Hollywood officer accused of lying in another DUI case

A Hollywood police officer accused of doctoring an arrest report last February is now accused of lying under oath in another DUI case.

(MIAMI HERALD)   A Hollywood police officer under investigation after he was recorded discussing how to doctor a woman’s arrest report last February is now accused of lying about the existance of a video in a separate arrest.

Officer Dewey Pressley lied during court proceedings about details of an August 2008 arrest involving Steven Berglund after saying the video that recorded the arrest did not exist, said Berglund’s attorney Robert Reiff.

According to court depositions, Pressley said last February that he did not record Berglund’s DUI arrest because of issues with the department’s in-car camera system.

However, Reiff had already received a copy of the video recorded by Pressley’s in-car dash camera.

Some details of the arrest laid out by Pressley in his deposition and a transcript of the video, both supplied to The Miami Herald by Reiff, are inconsistent.

“His version of the facts greatly diverged from what appeared on the video that had been recorded,” Reiff wrote in his motion.

Berglund pleaded no contest July 9 to reduced charges after the state attorney’s office learned of Pressley’s testimony. Berglund received three years probation, 30 days in a Broward jail and a 10-year suspension of his driver’s license, Reiff’s motion states.

Now, after learning video existed of Pressley allegedly falsifying a police report during a Feb. 17 crash involving Hollywood officer Joel Francisco and 23-year-old Alexandra Torrens-Vilas, Reiff is looking to fight the charges.

“I’m sure part of it was mistake on his part,” Reiff said of Pressley’s accounts during the deposition.

“But it is also indicative of a culture of embellishment.”

Pressley could not be reached for comment.

Jeff Marano, senior vice president for the Police Benevolent Association, said Reiff and other attorneys are just piling on the recent allegations against Pressley, who he said is a “thorough investigator.”

“If the state felt it was a material lie and Pressley was clearly intentionally perjuring himself then the state would have moved ahead and dismissed” the case, said Marano, a retired Hollywood police lieutenant.

The latest allegation comes as defense attorneys continue to pick apart cases involving Pressley and the four other Hollywood police officers accused of doctoring Torrens-Vilas’ DUI arrest report.

Two cannabis possession cases against a juvenile have already been dropped and the Public Defender’s office is currently reviewing numerous cases pending and closed to see if they could be affected.

“We’re pulling old cases,” said Mindy Solomon, chief assistant public defender.

“We have really made a decision to prioritize this and really work through them.”

Ron Ishoy, a state attorney’s office spokesman, said Friday that together, the officers are listed as potential witnesses in 110 felony cases and 250 misdemeanor cases — though he said the number of affected cases will be less because some of the officers are witnesses on the same case.

Along with Pressley and Francisco, Sgt. Andrew Diaz, Community Service Officer Karim Thomas and Crime Scene Technician Andrea Tomassi are also under investigation.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/story/1176947.html

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