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D.C. Police officer pleads guilty to fraud linked to radar tickets; city refunds $17,000 in fines

A former D.C. police officer pleaded guilty in Superior Court Thursday to falsifying certification logs on radar guns used to catch speeders, forcing the city to refund $17,550 in fines, according to a statement from the Police Department.

Officer David J. Cephas, a 12-year veteran, agreed to resign and pay the District the money that had to be given back to motorists whose speed was measured with radar guns not properly calibrated, police said.

Cephas is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 30 on three misdemeanor counts of fraud. His attorney, Rebecca S. LeGrand, declined to comment on the case Thursday morning.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier issued a statement thanking the department’s Internal Affairs Division with maintaining standards and “ensuring that the members that do not meet these standards are no longer entrusted top carry our badge.”

Few details of the case were revealed. Police said the charges stem from an internal audit that found starting in 2008 that “Officer Cephas had falsified deployment logs documenting certification times” for radar equipment.

Those devices must be routinely tested and calibrated, much like on a scale, to ensure the speed they measure is accurate. Tickets issued on radar equipment that is not calibrated can be thrown out of court.

Police said that as a result of their findings, officials rescinded 200 radar citations and refunded more than $17,000 in fines.

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