Two Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies were each charged Wednesday with two felonies following an investigation by the sheriff’s office last month.
Brenton E. Johnson, 39, was formally charged with two felony counts of making false information and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. David D. Spears, 50, was charged with two felony counts of making false information.
A complaint filed Wednesday in Sedgwick County District Court accuses both men of knowingly falsifying time sheets between July 1 and 15 and again on July 30 “with the intent to defraud, induce official action or obstruct the detection of a theft of felony offense.” The complaint also accuses Johnson of unlawfully using or authorizing use of a public vehicle “exclusively for the private benefit or gain of the officer or employee or another” sometime between July 1 and 25.
Their preliminary hearings have been set for Aug. 14.
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During a news conference Tuesday to discuss the arrests, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said the deputies – whom he did not name at the time – were partners who transported inmates between jails and to Kansas prisons. Public salary records show Johnson has worked for the sheriff’s office for slightly more than 10 years, Spears for more than 19 years. They have been placed on administrative leave without pay, sheriff’s Capt. Mike Stover said.
Easter on Tuesday declined to give details of the case but said officials found inconsistencies in paperwork that triggered a two-week investigation involving the crimes charged as well as theft and misuse of public funds. The investigation, he said, began July 11 and culminated in the deputies’ arrests Tuesday.
The deputies, both of Wichita, were booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, jail records show. Each posted bond – set at $25,000 – before midnight, records show.
The amount of money lost and whether the crimes occurred before the onset of the sheriff’s probe remain under investigation, Easter said Tuesday.