SALT LAKE CITY — A former Hurricane Police Department employee has pleaded guilty to selling items out of the department's evidence room on his daughter's eBay account.
Kurt B. Tanner, 55, of St. George, pleaded guilty Tuesday to misuse of public money, a third-degree felony.
Charging documents say Tanner, an evidence technician with the police department, was taking property obtained by officers as evidence and giving it "to a company that was owned by his daughter to be sold on eBay. The majority of the proceeds from the sales of this property went to the company and was not returned to the public."
Prosecutors alleged the stealing of evidence dated back to at least September 2016, court records state. Tanner's activities were discovered through an audit.
Deputy Washington County attorney Jerry Jaeger said Friday that the items Tanner took from the evidence room were from cases that had already been resolved. They were mostly items such as tools that had been stolen, but the owners never returned to claim their property, he said.
Because the evidence room was running out of space, Tanner was in charge of getting rid of the evidence that police and prosecutors no longer needed to make room for new evidence. That is typically done through a police auction run by the city. Instead, Tanner used his daughter's eBay account, Jaeger said.2 comments on this story
The prosecutor said Tanner's behavior was more reckless than criminal.
"Instead of doing it the right way, he did it more of the lazy way," he said, adding that the money made from the eBay sales was minimal.
As part of Tanner's plea in abeyance, he must complete 100 hours of community service, pay $1,263 in restitution, and not commit any new crimes for 36 months.
Tanner was a civilian employee with the police department, not a certified law enforcer. He had worked at the department for 10 years at the time he was charged, according to police.