But after Schaffer apologized and admitted to traveling without obtaining proper permissions, U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter apparently felt Schaffer had significantly reformed himself — ruling instead that his five-year probation term be shortened nearly two years.
Without objection from prosecutors, Walter ordered Schaffer to report in January to a residential recover center for a term of 60 days, allowing him the possibility of one last visit with his father, and after which Schaffer's probation would be terminated.
"It's time you put the past behind you and move on with your life," Walter said after acknowledging Schaffer's success with substance abuse treatment.
But letting go hasn't been all that easy for Schaffer.
On the evening before his hearing, Schaffer said that at the time of his July 2005 arrest and interrogation he was threatened and bullied by Burbank police officers — namely some of those recently fired as a result of probes into police misconduct — who he claims exaggerated and mischaracterized his actions, as well as those of former Mayor Stacey Murphy, his girlfriend at the time.
Schaffer believes that he and Murphy, who pleaded guilty to drug possession and child endangerment charges after investigators found firearms and cocaine residue at her home, were targets of a vicious scheme to make a high-profile example of being tough on crime.
"I think it's malicious what they did," said Schaffer, who acknowledged Monday in court that he has spoken twice with FBI agents during their ongoing investigation of police misconduct in Burbank.