A judge sentenced a UNC Charlotte police officer to 10 days in jail for lying on the witness stand during a DWI case last week. But the officer won’t have to serve time if she performs 50 hours of community service and pays court and restitution costs.
Officer Kim Church, a patrol officer for seven years at the university, could also lose her job, UNCC Chief Jeff Baker said.
“We view this as probably one of the most serious offenses an officer could commit,” Baker said.
When Church was serving as a witness in a Nov. 28 DWI case, she wrote a note referring to the court proceedings as “BS,” Baker said.
That note made it into to the case file, where defense attorneys saw it. Later, while Church was on the witness stand, the defense attorney asked whether she was the author of the note. She denied that she was, according to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.
But on Monday, Church admitted she had lied on the stand, Baker said.
During a Friday morning hearing, Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg held Church in contempt of court and sentenced her. UNCC officials suspended her from police work Monday, and confiscated her weapon, badge and ID card.
The chief said Church is currently allowed to perform non-police administrative duties, like filing or answering the phone. He said this is the first time the department has dealt with an officer lying on the stand.
“It’s a reflection of her poor choices, not the department,” Baker said.
Baker said the woman involved in the DWI case was not a student at the university. Church’s lying was not considered perjury because it did not pertain to the case, he said.