A 44-year-old San Mateo County sheriff’s correctional officer pleaded no contest Wednesday to misdemeanor worker’s compensation fraud and was sentenced to 10 days in county jail, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
According to the report in SFGate, Edmundo Rocha reported an injury in October 2016 that he said resulted from defensive tactics training the previous month, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Rocha was diagnosed with a left shoulder sprain and was offered workers’ compensation benefits. His doctor ordered him to be on modified duty, but the sheriff’s office eventually had him stay out of work on total temporary disability, prosecutors said.
However, while on disability, he ran in a Spartan Race and a GoPro camera worn by a fellow sheriff’s employee captured Rocha navigating obstacles in the course. When he went to see a specialist weeks later, he did not disclose that he was able to participate in the race.
Wagstaffe said the sheriff’s office eventually reported the case to the district attorney’s office, and investigators learned from interviewing employees that there was the video from the race.
Rocha’s attorney Josh Bentley entered the no contest plea on his behalf Wednesday morning, according to Wagstaffe.
Along with the 10-day jail sentence, which can be served in Sacramento County where Rocha lives, he was also sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution, Wagstaffe said.
Bentley, who was not immediately available for comment, presented a check for $5,000 in restitution to the court, the district attorney said.
Rocha will surrender to authorities on March 23 to serve the jail sentence, Wagstaffe said.
He said Rocha was on administrative leave from the sheriff’s office as of last week. A sheriff’s spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on Rocha’s current employment status.