CHP Brass Ignored Calls to Fire Officer: Report

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010  |  Updated 10:20 AM PDT
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Verdicts In for "Sex or Ticket" Trial

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Verdicts In for "Sex or Ticket" Trial

Jurors convicted former CHP officer Abram Carabajal on bribery and perjury charges while acquitting co-defendant Shirin Zarrindej of both those counts. The jury deadlocked 11-1 on the conspiracy charge against both defendants.
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Officials refused to fire former California Highway Patrol officer Abram Carabajal years before he was convicted of asking for sex in exchange for dismissing a speeding ticket, according to a published report.

Carabajal’s “freeway flirtations” came to light after two young women complained to supervisors at the Oceanside CHP office, according to our media partners at the North County Times.

A 2006 internal investigation by Carabajal's Oceanside supervisors revealed the veteran officer's habit of fostering inappropriate relationships with women during traffic stops, said Dave Webb, the former captain of the Oceanside CHP office who retired last year.

After former CHP Commissioner Mike Brown rejected the recommendation to fire Carabajal, the officer returned to duty but was monitored. He had to report his daily activities to a supervisor and keep audio recordings of his traffic stops, the paper reported.

Then, in March 2008, Carabajal cited the 49-year-old Shirin Zarrindej for speeding on Interstate 5 near Oceanside. Carabajal struck up a conservation with Zarrindej, which led to numerous phone calls between the two.  When Carabajal's bosses learned about those conversations, they opened an investigation. An undercover officer was inside the Vista court, when Carabajal told a judge to dismiss that speeding ticket.

Investigators then followed Carabajal to an Oceanside hotel, and took photos of him and Zarrindej entering a room.

In June 2010, jurors convicted Carabajal on bribery and perjury charges while acquitting co-defendant Zarrindej of both those counts. The jury deadlocked 11-1 on the conspiracy charge against both defendants.

Carabajal will be sentenced on Sept. 10. He faces up to 4 years 8 months.

Read more from the women who complained about Carabajal four years ago

in the full article in the North County Times.

 


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