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Officer still on leave after pleading guilty to theft, LAPD says

July 30, 2012 |  4:43 pm

Officer still on leave after pleading guilty to theft, LAPD saysA veteran LAPD officer who pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges of stealing from the luxury Laguna Beach resort where he also worked remains on administrative leave with the Police Department pending an ongoing internal investigation, an LAPD spokesman said.

Jeffry Paul Quinton, a 21-year veteran of the department, was placed on paid administrative leave after his March arrest pending the outcome of his criminal case. On Monday, Officer Cleon Joseph said Quinton, 47, remained on leave but declined to discuss the matter further.

Quinton was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years' probation after he pleaded guilty to charges of grand theft and commercial burglary, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald also ordered Quinton to pay restitution.

Authorities say Quinton, who worked a second job as a security guard at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, stole cash and nearly $300 of bedding from the luxury resort.

As part of his hotel job, prosecutors said, Quinton had access to the resort's computerized lost-and-found system. In October 2011, authorities said Quinton accessed the system and changed records that showed hotel staff had found $2,000 in a room, falsifying the report to say that a gold watch had been found. Quinton also changed the room number where the money was found and wrote that the watch was returned to its owner.

Authorities also said Quinton stole $960 from the resort's safe.

In December of the same year, authorities said Quinton covered a surveillance camera in the resort's security office with tape for several minutes as he stole $680 from a safe deposit box. A month later, he was accused of stealing $290 in bedding from a locked hotel storage room.

Laguna Beach police arrested Quinton after examining surveillance footage from the hotel.

Quinton's attorney, Glenn Osajima, said his client wanted a quick resolution to the case because he "acknowledged ... that he made a bad mistake in judgment." 

Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Katz had asked that Quinton spend a year behind bars because he "abused a position of trust" at the hotel.

"As a policeman, he should be held to a higher standard than the average person because this is someone who assumably was hired specifically because he would bring to the job the integrity we expect police to have," Katz said.


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— Kate Mather

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Photo: The Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times