Joseph Clifford Leggett, a former civilian employee of the Southern Pines Police Department, surrendered himself to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and was charged with multiple larceny and related offenses.

Leggett, 54, from Sanford, formally held the position of “Property and Evidence Technician” for the Southern Pines Police Department, said the Southern Pines Police Department in a news release.

The Southern Pines Police Department is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). In compliance with nationally published best practice standards for law enforcement, internal audits are frequently conducted of the Department’s Property and Evidence Division.

Following a routine internal audit in July 2017, irregularities were discovered that warranted
further inquiry. To avoid any conflict of interest, and with full transparency, Chief Robert Temme, in consultation with Town officials, requested the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to conduct an independent investigation.

Upon identifying deficiencies in the routine audit involving money that was stored in the Property and Evidence Division, Joseph Clifford Leggett was suspended, and subsequently terminated on August 14, 2017.

Leggett was arrested on July 18, 2018, and charged with seventeen (17) counts of Accessing Computers, nineteen (19) counts of Embezzlement of Funds, twenty two (22) counts of
Obstruction of Justice and one (1) count of Forgery.

Chief Robert Temme offered the following statement in response to this arrest:

“I am personally and professionally disappointed by the actions of our former civilian employee.
However, with this unfortunate incident, the Southern Pines Police Department, through our commitment to transparency, have showcased that we have a system of checks and balances in place, we are willing to police ourselves and that we will never tolerate any employee violating the law. Our community and our profession deserves better.”

Leggett appeared before a Moore County Magistrate and was subsequently released under $75,000 unsecured bond pending a hearing in Moore County Superior Court on September 4, 2018.

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