HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — The county sheriff’s office reports they have turned over the “exhaustive” investigation of the county building department to the district attorney.
According to Sheriff Rod Johnson, the case was submitted the afternoon of Friday, April 25. A press release issued on Monday morning, April 28, said the District Attorney’s Office of the 14th Judicial District will decide what charges are to be filed after reviewing the investigation.
The case, which involves $500,000 stolen from the building department by an employee over the course of 12 years, was initially discovered and reported to the sheriff’s office in late October 2013. No arrests have been made or charges filed to date.
The Sky-Hi News attempted to contact both District Attorney Brett Barkey and Assistant District Attorney Han Ng, who will be handling the case, for further information. Neither Barkey nor Ng were available for comment. At a county commissioner’s meeting on April 15, however, Barkey told commissioners his office expected to make a decision in around a month after receiving the sheriff’s investigation.
“We won’t sit on it,” Barkey said at the meeting. “I expect we’ll make decisions fairly readily.”
A press release issued by the 14th Judicial District said the district attorney’s office expects to finishing reviewing the case “in the next several weeks.”
“We greatly appreciate the thoroughness of the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation, as evidenced by the huge volume of information gathered,” said Barkey in the press release.
For the investigation, the sheriff’s office reviewed six computer hard drives, 1,775 paper files and over 25,000 pages. Reviewed digital computer data totaled 120 gigabytes. The sheriff had previously told the Sky-Hi that his investigation lagged due to poor record-keeping at the building department.
Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.