Prince William police generic

A former Prince William County police lieutenant with 17 years of service was arrested Monday in connection with allegations the police department’s law-enforcement database was used in an unauthorized manner to access citizens’ personal, identifiable information, according to police.

William “Liam” Martin Burke, 43, of Manassas, was arrested July 29 and charged with five counts of computer invasion of privacy in connection with the incidents, according to Sgt. Jonathan Perok, spokesman for the Prince William County Police Department.

The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 12 months in jail and a fine of no more than $2,500. 

Burke separated from the department last April. At the time of his separation, he held the rank of lieutenant, which is a deputy commander position within the department, Perok said.

Burke supervised the department’s support services division in the administration bureau, Perok said in an email.

The inappropriate use of the database was discovered during a routine annual internal audit, Perok said. 

Once the suspected violations were discovered, an administrative and criminal investigation into the matter were launched by the police department’s office of professional standards and criminal investigations division, Perok said.

 “At this time, the information obtained during the searches does not appear to have been used in any fraudulent way by the accused,” Perok said in the news release. 

At the request of the Prince William Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the case will be handled by a special prosecutor from Fauquier County, the release said.

Burke was released on his own recognizance for a Sept. 5 court date, the release said.

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