A Baton Rouge police officer was arrested Wednesday and accused of falsifying a misdemeanor summons.
This is the second time in less than two months that Derek Jason Burns, 29, has been accused of injuring public records, forgery and malfeasance in office.
Burns was arrested Sept. 6 and accused of falsifying four misdemeanor summons. He was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on four counts each of injuring public records, forgery and malfeasance in office.
Police administrators would not speculate why Burns allegedly wrote the bogus summonses. However, officers are often paid overtime to appear in court for the summonses that they write.
Police Chief Dewayne White has said the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division launched an investigation into Burns on July 3 after the officer’s supervisor noticed a summons Burns wrote that “just didn’t look right.” The investigation is ongoing, he said.
Investigators initially looked into that summons and a random sampling of four others, finding at least four of the five appeared phony, White said. The fifth summons is still being examined, the police chief said.
Burns issued the four false summonses between June 6 and July 26 to three people without their knowledge, an arrest warrant said.
The police officer forged the victims’ signatures on the summonses, the warrant said.
The victims told investigators they had never come into contact with Burns and never signed the misdemeanor summonses, the warrant said.
The summonses were sent to a certified forensic document examiner, who concluded all four signatures were written by Burns, the warrant said.
During the Police Department’s subsequent investigation, investigators found that on March 21 Burns falsified another misdemeanor summons, a warrant says.
The victim told investigators he never came into contact with Burns nor did he receive a summons from the officer, the warrant says. The victim also told investigators that the signature on the summons was not his, the warrant says.
The summons was sent to a certified forensic document examiner, who concluded the signature was written by Burns, the warrant says.
Burns, 11756 N. Englewood Drive, was booked into Parish Prison on Wednesday on one count each of injuring public records, forgery and malfeasance in office.
The officer, who joined the Police Department in 2006 and is assigned to its prison transport division, is on paid administrative leave, pending an internal investigation into the matter.