- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 4, 2017

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) - Davis County Sheriff’s Office staffers misspent department money, committed time card fraud and failed to properly account for jail inmates’ personal property, a series of audits concluded.

The audits of the sheriff’s office from 2013 through 2016 found questionable expenses, the unauthorized use of vehicles and equipment and improperly recorded work hours, the Standard-Examiner reported Tuesday.

Auditors also found that the sheriff’s office spent $862 on a deputy’s two-night stay in a luxury hotel suite, and money that family members dropped off for inmates at a jail work center that was unaccounted for.

The time card audit, which was prompted by a whistleblower’s tip, led the state attorney general’s office to launch a criminal investigation.

Sheriff Todd Richardson disputed some of the findings, saying many of the problems were due to errors in paperwork. He denied any intent to commit time card fraud, and he pointed to problems in the county human resources office for issues in time reporting.

Following the audits, county commissioners said in a letter to Richardson that his actions violated the county’s policy and showed “a serious lack of good judgment.” They issued a series of directives to Richardson, including that he must appear before the commission monthly, department leadership must receive human resources training and the sheriff’s office must use the county attorney for any legal matters.

Richardson said he won’t comply.

“My responsibility is to the people of Davis County, the voters, not to the county commission, the county attorney or the auditor,” Richardson said. “I took an oath to do that, and I’ll do that first before I do any political appeasements.”

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net


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