Not because it’s necessarily surprising that elected officials and law enforcement officers are capable of the same kind of venal and petty transgressions as anyone else, but because of the systemic failure implicit in such stories. We want to believe that our electoral and hiring processes for public service weed out the bad apples and that we do put our best and brightest in positions of power, so accusations of wrongdoing can sometimes feel like they are leveled on society as a whole.
Last week an officer at the California Highway Patrol’s Dublin station resigned and was charged two felony counts of computer theft. Sean Harrington, 35, a resident of Martinez, an East Bay city, turned in his resignation on Wednesday, following an investigation into claims that he and other officers had traded nude photos stolen from the cell phones of women they had arrested. The charges against Harrington were filed on Friday, but so far prosecutors have not opted to file charges against the officers who allegedly received the stolen photos, Robert Hazelwood and Dion Simmons.
The charges against Harrington originated with complaints from two women, ages 23 and 19, who allege that while they were in custody on suspicion of DUI in separate incidents Harrington sent nude photos from their phones to himself. Since the investigation began a third woman has come forward with a complaint against Harrington.
If Harrington is convicted he could be sentenced to more than three and half years in prison. Court documents reveal that Harrington reportedly told investigators that he had learned the game at the CHP office in Los Angeles and brought it to Dublin, but a Bay Area CHP official says he believes that it was solely limited to Dublin.
While it is true that white collar crimes such as computer theft, fraud, forgery, and extortion do not carry the lengthy prison sentences associated with violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault, a white collar crimes conviction can do irreversible damage to your reputation and career. In addition to making you a less attractive prospect to lenders, employers, and renters, a criminal conviction can also strip you of professional licenses, destroying a career that took a lifetime to build.
When your reputation and livelihood are at stake, you need to have quality legal representation. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you build a winning strategy for fighting felony and misdemeanor charges. At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve helped hundreds of defendants across Southern California to protect their good name.
We’ve been practicing law in Orange County for over 16 years, and we know the best ways to deal with local judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies. If you hire us, you’ll receive the full support of our attorneys and a dedicated support staff that is available to help you 24/7.
Over the years, our firm has established itself as one of the best defense firms in Orange County by successfully defending clients from Westminster, Huntington Beach, Buena Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Orange. We maintain four offices in order to be convent to Orange County’s state and federal courthouses and we are proud to offer foreign language assistance to our clients who need it.
So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation or click on the “Contact Us” link above.
Fraley, Malaika and Matthias Gafni. “CHP Nude Photos Case: Dublin officer resigns, is charged with felonies.” http://www.presstelegram.com/government-and-politics/20141101/chp-nude-photos-case-dublin-officer-resigns-is-charged-with-felonies. Long Beach Press-Telegram. November 1, 2014.