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When top brass at the California Highway Patrol early this year announced the suspension of dozens of officers suspected of fraudulently receiving hundreds of hours of overtime pay, they insisted the practice was isolated to the East Los Angeles station.

An investigation, they said, found evidence that officers at the station exaggerated the number of hours they worked in protection details for Caltrans workers doing freeway maintenance, receiving pay for eight hours of overtime when they may have only put in three or four hours on a detail.

But now attorneys for more than 30 of those officers claim the practice extends far beyond the East L.A. station and has existed for decades. They cite statements from current and former supervisors and officers to back up their case.

Led by former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, the attorneys this week sought a judge’s order to release overtime records for similar details worked in the past by top CHP leaders and investigators to prove their point. The CHP has denied a public records request for those records, citing the ongoing investigation.

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