Charges filed against former Wyandotte County deputy

Jay Pennington

Charges have been filed against a former Wyandotte County deputy, authorities said in a news conference today at the sheriff’s office.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree filed four felony counts against Jay Pennington, a former Wyandotte County deputy, in connection with the handling of offender registration funds in the Sheriff’s Department.

If convicted, Pennington could receive a sentence ranging from probation to 23 months, according to Dupree.

Sheriff Don Ash today answered questions about an investigation into allegations involving a deputy sheriff. (Staff photo)

Sheriff Don Ash said about three and a half to four weeks ago, the Sheriff’s Department discovered what appeared to be some fraudulent receipts that led them to investigate.

The Sheriff’s Department’s investigation identified Pennington and immediately placed him on leave, and charges were filed, Ash said. The charges are allegations; Pennington is presumed innocent until or unless convicted, Dupree said.

“His employment here has been terminated,” Ash said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

No other employees have been identified at this point in any wrongdoing, Ash said.

No other agencies are investigating, besides the Sheriff’s Department and the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s office, he said.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree has filed charges against a former deputy sheriff. (Staff photo)

Dupree said there was probable cause to charge Pennington with official misconduct, making false information, computer crime and forgery. All are severity level 8, nonperson felony charges.

Evidence has shown that at some point, a receipt was printed on a printer in the wrong department, Dupree said. The receipt was from the offender registration unit, which was not where the printer was. The receipt was for a certain amount offenders have to pay when they register as an offender, he said. Dupree said it was found to be a fraudulent receipt.

“The Sheriff’s Department has done an outstanding job by investigating this situation, once they were made aware and saw the fraudulent receipts that were being created, they immediately contacted my office,” Dupree said.

“We take it serious that no crime will go unpunished, regardless of who commits it,” Dupree said. “I appreciate the fact that the sheriff is the one who stood firmly and brought it to my office, and wanted to make sure that no one in his department is committing any type of crime while wearing the uniform.”