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Police officer accused of food stamp fraud

Christopher Warren was fired and reinstated to department in 2011


A Beaverton police officer fired from and reinstated to the department in 2011 now faces allegations of defrauding Oregon by using food stamps and other social-services assistance while residing in another state.

A Washington County grand jury indicted Beaverton Officer Christopher R. Warren on Friday based on allegations he defrauded the state of more than $3,350 by collecting food stamps and other benefits for himself and his family members while living in Vancouver, Wash.

The alleged malfeasance took place in 2011, not long after Warren, 33, was reinstated as a Beaverton officer. He was placed on administrative leave in September 2009 in the wake of claims he inappropriately touched a female minor in Multnomah County when he was 17. After his accusers declined to cooperate in the investigation, the Multnomah County prosecutor’s office decided not to pursue the case.

Fired from the police department in January 2011, Warren was reinstated on Oct. 24, as a non-patrol desk officer, said Officer Mike Rowe, Beaverton Police Department spokesman.

“We were made aware of it on Friday,” he said of the fraud allegations. “That’s when we placed him on administrative leave.”

Of the $3,300 in allegedly illegal benefits Warren collected, $2,600 included benefits he should not have received, with the remaining $700 coming from medical benefits through the state, said Sgt. Bob Ray, Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Warren was an Oregon resident when he first applied for benefits with Oregon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2011, but apparently moved to Vancouver without terminating his benefits.

“We had evidence he was living out of state and drawing Oregon benefits,” Ray said of the period in 2011. “He got his job back on Oct. 24. He continued to receive benefits for more than three more months after that.”

From January through July, he received around $160 a month, an amount that increased to around $530 after he began claiming his family members, Ray said. In addition, Warren is accused of not reporting to the state more than $40,000 in lost wages compensation from Beaverton police after his reinstatement.

Contacted on the matter by the state Department of Human Services, the sheriff’s office started investigating Warren earlier this year. Turning himself in after detectives contacted him, Warren was cited and released on his own recognizance.

“It was a property crime,” Ray noted. “We don’t have enough room” in the jail. “We did with him what we would do with any citizen.”

Warren is scheduled to appear in Washington County Circuit Court on April 30. He faces seven allegations, including one count of first-degree theft, three counts of unsworn falsification, and three counts of unlawfully obtaining food stamps and public assistance.

Citing confidentiality related to personnel matters in the department, Rowe declined to provide details about Warren’s firing and reinstatement during the earlier sex crime investigation.

Hired in 2004 after two years as a reserve officer, Warren received letters of commendation from the former Beaverton police chief and six letters from community members praising his efforts.

In June 2010, Beaverton Police Chief Geoff Spalding called Warren’s case “unusual” because the allegations stemmed from incidents reported around 1997, several years before he was hired.

“The information in the documents we have received clearly speak to Officer Warren’s character and credibility if true,” Spalding said at the time, admitting concern over Warren’s role as a “mandatory reporter” of suspected child abuse and neglect cases as an officer.

Warren failed at least one of the three polygraph examinations the Center for Behavioral Intervention administered to him in March 2010, in which he denied sexual contact with the victim.




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