King Co. corrections officer accused of faking deployment to collect $110K in pay

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 3 at 5:27 PM

A King County corrections officer was charged last week with forging military documents to convince his employer that he had been deployed overseas for military duty.

Jose Abarca of Puyallup allegedly told his superiors that the Washington National Guard had deployed him to Germany. Abarca then collected his salary and benefits for a year -- taking advantage of a law requiring employers to continue paying workers who are activiated by the National Guard or Reserve.

The scheme was exposed when county human resources personnel noticed problems with the paperwork Abarca submitted notifying the county of his deployment. The Washington Guard later told the county that Abarca had not been mobilized.

Abarca, an 11-year veteran of the corrections force most recently assigned to the jail in Kent, resigned his position in July after being confronted. According to charging papers in the case, Abarca collected $110,000 through the scheme.

"He made some poor choices," said William Hayes, commander of the King County corrections force.

KING 5's Linda Brill contributed to this report.

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