Wash. Trooper Accused of Taking Workers Comp While Off Fishing

June 9, 2006

A Washington state trooper accused of falsely claiming 20-thousand dollars worth of workers compensation benefits has been charged in Olympia with theft and perjury.

Thirty-five-year-old James A. Long of Chinook, who is assigned to Pacific County injured his wrist in February of last year during training at the State Patrol Academy.

A Patrol Spokesman, Captain Jeff DeVere, says Long collected benefits from the Department of Labor and Industries for lost wages for seven months until he returned to work.

During his seven months off, he recorded about 40 fish catches with fishery authorities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Wheeler says if the trooper was able to go fishing on the ocean he could have been working at light duty at a desk job for the patrol.

His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday in Thurston County Superior Court. He also faces an internal investigation by the State Patrol.

Long could not be reached for comment. A phone call to the only Long in Chinook available from directory assistance was not answered.

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