Los Angeles police officials arrested one of their own Thursday on suspicion of workers’ compensation fraud while enrolled in a controversial program that pays veteran cops and firefighters their salary and pension simultaneously for up to five years.
Police Officer Terry Johns joined the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP, in July 2014. The following month he filed a workers’ compensation claim for a bad back, public records show.
He then took a long injury leave, collecting nearly $250,000 in pension and salary for the time off, according to city payroll data.
A Times investigation published last month found more than 1,200 public safety officers had joined DROP and then gone out with injuries – typically bad backs, sore knees and other ailments of aging bodies – turning the program into an extended leave at nearly twice the pay.
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