Deputies fired over handling $250K in missing cash

DANVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A husband and wife have been fired from their jobs as deputies with a central Indiana sheriff’s department over what the sheriff says was their improper handling of $250,000 in now-missing cash.

The Hendricks County merit board voted Tuesday night to fire deputies Jason Woods and Teresa Woods.

Sheriff Dave Galloway told the board Jason Woods took the money from the friend and kept it in a safe at the couple’s home for about a month. The friend claims he never got the money back from Woods, despite a supposed handoff to a third person outside of a McDonald’s in Indianapolis.

Galloway suspended the deputies without pay in March because of the allegations. Jason Woods is a 15-year veteran of the department, and Teresa Woods has been a deputy for three years in the county just west of Indianapolis.

Galloway said the couple violated their oath as police officers.

“They did a lot wrong. No. 1, took money, held money from an unknown source — never questioned it, no receipts, nothing,” Galloway told WTHR-TV.

John Kautzman, an attorney representing the couple, objected to the merit board taking up the case, saying the couple had the right not to testify while under criminal investigation. Kautzman didn’t immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.

A task force made up of Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney’s office has been investigating a possible criminal case against the couple, but no charges have been filed, The Indianapolis Star reported. The couple has 30 days to appeal their firings.

The merit board cited violations including conduct unbecoming an officer and failing to report a crime in making its decision.

“We’re supposed to be above and beyond that kind of behavior — and they violated that trust,” Galloway said. “They violated my trust.”

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