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TRUMBULL COUNTY Sheriff probes prohibited use of official car



Published: Thu, March 13, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The prosecutor's office has been asked to review the matter, the sheriff said.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Car 85, where are you?

A Trumbull County Sheriff's Department detective took her unmarked county car on vacation after filling it with county gas.

Detective Latrese Morgan went to Baltimore last month for a weekend vacation with Deputy Adrian Bradley, Sheriff Thomas Altiere said.

Morgan filled the car with gasoline from the sheriff's department pump on Panther Street before leaving town, Altiere added.

"We are investigating this matter right now," the sheriff said. "I assigned two detectives to the case and have also asked the county prosecutor's office to review the matter to check and find out if there is anything criminal."

The internal investigation centers only on Morgan's involvement. Bradley is not part of the investigation, Altiere said.

Deputies are not allowed to use county vehicles for personal use, the sheriff said.

It is not known how long it will take for the investigation to be completed. Morgan could face a long suspension, the sheriff said.

Working during investigation

The vehicle is now parked and Morgan has been assigned a marked cruiser, the sheriff said. She remains working while the investigation is taking place, officials said.

"She has been a very, very good employee," Altiere said, adding that she was assigned to the detective bureau two years ago.

"She is working the road now," Altiere said.

Morgan, who has been a deputy since 1991, could not be reached. She has not been previously disciplined.

"She was asked if she did it and she admitted it right away," Altiere said. "This was very, very bad judgment and she admits that."

A tip was given to an official at the sheriff's department that Morgan's car was in Maryland, the sheriff said. He declined to say who provided the tip.

"After we received the information we went looking for the car and for Morgan and couldn't find either," the sheriff said. "As soon as she returned to work we asked her about it."

sinkovich@vindy.com




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