SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A county prosecutor and a former San Diego police sergeant accused in an alleged ticket-fixing scandal pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges.
In January, the state Attorney General's Office charged Kevin Friedman, 48, and local prosecutor Allison Worden - also known as Allison Debow – with one count each of misdemeanor conspiracy to obstruct justice and two misdemeanor counts each of alteration or destruction of a vehicle citation.
Friedman, who had been with the department for nearly 27 years, resigned last month. Worden has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case, said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Neither Worden nor Friedman appeared in court Wednesday; their presence was not required because the charges are misdemeanors. The defendants' not guilty pleas were faxed into Superior Court by their attorneys.
A readiness conference is set for April 17.
The misdemeanor criminal complaint alleges that Worden was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another deputy district attorney, Amy Maund, last May 28 when they were ticketed at a checkpoint for failing to wear seat belts.
After Worden, 36, was unsuccessful in talking her way out of the citations, she called Friedman, a friend and supervisor in the SDPD Traffic Division, and "asked him if there was something he could do," state prosecutors allege.
According to the complaint, Friedman granted the request by removing the citation forms from a basket at a police station without informing the officer who had issued them. Worden, for her part, allegedly told Maund the tickets had been dismissed because another woman had complained about the officer.
Dumanis said her office had cooperated with a police investigation into the alleged ticket-fixing but ultimately decided it was more appropriate for the state to prosecute the case since a county employee was involved.
While serving as a traffic-unit supervisor, Friedman had worked over Anthony Arevalos, a one-time San Diego police officer sentenced last month to nearly nine years in prison for seeking sexual favors from women during vehicle stops in the Gaslamp District.