A former Oklahoma City Police lieutenant pleaded guilty Monday to obtaining money under false pretenses while on duty and received a six-year deferred sentence.
Christopher Lynn Gayhart, 42, of Tuttle, avoided trial by pleading guilty to three felony counts and 10 misdemeanor counts as part of an agreement with prosecutors. He faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted, his attorney said.
Gayhart was an 18-year veteran of the department who supervised others. He was accused of cheating the city by failing to work his entire shifts and was paid $5,096 for work he didn't do, prosecutors alleged.
According to a police inspector, Gayhart “came in late or left early” over 13 pay periods between Aug. 5, 2009, and July 18, 2010. He would be at his residence, his mother's residence “or areas inconsistent with police activities,” the inspector reported.
As part of his plea deal, Gayhart was ordered to pay the city $36,424.27 in restitution, which includes roughly $20,000 in accrued vacation and sick leave pay, and $10,000 awarded by the department's police association for 20 years of service.
Additionally, Gayhart will not be eligible to begin collecting retirement pay for six years.
“Unfortunately, good people do bad things,” said Irven Box, Gayhart's attorney. “He'll have to live with this for the rest of his life.”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater called Gayhart's punishment appropriate. Prater said it allows the Oklahoma City Police Department to be whole again, and ensures that Gayhart will never be a police officer again.