A Coeur d’Alene man has been charged with perjury and criminal impersonation for trying to avoid traffic tickets with allegedly false claims to have been on top-secret missions with the Army Special Forces.
Anthony L. Livano’s uniform didn’t look right to Spokane County District Court Commissioner Charles Rohr, when Livano appeared in Rohr’s Spokane Valley courtroom in January and claimed to be in the elite Special Forces.
“He was wearing an Army dress green uniform with high-water pants and white socks,” said sheriff’s Detective Don Manning.
Members of the Special Forces would have worn spit-shined “jump boots” with their pants “bloused” into their boots, Manning said.
It was more than a fashion faux pas for Rohr and Manning, both of whom have spent many years in Army and Air Guard units. Livano, 20, wasn’t in the Special Forces and hadn’t earned some of the medals he wore, Manning said in an interview.
“He came to the wrong courtroom to do that,” the detective said. “Wrong courtroom, wrong building. There’s a tremendous number of people out here in the Valley Precinct office with military experience.”
Rohr retired in 1999 as a major in the Air National Guard. He served 14 years in the Air Guard after six years of active duty.
The commissioner asked Manning to check out Livano’s story, and Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson – who recently returned from active duty with the Army National Guard – charged Livano with two counts of perjury and one count of second-degree criminal impersonation.
Livano pleaded innocent to the felonies Wednesday in Superior Court and was released from jail after posting $5,000 bail. He is scheduled for trial April 17.
Efforts to reach Livano for comment were unsuccessful.
Even the name that Livano gave in Rohr’s court – Anthony L. Lepinski – was false, according to court documents. False at least since Lepinski had his name legally changed to Livano in October 2004.
An investigation by Manning and Detective Roger Knight found that Livano continued to use his old Idaho driver’s license, bearing the Lepinski name, when Washington state troopers cited him for traffic infractions on three occasions last May and June, according to court documents. But Livano didn’t have his license when Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Depriest stopped him for speeding in December.
Manning’s report says Livano showed Depriest his Army identification card, with his new name, and claimed to have just returned from Iraq. Depriest gave Livano a verbal warning “as a courtesy to a veteran,” Manning stated.
Court documents say Livano is assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group in Buckley, Wash., but he is an ordinary Army National Guardsman – not a member of the Special Forces. An Army official said Livano told military authorities that he changed his name because a relative had raped a girl, but he told the judge who authorized the change that he had been adopted and wanted to restore his original name.
Also, according to court documents, the Army official told investigators that Livano boasted in an Internet blog, using the Lepinski name, that he had accumulated hundreds of dollars in traffic fines.
Livano allegedly told Rohr, under oath, that his name was Lepinski and that he had missed earlier court dates because he was out of the country on secret missions. Livano asked Rohr to postpone his case because of pending missions, and said his top-secret clearance would be jeopardized if the traffic refractions remained on his record, according to court documents.
Authorities say Livano has no top-secret security clearance, and that is the basis for one of his perjury charges. The other is based on records that show he has never been deployed outside the United States.
“He hasn’t been anywhere except to Louisiana for Hurricane Katrina, for 30 days of relief work,” Manning said.