(WORTHINGTON) - A suspended Worthington Deputy Marshal Donald R. Richardson was arrested Thursday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Richardson is accused of stealing money from the evidence locker at the Worthington Police Department.
According to the Greene County Daily World, Richardson has worked at the Worthington Police Department for twelve years, but was demoted from marshal to a deputy last year after allegations of poor work performance and other unacceptable behaviors. The town council appointed Randy Raney to serve as marshal in October.
On November 30, Raney was reorganizing the evidence room when he discovered the keys to one of the lockers, was not where it should be. He found it in an ice cube tray on top of the refrigerator and when he opened the locker he discovered a large plastic bag that contained evidence from a 2012 case had been tore open.
Rainey says he was familiar with the case Richardson had investigated and that $1,300 in cash was missing from the bag.
The Indiana State Police were called to investigate.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Indiana State Police Master Trooper Detective Stacy Brown, Rainey told police he searched the evidence room several time and could not locate the missing cash and the only person that had a key to the evidence room as well as a key to the police department door was Richardson. He also told the detective that Richardson had been going through a divorce and was having financial troubles, and that the town clerk had mentioned that Richardson had tried to get advances on overtime he had not worked.
Raney also found that the case file on that case was missing from the file cabinet it was supposed to be stored in, and there was no reason for anyone to have the file because the case was no longer an active investigation.
He also found that the computer file on the case had been modified on Nov. 17, 2013. The modification was on the amount of money taken into evidence.
The original document showed the amount to be $1,289.10 and the modified document showed it to be $1,089.10.
On the date the document was changed, Raney and Richardson were the only officers working for the department, and Richardson was the only officer working that day.
Detective Stacy interviewed Richardson on December 17, and reported that when he asked Richardson about the missing money Richardson became agitated and angry. And when told about the missing money, he claimed someone was attempting to "set him up."
Richardson told the detective the money was not mising, but stored in the refrigerator in the evidence room to eliminate the odor of marijuana on it. He also says he was hoping the department could seize the money to purchase new equipment for the department.
Both Stacy and Richardson then went to the refrigerator to look for the missing money. Richardson opened the frigerator and without looking grabbed the top envelope on the top shelf and handed it to the detective.
Stacy reported that was suspicious since, Raney had searched the refrigerator several times and didn't find the missing money.
The envelope contained a smaller heat sealed bag with the proper case number and a dollar amount of $1,089.10 on it- $200 dollars short of the total listed in the original probable cause affidavit.
Richardson reportedly told Detective Stacy the amount listed in the original probable cause affidavit was incorrect and that the bag contained the correct amount.
When asked about the missing case file, Richardson said the printer was not working on the day he finished the report so he was unable to print a copy. When Stacy asked why he didn't print a copy after the printer was fixed, Richardson became upset and did not answer.
Richardson was then showed a copy of the modified probable cause affidavit and told him that the change was made on Nov. 17 when he was the only one working, Richardson allegedly said that he did not take the money and did not make changes to the affidavit.
Again Richardson claimed he was "being set up and they (Raney, the clerk-treasurer and deputy clerk and members of the Worthington town board) were trying to make it look like he stole the money."
Richardson requested that Stacy check the computer in the evidence room to see what the dollar amount it listed for the case was, and on Dec. 20 Stacy discovered that the file on that computer had been modified on the same day as the file on the computer in the front office.
Again, the amount of money had been changed from $1,289.10 to $1,089.10.
On Dec. 20, Stacy interviewed Worthington Deputy Clerk Debbie Dyer, who told him that she did not have keys to the police department or evidence room and that she had no problems with Don and was not part of a set-up against him.
On Jan. 13 of this year, Stacy spoke with Worthington Clerk-Treasurer Gloria Klass, who said she did not have the keys, either, and that she considered Richardson to be a friend. She allegedly stated that she had recently received messages and emails from Richardson asking for $650 in Operation Pull-Over (OPO) overtime he claimed to have worked and that she had told him the policy on OPO advances had changed, at which point he asked if they could reconsider so he could give his son a good Christmas.
Klass told Stacy that she loaned Richardson $600 and he agreed that she could have his OPO check when it arrived. She added that she recently learned he never worked those hours or submitted the overtime claims, and that she was very surprised Richardson lied to her and took $600 of her money.
On Jan. 17, Stacy talked with Brad Deckard, who was employed as a deputy sheriff at the Greene County Sheriff's Department when Richardson initially worked the case involving the missing money. Deckard said he remembered the case and that he verified the amount of money taken into evidence, but that he could only recall that it was over $1,000.
Deckard also allegedly told Stacy that Richardson had recently called him to tell him that he made a mistake on the dollar amount listed on the probable cause affidavit, and had requested that Deckard be a friend and cover for him. Deckard said that when he told Richardson he could not recall the dollar amount that was seized, Richardson asked him to lie to Stacy and tell him the dollar amount was $1,089.10.
Richardson is preliminarily charged with theft and official misconduct, both class D felonies. His bond will be set at $8,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed.
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