ST. GEORGE – A police evidence technician has been charged with misuse of public money, the Hurricane City Police Department announced Thursday.
Kurt Tanner, 54, an evidence technician for the Hurricane City Police, is accused of selling off evidence-related items without permission, according to court documents.
The Hurricane City Police announced over Facebook Thursday that an investigation handled through the Washington County Attorney’s Office was conducted earlier this year into suspected employee misconduct. An audit also was conducted at the time.
“On August 14, 2017 The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed Criminal charges in the Fifth District Court of Misuse of Public money a third degree felony against Kurt B. Tanner, an employee of the Hurricane City Police Department in the capacity of Evidence Technician,” the post stated.
According to court records, Tanner had the evidence items, which police have categorized as public property, sold through a company on eBay.
“The majority of the proceeds from the sales of this property went to the company and was not returned to the public,” court documents stated. This ultimately led to Tanner facing a felony charge.
Deputy Washington County attorney Jerry Jaeger, who is prosecuting the case, said the items sold were related to a case that was closed and is no longer active.
Playing into the charge against Tanner is that he did not follow proper procedure in disposing of evidence, Jaeger said.
The police department states on its website that it will not release evidence unless given a notice from the county attorney’s office. Evidence will also typically be disposed of 90 days after a case related to it is settled.
Tanner has been placed on Administrative leave, according to the Hurricane City Police. He has also been summoned to appear in court Sept. 19.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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