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Southern Tier police officer stole $15,000 from her department's evidence room

Syracuse Media Group, The Post-Standard,
BYLINE: By Jon Harris |

Hornell, NY

Jennifer Speed Provided photo | State police

Hornell, N.Y. -- A Southern Tier police officer stole $15,000 from her department's evidence room -- money that had been taken into evidence from the arrest of a man on attempted murder charges, according to state police.

Jennifer Speed, 39, of Hornell, was arrested by state police on a sealed indictment warrant and served with a six-count indictment charging: third-degree grand larceny; first-degree tampering with public records; two counts of first-degree falsifying business records; and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Speed, a Hornell police officer on leave and senior evidence custodian at the time of the offenses, was remanded without bail to the Steuben County Jail pending arraignment in Steuben County Court.

On June 18, $15,000 in cash was unable to be located in the Hornell Police Department's evidence room. The money had been taken into evidence in conjunction with the arrest of Steven Brockway on attempted murder charges on March 10, 2012.

As part of the disposition of that matter, the money had been forfeited and was to be turned over to the Steuben County District Attorney's Office. The money was to be used initially to pay Brockway's victim's medical expenses.

An initial search by Hornell police officials came up empty. At the request of the police chief, mayor and district attorney, state police initiated an investigation with the full cooperation of the Hornell Police Department.

Based upon information and evidence found through the state police investigation, the district attorney began a Steuben County grand jury investigation in October. That investigation concluded with a sealed indictment and issuance of a warrant of arrest on Dec. 20.

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