Chris Brown case raises tough questions for Virginia authorities
New documents filed by the L.A. County district attorney's office alleging Chris Brown violated his probation focused attention on a Virginia police department and state corrections department tasked with supervising the singer's community service requirements.
Virginia authorities declined to comment on the matter, citing the ongoing court case. But L.A. Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said Tuesday's court filing suggested “significant discrepancies indicating at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting."
In the 19-page filing, prosecutors outlined a series of inconsistencies with the Richmond Police Department's report on the number of hours Brown had served.
Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, sharply disputed the allegations, accusing prosecutors of making "scurrilous, libelous and defamatory statements" against his client. Geragos also disagreed with suggestions that he coached Virginia authorities in their conversations with Los Angeles investigators.
"It’s as if they don’t remember what happened the courtroom,” Geragos said. “The judge instructed me to get a report to her before the next hearing date, which is exactly what I did."Brown is on five years probation after pleading guilty to a felony count of assault in connection with a 2009 attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna. As part of his probation, he was required to perform 180 days of community labor in Virginia.
"Representations made by the Richmond Police Department regarding supervision, completion, documentation and reporting of the defendant's labor are inconsistent, unreliable and cannot be attributed to any source," the filing said.
Part of his labor allegedly including waxing floors at the center, but a longtime janitor at the center told investigators with the L.A. district attorney's office that he had maintained all of the floors for eight years and was unaware of anyone else doing so.
The janitor told an investigator that he had been contacted by the center's current administrator "to warn him" about questions from L.A. officials, the report said. The administrator "tried to tell [the janitor] how to handle our questions," the investigator wrote, to which the janitor said "he wasn't going to lie to anyone about anything."
Other discrepancies include whether Brown was in the country when he was supposedly serving his community labor.
In an August 2009 letter to Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg, Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood confirmed that his department would oversee Brown's probation, saying the singer would be assigned "manual labor tasks, such as graffiti removal, trash pick-up, washing cars, cleaning, maintaining grounds, etc."
"Accordingly, his activities would be performed under the supervision of myself and those under my command," Norwood said. "Proper documentation of his days/hours worked will be maintained in our files and we are willing to provide progress reports to the court if the court requires such."
Prosecutors raised additional questions whether the Richmond Police Department had any jurisdiction in the matter, saying the alleged community labor was not performed in the county in which Brown resided.
"Not one day or even one hour of his claimed community labor was performed in his own county or in his assigned probation supervision district," the filing said.
In addition, the report claims Richmond officers charged overtime as part of a "protection detail" at a Brown concert performance.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather
Photo: Chris Brown at a news conference on Jan. 27. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press