Wyandotte County deputy charged with taking county funds - KCTV5

Wyandotte County deputy charged with taking county funds

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Jay Pennington (Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office) Jay Pennington (Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy is charged with official misconduct after prosecutors say he took money from a unit he led.

Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash said Friday 38-year-old Jay Pennington was fired and arrested Thursday.

He also is charged with making false information, computer crime and forgery.

Pennington was a team leader for the Offender Registration Unit. He had joined the sheriff's office in 2013 and had worked in his current role since 2016.

Pennington accepted payments from offenders who are required by state law to register with the sheriff's office. The fee is $20. Wyandotte County has nearly 1,000 registered offenders.

Ash said all other employees in the offender registration unit have been cleared of any wrongdoing. Investigators are still trying to determine how much money was allegedly taken.

Pennington was released on $20,000 bond and court records don't indicate if he has a lawyer.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree says all of Pennington's charges are level eight felonies and could carry a sentence ranging from probation to 23 months in prison.

Dupree says Pennington is innocent until proven guilty but says the incident is disappointing.

“It does those who wear the uniform proudly and with integrity and puts their lives on the line daily, it does them great dishonor," Dupree said. "It is indeed fortunate to know that we are amongst people that are not afraid to deal with crime wherever it is.”

When the sheriff's office found out about the alleged crimes, they contacted the prosecutor’s office and investigated other members of the offender registration unit who might also have been able to commit the crime. That investigation did not find any other suspects.

Authorities are investigating how long the money was being taken and for how long.

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