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Dixon Kwon pleads guilty to reckless driving, gets 3 days home detention

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DEPARTMENT of Public Safety Officer Dixon Kwon on Wednesday pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was sentenced by Judge Kenneth L. Govendo to six months of confinement in the Department of Corrections, but all suspended, except for three days of house arrest.

Kwon was also placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay a fine of $500.

It was on July 22, 2017 when Officer Kwon crashed his car, injuring his passenger.

The Office of the Attorney General initially charged him with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more; reckless driving causing bodily injury; two counts of fleeing the scene of an accident; and two counts of failure to have motor vehicle liability insurance while operating a vehicle on a public highway.

Moreover, Kwon “operated a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property which caused bodily injury to a person. He fled the scene and failed to stop at the scene of the accident after driving his vehicle into a tree causing bodily injury to his passenger. He also failed to provide reasonable assistance to an injured person.”

After Kwon pleaded guilty to reckless driving, the other charges against him were dropped.

Chief prosecutor John Bradley said the case was substantially delayed because of ongoing litigation that arose from an internal investigation of Kwon conducted by DPS. 

“After lengthy and repeated court hearings, Judge Govendo found that DPS officers acted in bad faith when they lost files from that internal investigation. That negative finding severely damaged the credibility of evidence related to Kwon’s alleged use of alcohol in connection with the criminal case,” Bradley said.

Given those difficulties, he said the AG’s office negotiated a guilty plea to reckless driving.

“That agreement required Officer Kwon to pay restitution, complete 100 community service hours, write a letter of apology to the victim, serve a six-month license suspension, and report to and follow the rules of the Office of Adult Probation,” Bradley said.

The plea agreement did not say whether Kwon may continue to work as a police officer.

According to Bradley, “That employment decision is the responsibility of the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.”

Bradley added, “We regret that DPS bad faith misconduct interfered with this investigation and prosecution and hope that Commissioner Guerrero will take action against any officers involved in that misconduct.”

Nonetheless, the chief prosecutor said, this conviction shows that police officers are not above the law.

Kwon was represented by attorney Charity Hodson while Assistant Attorney General J. Robert Glass Jr. prosecuted the case.

 

 

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