WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- More turmoil in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Department over that 'lights and sirens' escort of troubled TV star Charlie Sheen.
A veteran police commander hammered the chief at a city council hearing -- suggesting she had failed to tell the truth...and unfairly transferred a number of officers.
And Commander Hilton Burton is far from alone in questioning Chief Cathy Lanier about the clarity of department policies on celebrity escorts.
Sworn to tell the truth, with his boss sitting right over his shoulder, Commander Burton read carefully from a written statement suggesting Chief Lanier was telling something other than the truth when she said Special Operations police escorts are reserved for the President and Vice President, and rare specially approved cases.
"I feel strongly that I cannot stand by and allow this continued distortion of the face and unmitigated attacks on the professional character of the members of (the Special Operations Division). The facts are clear and it is evident that MPD had a practice of conducting such escorts and that there was not a clear policy in place to govern them prior to the Charlie Sheen escort."
Back in April DC police escorted Charlie Sheen from Dulles to a concert downtown -- he was late.
After the escort was reported in the media, top police commanders ended up transferring a number of officers, including the one who took the call from Sheen's agent, and the lieutenant who authorized the escort.
They allegedly violated a General Order from 1974 banning celebrity escorts without special permission from the Mayor or the Chief of Police.
"It's an obscure order regarding parking signs," the lieutenant, Stuart Emerman, told the council committee.
Police union leader Kristopher Bauman complained that police officers are already scrutinized for everything. He says to have the department turn on them and second guess the decisions on the escort makes it really hard for them to do their jobs.
The chief strongly defended herself, at times interrupting Councilmember Phil Mendelson. Ignorance of the 1200 general orders, she says, is like ignorance of the law. Sooner or later it will get you in trouble.
Commander Burton offered a list of 47 sports teams and celebrity escorts provided by MPD officers over just a three year period.
The celebs who've been treated to escorts allegedly include Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bill Gates, and Taylor Swift.
Chief Lanier says she's looking at some of those, but she also says there are circumstances when there's a threat to public safety and an escort is justified.
She also provided a long list of times when she says they've been denied as a violation of General Orders.
Some officers complain the newly reinforced escort policy is too restrictive, even preventing officers from escorting the Wounded Warriors Ride Memorial Day.
There's also a whisper campaign against the chief. Line officers suggesting that she likes celebs and likes to have her picture taken with them.
But she texted me that she has never had her picture taken with Charlie Sheen.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com