Jan Scully: Homicide OK, but workers’ comp fraud a felony

In June of 2011, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced that her office would no longer investigate officer-involved shootings or any in-custody deaths. Even after receiving an unexpected $5+ million for her office, shortly after the announcement, Scully reiterated that she would not resume any investigation of deaths at the hands of law enforcement in her jurisdiction. Since then, law enforcement has broken all previous records for suspect shootings, with the toll of casualties and deaths quickly mounting.

In June of 2012, however, exactly a year after Scully’s shocking announcement, the DA announced that she had filed felony charges against a now-retired officer in the California Highway Patrol.

The officer’s alleged crime? Collecting checks for a back injury that DA Scully says isn’t injured enough. The officer was “captured on surveillance video-tape lifting 30-pound objects and moving furniture,” says Scully’s office, according to the Sacramento Bee.[1]

Although DA Scully appears resolutely unmoved even when officers gun down mentally-ill persons (see Jonathan Rose), Scully announced on June 8 that “felony workers’ compensation insurance fraud” and “attempted perjury” had moved her to file felony charges against retired officer Brian Christopher Hansen.[2] (How, precisely, one can be charged with “attempting” perjury, is anyone’s guess–but that another story.)

According to the Sacramento Bee:

    Hansen, 30, allegedly made false statements to doctors, investigators and in deposition about the extent of his disabilities caused by an on-duty back injury. Hansen stated he was only able to drive for very short periods, could not sit for more than a half-hour, couldn’t lift more than 10 pounds and was could not even do office work.

However, according to a DA press release, the CHP’s Office of Internal Affairs Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit videotaped Hansen and learned differently.

Videotape evidence shows Hansen driving for hours at a time, moving furniture when he changed homes, picking up items weighing more than 30 pounds and engaging in everyday activities without signs of physical limitation, according to the press release.[3]

Scully did not dislcose how much it cost the State to get video surveillance via the “Office of Internal Affairs Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit,” or how much it costs to keep such a “unit” running.

We can only assume it costs less than what it costs DA Scully to investigate the staggering number of officer-involved maimings and killings of legally-innocent and often unarmed citizens of Sacramento County.

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[1] Lindelof, Bill. “Former CHP officer faces fraud charges in Sacramento.” The Sacramento Bee. June 8, 2012. http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2012/06/former-chp-officer-faces-fraud-charges-in-sacramento.html

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.