Almost $10,000 disappeared from the evidence room safe at the Bridgeport Police Department in Connecticut. And now internal affairs is investigating.
Early reports show the $9,535 was seized during a 2011 murder investigation.
The money was discovered missing on October 14, 2015 when Richard Lindberg, an inspector for the state attorney’s office, sought to retrieve it as evidence to a jury in the upcoming murder trial.
In addition to thoroughly searching the evidence room and safe, Inspector Lindberg along with other high-ranking officers searched the homicide evidence storage, the firearms storage and the drug storage.
But the money was not found.
Mysteriously enough, the property room log book shows that the money was received, but an exhibit number was never assigned. Sgt. John Devone was the supervisor for the evidence room when the money was received.
Furthermore, it was not until 10 days later that the money was officially reported missing by the police department.
And get this, officers who have been disciplined for misconduct are reassigned to work in the evidence room.
It does not take a lot to wonder how the money went missing nor it should not take a lot to determine who is responsible.
According to the Connecticut Post:
Another major problem, sources point out, is that some of the officers put in charge of the property and records rooms are those who have been accused of wrongdoing.
Instead of placing these officers on leave with pay while their cases are pending before either the Police Commission or juries, they are reassigned to the property and record rooms.
“We have officers who have been accused of assault and drug possession watching over the money and the guns that were seized,” said a police source.
In fact, Sgt. Devone was arrested in March 2013 by State Police and charged with interfering with an officer and custodial interference; regarding the custody of his grandson.
In March 2013, Devone, 65, was arrested by State Police and charged with interfering with an officer and custodial interference after being accused of blocking state police efforts to return his 3-year-old grandson to the boy’s mother even though she had two orders from a Georgia court and one from a local judge to return the boy to Georgia.
Devone was later granted accelerated rehabilitation, a pretrial probation program, and allowed to return to duty, where he was assigned to the records room and oversight of the evidence safe. He was there in 2013.
Money and misconduct just don’t mix. From money, to guns, to drugs, jewelry and beyond, there are all kinds of items submitted into the evidence room.
Police Chief Joseph Gaudett would not provide more comment other than to say it is under investigation.
A police source told the Connecticut Post that up to $30,000 may have gone missing.
Devone, who is now on disability leave, and makes more than $71,000 a year.