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Benjamin Zack
Former Weber County evidence technician Candice Follum appears in Ogden's 2nd District Court on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Follum was charged with 40 counts related to allegedly consuming methamphetamine while working in the Weber County Sheriff's Office's evidence room.

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Weber County evidence technician charged with using meth that had been collected as part of dozens of criminal investigations may soon reach a plea deal with prosecutors.

The 48-year-old Candice Barbara Follum made her initial appearance on 20 counts of altering public records, a third-degree felony, and 20 counts of drug possession, a class A misdemeanor, in Ogden's 2nd District Court on Tuesday. Follum, of Ogden, did not enter a plea during her brief first appearance in court.

Prosecutors are negotiating a possible plea agreement with Follum's lawyer, said Branden Miles, chief criminal deputy attorney for Weber County. He declined to give details on the potential resolution. Follum's attorney, Kristopher Greenwood, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An internal Weber County Sheriff's Office investigation began last December when Follum's colleagues suspected she was on drugs at work. She was suspended and later fired after giving a written statement admitting she took meth from 15 to 20 cases, though prosecutors now believe 60 cases were affected.

"Multiple criminal cases were dismissed as a result of evidence related issues," a report on the investigation stated.

Follum told investigators in the Weber County Attorney's Office she had become addicted while working there and stole drugs from evidence over a three-year period, eating it every other day and only using the drug while at work, charges state.

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In May, the sheriff's office released a report finding her supervisor at the time, the then-Lt. Kevin Burns, failed to report concerns. Burns, who later was promoted and retired earlier this year, said he actually did try to address the issues but was made a scapegoat.

Follum's colleagues filed complaints, her performance declined, and she failed to send sexual assault kits and other evidence to the State Crime Lab, among other problems, according to the report.

Follum is due back in court Oct. 23.