YPD officer, school board member accused of fraud

By TERRY GROOVER
tgroover@theyukonreview.com

A former Yukon police officer, who was recently appointed to the Yukon School Board, has been accused of falsifying his timecard.
An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Christopher Brent Cunningham accusing him of computer fraud/unlawful use of a computer system, which would be a felony. He also is accused of obtaining cash or merchandise by bogus check or false pretenses, which is a misdemeanor.
The warrant was issued by District Judge Paul Hesse.
Cunningham turned himself into the Canadian County jail on Friday, where he was booked and posted bond.
Cunningham, who was a captain with the police department, was terminated Thursday, city officials said.
A media statement from the police department said the allegations are the result of an internal investigation.
Cunningham had been with the department for 17 years and was recently promoted to captain.
Cunningham was appointed to the Yukon School Board in August, replacing Don Rowe, who moved outside of the zone that he represented.
Cunningham was one of two people seeking the position.
Dr. Jason Simeroth, who is the district’s superintendent, said Cunningham notified him of the situation last week. Simeroth said he notified the other members of the school board following Monday’s meeting.
Cunningham, he said, had not resigned his seat.
According to an affidavit that was filed seeking the arrest warrant, Cunningham is accused of falsifying his time sheet at least 17 times over an 18-month period. The value of each falsification was less than $500, the affidavit states.
The intent, the affidavit states, was to defraud the department of time worked while being employed by the city.
He committed the crime through the use of the city’s computer system, the document states.
According to the affidavit, on June 27, Cunningham began working at 10:59 p.m., which was observed another officer. When he turned his timesheet in for payment, another officer identified an error in the timesheet. The timesheet indicated that he began working at 10 p.m.
The timesheet was corrected, the affidavit states, and Cunningham was notified of the change.
An internal investigation that resulted from the mistake discovered that on 21 occasions between March 1, 2018, and Aug. 3, 2019, Cunningham had logged into the system, and discrepancies were found.
According to the affidavit, 17 occurrences totaling 27 hours of time were fraudulently submitted for monetary compensation. The value of that time was $1,175.33.
Cunningham had not been formally charged as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Canadian County court records.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Epplin said his office received the paperwork on Tuesday and had not had an opportunity to complete its review.
Attempts to reach Cunningham for comment on Tuesday were not successful.

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