May 13, 2023
ONTARIO — A court case tied to missing evidence from Ontario Police Department has finally wrapped up, with a sergeant having been convicted of two Class A misdemeanors, which will prevent him from being employed as a law enforcement officer in Oregon or elsewhere, according to court records. Along with that, comes 100 hours of community service and more than $4,000 in restitution to the city.
Grimaldo voluntarily surrendered his certification through Oregon Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
Former OPD Sgt. Victor Grimaldo pleaded no contest to one count of theft and one count of official misconduct on Thursday in front of Malheur County Circuit Court Judge Lung Hung.
The charges were filed against Grimaldo by Department of Justice, as Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe had forwarded the case to them due to a conflict of interest. Goldthorpe said over the years he had worked on several major cases and attended public events with Grimaldo.
The officer was sentenced on a negotiated plea, was booked, fingerprinted and released on 24 months of supervised probation.
Representing the state of Oregon during the arraignment and plea hearing was Assistant Attorney General Tobias Tingleaf.
Grimaldo was represented by private attorney Krista Shipsey. He was one of two officers initially placed on paid administrative leave over the matter.
Although the DOJ managed the case, Goldthorpe had previously explained that it was conducted in Malheur County because it was a local case.
Another officer, former part-time Evidence Technician David Worth was cleared during the investigation, which was conducted by Oregon State Police, and ultimately resigned in September of 2022.
Their investigation began in August of 2021 when it was discovered that $900 cash was missing. That money, which was tied to a criminal case, was to be returned back to the victim after it had gone through the court system. When it was apparent they would not locate the money, then Police Chief Steven Romero requested the city OK an external audit as soon as possible. While that was underway, more evidence was discovered to have been missing.
As a result of the theft, a complete overhaul of the evidence room was done in 2022.
City Manager Dan Cummings confirmed Friday that Grimaldo had been on paid administrative leave since the case began and was continuing to collect that until he started to negotiate a plea deal with the DOJ in the case. At that time, Grimaldo tendered his resignation with OPD, which Cummings said was sometime in April. Grimaldo will not have to pay back the money he received while on administrative leave, but his restitution of $4,234 — which is listed on court records as payable within 30 days — is for the sum of evidence that was found to be missing.
Cummings clarified that this is not the same Victor Grimaldo who works for Ontario Fire and Rescue.
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