A former Washington state corrections officer will serve seven days in jail for lying about being employed while collecting workers’ compensation.
John Gruden, 44, pleaded guilty Friday to felony first-degree theft and was sentenced to 45 days behind bars.
Seven of them will be spent in the Snohomish County Jail. The rest will be served via electronic monitoring at his home in Michigan, where he now lives.
Gruden also must repay the state $100,544.
The state Department of Labor & Industries launched an investigation after Gruden reported a May 2011 incident in which he hurt his foot and ankle during training at Monroe Correctional Complex.
Three months later, he moved to Arizona and filed with L&I, contending he couldn’t work because of his injury. Gruden received more than $100,000 in disability payments to replace part of his wages, according to court records.
It turns out he was working three jobs at the time.
Gruden was employed with a private security firm, as a police officer assistant for the Phoenix Police Department and at Maricopa County Community College from fall 2011 to early 2016, state officials said.
“This was a blatant case of someone trying to game the workers’ comp system, and we have the video and records to prove it,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards.
Investigators videotaped Gruden jogging and driving to work.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653