NEWPORT NEWS--A Newport News police officer accused of perjury appeared in circuit court Tuesday and had his arraignment delayed until April 8th.
Police say that Officer Scott A. Mounger, 49, was indicted Monday by a grand jury. on the perjury charges and giving false reports to law enforcement officials.
The case at the center of charges involved Anthony Gerome Davis, whom Mounger arrested in August of 2012. Online court records show Davis faced several charges including DWI and possession of the pain killer Vicodin. By November Davis had been found not guilty on most of the charges. One was dismissed. The only charge of which he was found guilty involved an improper lane change.
Online records also show Davis faced similar charges in Hampton last year before his arrest in Newport News. Prosecutors there chose not to pursue a DWI charge in court.
According to a news release issued by the Newport News Police Department Monday, on November 13th, the department was notified of apparent significant discrepancies in Mounger’s testimony during the prosecution of a Driving Under the Influence case in Newport News General District Traffic Court. The department immediately began a criminal investigation into alleged perjury by Mounger.
After an extensive investigation which included a number of interviews, the case was presented to the Newport News Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office which requested a special prosecutor to handle it.
A special prosecutor reviewed the facts of the case and presented them to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury returned indictments against Mounger for one count each of perjury and falsely summoning or giving false reports to law-enforcement officials.
Police Chief James Fox believes Mounger's arrest could cause trust issues for the police department. "There will be part of the community that will say you can't trust them and we'll have to deal with that," said Fox.
Fox said the department asked a lot of tough questions about various cases but the officer's arrest could have an effect on other cases.
It will be up to the Commonwealth's Attorney to determine if any of Mounger's previous cases will be reviewed.
"It's sad, 'cause he's got an outstanding reputation, recognized as one of the top cops in Virginia," said Mounger's attorney, Robert Lawrence, who often represented people arrested by his client. "He's really a decent human being, and whether what happens, regardless of what happens, it's sad all the way around."
Mounger Joined the Newport News Police Department on February 22, 2005 and was assigned to the Department’s South Precinct as a patrol officer. He is presently on administrative leave without pay.