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Burlington Cop Resigns Amid Perjury Investigation

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Angela Evancie
/
VPR/file
Burlington Police Officer Christopher Lopez resigned Monday and is under investigation for perjury, according to Burlington Police.

A Burlington Police officer resigned Monday after allegations that he committed perjury, and Vermont State Police are investigating more than 30 previous arrests that the officer made, according to a news release from the police department.The state police investigation was requested by Brandon del Pozo, the chief of the Burlington Police Department, which is also conducting an internal, non-criminal investigation.

Officer Christopher Lopez had his gun and badge taken away Feb. 13, police say, after a deputy state’s attorney told police about concerns the prosecutor had in a pending criminal case. A preliminary investigation resulted in Lopez being placed on paid administrative leave.

A few days later, on Feb. 16, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George determined that Lopez wasn’t a reliable witness “both retroactively and going forward,” and that he’d made “patently false statements” in an Oct. 25, 2016 affidavit related to an arrest for narcotics possession.

Burlington Police said they planned to fire Lopez on Feb. 21, but he resigned before they could.

“Regardless of the results of any future criminal or internal investigations, he will no longer be able to perform the duties of a police officer in Chittenden County,” the release said.

Police regularly provide sworn testimony in criminal cases.

"We have no tolerance for an act that, if proven, will erode the public's trust in the official statements of our police." — Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo

In a release announcing Lopez’s resignation, del Pozo said he hopes the department’s response to the case will send a clear message that “[w]e have no tolerance for an act that, if proven, will erode the public’s trust in the official statements of our police.”

Del Pozo said the department’s commitment to a fair and impartial investigation “is best demonstrated by an investigation conducted by external authorities” at the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s office and the Vermont State Police.

Burlington Police say Lopez joined the department in September 2014 after two years on the Baltimore Police Department in Maryland.

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