Court Security

New Security Measures Taken After 1,417 Oxycodone Pills Disappear from Courthouse Vault

One employee of the Palm Beach County court clerk and comptroller’s office was fired, another resigned and a third was reassigned after 1,003 Oxycodone pills being held as evidence in a criminal case disappeared from the courthouse vault.

An additional 414 Oxycodone pills from two other criminal cases were found to be missing in an audit after the original apparent theft was discovered, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

The Palm Beach County state’s attorney’s office says no criminal charges will be pursued because of a lack of evidence as to the responsible party or parties.

However, procedures have been instituted to keep better track of what is being held in the courthouse vault. On Monday, Clerk Sharon Bock announced new security cameras, additional staff training and the assignment of a vault supervisor to ensure that procedures are followed.

“The nominal safeguards in place to restrict access to the evidence vaults were not sufficient to defend against employee misconduct or, potentially, other criminal activity,” Assistant State Attorney Michael Dutko Jr. wrote in a memo Friday. “The protections relied almost entirely upon voluntary employee compliance, over which there was no adequate technological supervision.”

Already convicted at the time the 1,003 Oxycodone pills disappeared, the defendant in that case has appealed. The article doesn’t say what happened in the two other cases in which Oxycodone pills were found to be missing.

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