Cases in jeopardy after officer indicted for theft - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Cases in jeopardy after officer indicted for theft

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LMPD Officer Christopher Thurman was indicted for theft by deception over $10,000 and official misconduct. LMPD Officer Christopher Thurman was indicted for theft by deception over $10,000 and official misconduct.
Paul Gold Paul Gold

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville Metro Police Department officer accused of falsifying his time sheets to rack up extra overtime, put his future, and dozens of police cases, in jeopardy.

Tuesday, Christopher Thurman was indicted for theft by deception over $10,000 and official misconduct.

City records indicate he was paid $140,000 in overtime since 2008.

Because of the charges against him dozens of cases he was involved in may get thrown out.

"The likelihood of him coming to testify are slim and none," Louisville Attorney Paul Gold said.

Thurman's attorney said Thurman will plead the fifth if called to testify on any of the 100 pending cases he's involved with. That means, he won't be the crucial witness prosecutors need.

"If we still think we can go forward and proceed on the case without his testimony at all, that's a possible route," Leland Hulbert of the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office explained.

Thurman was a traffic cop, a drug recognition expert who stopped drunk drivers.

"I would consider him one of the 10 best out of the 12 hundred or so police officers," Gold said.

Some of attorney Paul Gold's DUI clients were stopped by Thurman.

"It's true that most officers play by the rules," Gold said. "But when you find one that allegedly is not playing by the rules, why would you believe anything he has to say?"

Thurman was also the lead officer in a fatal hit and run last September on Interstate 64 and a manslaughter case involving a Jefferson County Public Schools teacher. Prosecutors are looking at the cases to see if they can move forward without Thurman.

Thurman has worked for Louisville Metro Police since 1997. We took a look at his personnel file. In 2005, he was reprimanded for searching an apartment without a warrant.  He was assigned to attend a counseling session on procedures.

In 2011, Thurman was stopped by an Indiana Trooper for reckless driving and speeding on I-65. He was reprimanded for violating standard operating procedures in regards to vehicle usage and conduct unbecoming. He was no longer allowed to take a department vehicle home.

In 2012 he was reprimanded for not reporting an officer-involved collision after a car backed into his unmarked vehicle. The driver accused Thurman of pointing a gun at him. That claim was not sustained.  

City records show Thurman has made more than $46,000 since 2008. In 2011, his salary was $49,753 and he claimed another $27,894 in overtime pay. In 2012, he claimed $27,446 in overtime pay. In 2013, he claimed, $21,474 in overtime pay.

LMPD gave him a desk job when the overtime investigation began last October. Thurman's current salary is $52,166. He has not claimed any overtime so far this year.

Thurman has entered a not guilty plea and is scheduled for arraignment Monday.

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