Cop accused of tampering with secret military files

A Hayward police officer on military leave is facing charges that stem from a military investigation into the mishandling of classified information, according to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Master Sgt. Reinaldo Pagan, who has been with the Hayward Police Department for nine years, is one of two reservists who have had charges brought against them as part of an “extensive and ongoing investigation into the mishandling and compromise of classified information,” said Maj. Jason Johnston, a spokesman for the Marine Corps.

Pagan has been charged with dereliction of duty and orders violations.

The other police officer, Gunnery Sgt. Eric Froboese, also has been charged with dereliction of duty and orders violations, as well as conspiracy and wrongful transmission of classified information.

Both men are assigned to the Headquarters and Support Battalion of the Marine Corps out of Camp Pendleton.

The charges were first reported last week by The San Diego Union-Tribune. A source who did not want to be identified said the men gave information on terrorists to members of the Los Angeles County Terrorist Early Warning Group, a multiagency task force.

“These charges, along with supporting evidence, will be forwarded through the appropriate chain of command for review and recommendations as to disposition,” Johnston said in a prepared statement.

He said the details of the case are being withheld in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“When appropriate and in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the Marine Corps will release further information related to the investigation,” Johnston said.

Hayward police Chief Ron Ace said his department had “very little information” about the military investigation.

He would not comment on how the investigation and any resulting disciplinary action would affect Pagan’s job with the department, saying to do so would be “premature.”

“At this point, I’d like to give Officer Pagan the benefit of the doubt,” Ace said, “and treathim like anyone else — presume he’s innocent until proven guilty.”

Just the facts

The events surrounding an accused Hayward police officer

Who: Master Sgt. Reinaldo Pagan, a nine-year veteran of the Hayward Police department on leave for military service as a Marine reservist.

Where: Assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

What: A military investigation revealed a “mishandling and compromise of classified information” by Pagan and another reservist.

Charges: Pagan is charged with violation of Article 92 (dereliction of duty and orders violation).

What’s next? Charges will be forwarded “through the appropriate chain of command for review and recommendations as to disposition,” according to Maj. Jason Johnston, a spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps.

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