Zionsville Times Sentinel

October 17, 2012

Probe reveals LPD worker theft

Staff report

— A civilian employee of the Lebanon Police Department has resigned after an FBI investigation found the employee was taking money from the department.

A routine annual audit by the State Board of Accounts in June found a discrepancy in the finances, said Lebanon Police Chief Sam Myers. The board randomly decided to audit one of the only revenue sources at the LPD — gun permits.

The board found a significant amount of money missing, Myers said.

“I was in on looking into where it went,” he said. “We were all trying to figure it out. It seemed strange. We couldn’t come up with any answers.”

When no resolution was found, Myers said the board contacted the FBI to investigate. A joint investigation by the board, the FBI and the LPD determined an employee was responsible for the missing money.

The employee had been working with the LPD for seven years, Myers said.

Myers said Wednesday that the FBI had just completed its investigation. The charges against the employee are pending, and the name cannot yet be released. The employee resigned on Oct. 5.

“I’m pretty shocked still,” Myers said. “When you work with someone for long enough, you develop a relationship. Honestly, I’m disappointed — not mad, not angry, just shocked.”

A large part of the surprise comes from the fact that employees of the LPD know the consequences for this kind of action, Myers said.

“We work with cases like this a lot, and you just don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” he said. “I never thought in a million years that it would happen here.”

City clerk/treasurer Tonya Thayer said Wednesday the city has not had its exit interview yet for the annual audit, and therefore it is not yet available to review. The audit this summer was for the 2011 calendar year.

“We’re not hiding anything,” Myers said. “It’s just a bad thing, and now we have a position to fill. We have to go on.”