Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Kory L. HoneaThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

BUTTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO FORMER EMPLOYEE

Thursday, January 05, 2017/Categories: Press Release

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January 5, 2017
BUTTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO FORMER EMPLOYEE

Oroville, Ca--Today, the Butte County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) announced the January 1, 2017 arrest of Kathleen Acosta, 48, Oroville, a former employee of the Sheriff's Office, for the theft and possession of items stolen from the Sheriff's evidence-property building. It is alleged Acosta stole the items, which included prescription drugs and firearms, while she was employed as an evidence technician working in the building.

Acosta's January 1, 2017 arrest resulted from an investigation which was launched after an Oroville Police officer stopped a vehicle Acosta was driving after a domestic dispute. As a result of that stop a gun, a small quantity of methamphetamine and prescription drugs in sheriff’s office evidence packaging where found in the car. The officer notified the sheriff’s office of the discovery. BCSO detectives then took over the investigation and searched Acosta's residence and two storage units rented by Acosta. The searches turned up additional items of property stolen from the sheriff’s evidence-property building, which included more prescription drugs and 19 firearms which had been slated for destruction or disposal. To date, the investigation has revealed the items recovered are not items of evidence in pending criminal cases. The investigation also revealed documents which track the disposition of contraband and property to be destroyed or disposed of in accordance with the law that are believed to have been falsified by Acosta.

Acosta's employment at the Sheriff's Office ended in May 2016 when she resigned. Acosta's resignation was tendered after she was advised she was facing termination for mishandling property stored in the evidence-property building, in violation of established procedures, and then attempting to conceal the misconduct from a newly assigned supervisor to the unit. At the time, the matter was handled as a work performance issue as there was insufficient evidence to believe any property had been stolen.

During the investigation into Acosta’s work related misconduct, an independent audit and review of property handling procedures was commissioned by the Sheriff's Office. The audit did not reveal any theft of the items by Acosta, likely due to what is believed to be Acosta's falsification of documents showing the property had been properly disposed of. However, some additional procedures and safeguards were recommended and the need for an updated evidence-property facility was confirmed by the audit. The procedures and safeguards have or are being implemented and plans to construct an updated evidence-property facility are moving forward.
Following her arrest, Acosta was booked into the Butte County Jail on allegations of grand theft, embezzlement and the unlawful possession of prescription drugs. On January 4, 2017 Acosta posted bail and was released with an appearance date of January 27, 2017 at 8:30 AM. The investigation continues, and the case has been referred to the Butte County District Attorney for prosecution. Additional charges stemming from the falsification of official documents are being requested.

Acosta previously served as a sheriff's clerk and correctional officer for 8 years before becoming an evidence technician July 2014. Nothing in her prior work history gave Sheriff's officials reason to believe Acosta was not suited to hold a position requiring a high degree of trust. Sheriff Honea said, "I am angered by the illegal conduct of this now, former employee and disheartened to think her actions will reflect negatively upon the rest of the Sheriff's Office employees who do great work on a daily basis."

 

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For more information, please contact
Butte County Community Relations Unit
(530) 871-9440

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