When Kern County Deputy Sheriff Kacie Craven found herself defending against felony charges in June 2011 for allegedly defrauding the County due to time record irregularities, she was nothing less than astonished.
Surely, like many deputies, she usually procrastinated until the last day of the pay period to submit her time entries. Just as surely, there were occasions when that procrastination contributed to an imperfect memory in the time entries she made, both to the disadvantage of the County and herself. Incredibly, there was virtually no evidence that the mistakes she made were brought to her attention by supervisers, as corrections to her time errors were diligently but silently made by payroll technicians.
Approximately a year after the charges were filed, Craven came to be represented by Bill Hadden of Silver, Hadden, Silver, Wexler & Levine, who in turn obtained the services of private investigator and retired Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Sergeant Jeff Niccoli, someone intimately familiar with the nuances of the Department’s timekeeping. They subsequently prepared and presented voluminous materials for the distrcit attorney’s review, all suggesting that Craven’s errors were wholly inadvertent and without any intent to defraud or disadvantage the County.
On November 8, 2013, after exhaustive consideration of the matter, the D.A.’s office moved to dismiss the charges, with prejudice, “in the interests of justice.”
Ms. Craven readily acknowledges that “I never expected to use my LDF coverage, but I would have been lost without it.” She has since voluntarily left KCSO to spend more time raising her three small children.