San Diego, CA — The San Diego District Attorney’s office revealed that a former probation officer was charged more than six months ago for falsifying mandatory drug test results.
The complaint against Michael Stevenson, the former San Diego County Mandatory Supervision Offenders unit probation officer, was filed on October 2, 2019. The Probation Department placed Stevenson on leave that day, and he resigned from his position later that afternoon.
Yet, the District Attorney only recently informed defense lawyers of the charges against Stevenson. Summer Stephan, the District Attorney, wrote a letter addressed to the “Defense Council” last week that listed eight charges.
Stevenson pleaded not guilty to all charges in February 2019. According to Stephan’s letter, the charges include evidence tampering, filing a false instrument, and preparing a false record for fraudulent purposes.
The District Attorney’s Office Communications Director said the letter to the Defense Council was delayed for several reasons, including complications from the coronavirus pandemic that have slowed court proceedings. The Communications Director gave no other explanation.
The complaint against Stevenson accuses him of falsifying evidence for two people: Shalana Pohlman and Kenneth Fishburn. Investigators found evidence that Stevenson promised to cover for Pohlman when she skipped a mandatory drug test. Stevenson wrote in the official record that Pohlman took the test, but logs from the testing location prove that she never showed up.
Additionally, a search warrant used in the case identified 18 other people toward whom Stevenson allegedly showed preferential treatment.
In the letter to the Defense Council, Stephan noted that there might be evidence to prove Stevenson’s innocence in his personnel file.
Stephan did not reveal the details behind each charge against Stevenson in the letter. Kerry Armstrong, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, said that this information is necessary for the defense to determine the charges’ impact and validity.
The court has not set a trial date or released any further information.
Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
Kerry L. Armstrong
Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University.
Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.
Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.