A judge placed a former county police officer on probation yesterdayfor lying to the police department last year.

George Spiers, 37, resigned from the department last year after police trial board members determined that he manufactured evidence.

He presented a photograph of an open beer bottle that he said wastaken while he arrested a woman on charges of carrying an open container while driving.

Spiers, of the 200 block of Water Fountain Way, Glen Burnie, had been convicted last month of misconduct in office,court records

show. At a sentencing hearing yesterday, Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme struck that guilty finding and placed Spiers onfive years' probation.

Under the judge's order, Spiers cannot work for any local, state or federal government agency while he is on probation.

Spiers was a decorated officer with four years on the force when his troubles began, said his attorney, T. Joseph Touhey Jr. After Spiers arrested the woman on the open container charge, she filed a complaint with police, charging the officer with using excessive force.

During the first day of a departmental hearing last July, the woman denied having an open container. When the hearing resumed the next day, Spiers produced a photograph of a beer bottle and, under sworn testimony, said it was taken when the woman was arrested.

Hearing board members, however, determined the officer had taken the photo after the first day's testimony.

The board found Spiers not guilty of using excessive force, but he resigned from the department, Touhey said.

In May, the former officer was charged criminally withmisconduct in office, a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Touhey said Spiers is now working for a mortgage company.

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