BYLINE: DAMALI KEITH, Reporter
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HOUSTON - An area police officer is finding himself on the wrong side of the law.
The Stafford Police Officer is now indicted on two felony counts. Paul Kevin Germany worked for the Stafford Police Department for 19.5 years.
A department spokesperson says Germany was in charge of the property room since 1994. Germany is now accused of stealing more than $14,000 from the very evidence room he was supposed to guard.
"He was the only person that actually maintained custody and preservation of the evidence that was submitted during the course of all the investigations," Fort Bend County Deputy District Attorney Scott Carpenter said.
The veteran police officer has been indicted on charges of theft by a public servant and abuse of office. They are third-degree felonies.
"It's totally unacceptable as far as law enforcement is concerned. It's totally unacceptable for the citizens of Fort Bend County," Carpenter said about Germany's alleged wrongdoing.
Carpenter, who is prosecuting the case against Germany, said the officer was stealing from the property room from 2005 to 2010.
The prosecutor said Germany was only caught after he accidentally shot himself in the leg at the shooting range last summer and had to miss work. Germany recovered from the injury. Those missed days, however, seemed to have killed Germany's career after Carpenter says another officer discovered the missing money.
"We're, kind of, really somewhat surprised that it went criminal," a member of Germany's legal team, David Donahue, said. "Yes we definitely feel Paul is not guilty on this."
Defense attorneys plan to prove what they call possible mismanagement in the property room.
"Paul's been an outstanding law enforcement officer. He's highly respected in law enforcement and the community and it's really been hard on him that this has happened. It's really been hard on him and his family," Donahue said.
If convicted of the charges Paul Germany faces two to ten years behind bars and a $10,000 fine. Germany has been fired from the Stafford Police Department.
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