Ariz. Medal of Valor Officer Faces Felony Charges

GOODYEAR, Ariz. --

A police sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions was indicted Wednesday on charges of felony theft, forgery and fraud.

David Bryant has been accused of falsifying records to show he worked about 400 hours that he really didn’t work, bilking the city out of more than $13,000.

Bryant resigned on Feb. 2 and is expected to have his police officer certification revoked, according to police.

The Goodyear Police Department hired David Bryant 2001. He served in a variety of assignments and was promoted to sergeant in 2008. Bryant was decorated with the department's highest award, Medal of Valor, for his actions during an officer-involved shooting in February 2008.

In late 2010, information was revealed that Bryant may have directed a group of officers he supervised to falsify their pay sheets, according to police.

A simple, but disconcerting, five-hour discrepancy was brought forward by his officers.

"We've had a history of holding our people accountable and they know this. And it's from our own, the front line staff, who are bringing a lot of these issues forward. I appreciate that." said Goodyear police Cdr. Ralph McLaughlin.

The complaint sparked an internal investigation which revealed Bryant not only misdirected his staff, he had also falsified his own pay sheets for several months in 2010, police said. A criminal report was submitted to the Maricopa County attorney. Bryant was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 10.

Bryant was indicted by a grand jury on 17 counts of felony theft, as well as forgery and fraud.

"All our employees are given a certain level of trust and as you move up through the ranks you're given an increased amount of trust. Hopefully, you don't violate that trust. And in these circumstances he certainly violated that trust of managment and his officers," said McLaughlin.

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