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Capitol Police officer admits setting fires

  • Story Highlights
  • Karen Emory agreed to resign and pay restitution to avoid prosecution
  • Must get professional counseling, and avoid any other criminal activity
  • She has been with the Capitol Police since January 2003
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From Paul Courson
CNN Washington Bureau
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A policewoman suspected in a series of small fires in restrooms in buildings around Capitol Hill late last year has admitted guilt and agreed to resign and pay restitution to avoid prosecution.

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A Capitol Police officer agrees to resign after admitting setting fires in Capitol Hill buildings late last year.

Karen Emory, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, must resign by March 4, get a year of professional counseling and avoid any other criminal activity over the next 12 months.

She was accused of destroying government property and indicted after investigators and prosecutors suspected she was behind at least two fires in women's restrooms in the buildings.

None of the fires caused injury or substantial damage, and restitution is listed at $215 dollars, payable within 90 days.

As part of an agreement for deferred prosecution, Emory signed a statement saying she "willfully destroyed property of the United States, specifically, toilet roll dispensers and toilet tissue under the control of the architect of the Capitol," causing damages of less than $1,000.

She has been with U.S. Capitol Police department since January 2003.

The fires occurred on at least seven days between late September and early November and initially were a puzzle for Capitol police, since some were in locations not yet open to the public for the day.

In preparing their case, prosecutors used information from a police colleague and a civilian witness to charge Emory with an incident on November 2.

According to court documents, she had just left a restroom where burned toilet paper had been found. The only other visitor that morning told police she had earlier used the same stall, and there was no burned paper.

Video surveillance from hallway and other cameras was also part of the case, according to police officials and court documents. No footage has been released.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said it would be a security risk to disclose the capabilities of various cameras around the U.S. Capitol. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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