UPDATE: John Paul Thompson surrendered at the Pawnee County Jail, Tuesday, turning himself in on two counts of felony embezzlement.
Thompson was the administrator of the jail, but was fired after an investigation revealed that he stole cash from inmates, according to Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office officials.
He was booked into the jail by Sheriff Darrin Varnell.
PAWNEE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Authorities are working to capture a former Pawnee County Jail administrator who is accused of stealing a large amount of cash from inmates after they were booked into the facility.
John Paul Thompson is charged with two counts of felony embezzlement, according to a news release from the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation into Thompson’s activities as the jail’s administrator revealed that he stole over $1,200 from inmates.
“It’s a betrayal of the public’s trust and my expectations as an employee of this Sheriff’s Office. I made a promise to the people of Pawnee County to hold everyone accountable and enforce the law and I will do just that. I was disheartened to see he was granted a PR bond and feel he should be held as accountable as any other person. Mike Fisher and his office did an excellent job investigating this case and I’m thankful to him and his office for their hard work and dedication.” said Sheriff Darrin Varnell.
Thompson has been listed as a wanted person in the National Crime Information Center database.
A Pawnee County citizen who had been in the jail returned on Aug. 16 to retrieve a check for the money he was booked in with days before.
“Upon requesting his money, it was discovered the money was never deposited into the inmate trust account and could not be located,” Sheriff’s Office officials said.
Jail officials searched for the money but could not locate it.
The Sheriff’s Office launched an internal investigation and learned that Thompson was the last person in possession of the money.
Varnell requested assistance from Pawnee County District Attorney Mike Fisher.
Thompson turned over an envelope containing approximately $800 in cash on Aug. 17. He claimed the envelope fell behind an item instead of being deposited into a safe, according to the news release.
“However, the money in the envelope was mostly $20 bills. The missing money was mostly $100 bills,” officials said.
Thompson was fired from the Sheriff’s Office after an independent investigation from the District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities searched Thompson’s patrol car on Aug. 19 and found an open, empty cash envelope from another inmate.
“It was discovered that inmate was booked in with more than $400.00, but the money was never deposited into the trust account,” the news release states.
A warrant was issued for Thompson’s arrest on Aug. 27. The warrant has a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
Thompson began working for the Sheriff’s Office in January. He has worked in law enforcement for over 10 years.
Law enforcement officials have attempted to locate Thompson, but have been unsuccessful, so far.
Anyone who knows of Thompson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office at (918) 726-2565