State Attorney: Thefts Show Poor Evidence Handling by Sharon Bock’s Office
Theft of Oxycodone from courthouse vault prompts new safeguards
Clerk’s office criticized for shoddy evidence-handling procedures
The Oxycodone tablets were labeled “Exhibit 5” in a Boca Raton drug case and displayed for a jury in April. But then the pain pills became the focus of a major investigation into stolen evidence from a Palm Beach County Courthouse vault.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office Monday announced it will not file theft charges against three Clerk & Comptrollers office employees because of the unlikelihood of criminal convictions without solid proof. During the investigation, one clerk’s office employee was fired, one resigned and another was reassigned.
The State Attorney’s Office report also criticized the clerk’s office for having “nominal safeguards” with evidence handling, citing the recent disclosure of yet two more thefts of narcotics from the same vault.
“Due to the failure of the clerk’s office to adequately monitor access to its evidence vaults, and the resulting lack of evidence of theft, there is no reasonable likelihood of successful prosecution in this matter,” wrote Assistant State Attorney Michael Dutko Jr., in a memo dated Friday.