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Guilty plea may help police in scandal investigation

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — A police officer at the center of the city's Rampart station corruption scandal pleaded guilty Friday to six criminal charges and will cooperate with prosecutors under a deal that could prove key to the investigation.

Nino Durden, whose former partner Rafael Perez has been the chief informant in the city's worst-ever police scandal, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and grand theft and two counts each of perjury and filing a false police report.

Under his plea bargain, Durden will cooperate fully with state and federal prosecutors, which could give them a key breakthrough in the slow-moving investigation, which has so far relied heavily on the testimony of Perez.