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2 Jail Employees Fired in Drug Theft Probe

May 14, 1987|GABE FUENTES | Times Staff Writer

Two civilian employees of the Van Nuys Jail have been fired, and a criminal charge filed against one of them, as a result of a continuing investigation into the theft of drugs at the jail, Los Angeles police said Wednesday.

At least four other employees remain under investigation in the alleged thefts of drugs that had been seized from prisoners, Cmdr. William D. Booth said.

Sharan Floyd, 30, and Tracey Pye, 23, clerical employees at the jail, were fired earlier this month, Booth said. He would not disclose the names of other employees under investigation.

Floyd was fired on four findings of misconduct, including having picked up a small amount of marijuana that investigators had left on the floor of the jail near her work area, authorities said. Jail procedures called for Floyd to confiscate the drugs as evidence, Booth said, but she allegedly placed it in her sock.

The investigation also found that Floyd had possessed marijuana and cocaine while off duty and was collecting welfare benefits while employed by the Police Department, which operates the jail, Booth said.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Floyd late last month with possession of the marijuana planted in the jail by investigators. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled June 18.

No criminal charges have been filed against Pye, who was fired because her urine tested positive for cocaine, Booth said.

Police officers and civilian officers can be fired if they test positive for drugs, Booth said. The Police Department does not have a random drug-testing policy, but can order a drug test if there is reasonable cause to believe an employee is taking drugs, he said.

The investigation at Van Nuys Jail began in early January with an anonymous tip that jail employees were keeping small amounts of cocaine and marijuana that had been taken from suspects as they entered the jail, he said.

Some people who were arrested and brought to the jail might have escaped drug charges because the drugs confiscated from them were stolen instead of being marked as evidence, Booth said.

Of the employees still under investigation, two are currently on duty and two are receiving pay but are on "special assignment" requiring them to stay in their homes during working hours, Booth said.

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