Two former Oakland police officers can avoid going to prison for perjury following a judge's order to serve a 120-day sentence of home detention and publicly apologize for lying about their sick leave.

Johnnie F. Clark and Theresa Jeffery received the unusual sentence Friday from U.S. District Judge John Vukasin.The couple, now married and fired from the force in 1987, were convicted of lying in a discrimination lawsuit they filed with seven other black officers in 1985. The lawsuit, which accused the city of racial bias in hiring and promotions, was later dismissed for unrelated reasons.

During the lawsuit, the two said they were harassed by other officers. The two were disciplined when they called in sick in 1983, a day before they were to go on vacation. They told an opposing lawyer in the lawsuit that the sick call was truthful.

But records showed the two called in sick from Iowa and had been stopped for speeding the previous day in Nebraska.