegations against him and that he is looking forward to his day in court.

According to court documents, Barnett was charged with committing a theft scheme in August.

Barnett has been suspended without pay from the department since February.

In December last year, Barnett told his supervisors that he needed time off because the Army had called him to duty overseas, Bergin said. He was granted the time - a period of months - but he had not been deployed, said Bergin.

Sun staff writer Molly Knight contributed to this article.

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