By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A former Canadian County emergency manager faces up to 20 years in prison after allegedly embezzling grant money and equipment purchased with county funds.
Troy Steven Mead, 46, was charged April 1 in Canadian County with embezzlement of state property. The felony crime allegedly occurred in 2018 while Mead served as the county’s emergency manager.
Prosecutors allege Mead violated state law “by wrongfully appropriating $1,200 in grant money awarded to Canadian County, a Brother brand printer, a Samsung computer, a Garmin GPS device, a ballistic vest and other software and equipment purchased with county funds,” court documents show.
If convicted on the embezzlement charge, the defendant faces one to 20 years in prison and/or a $500 fine.
Mead’s alleged crime was investigated by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.
“We couldn’t find where the $1,200 grant money had been deposited and that raised the red flags,” District 3 Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart said. “Once the red flag went up on that, other items were also found to be missing.
“It’s very disappointing that we had a trusted Canadian County employee who was capable of such action,” said Stewart, who was county commission chairman when the alleged acts occurred.
Commissioner Stewart, of Yukon, said he was pleased the sheriff’s office conducted such a thorough investigation of this crime.
“They kept me updated on the status of the case the entire time and they’ve just done a fantastic job,” he said. “Lt. Mike Grimes stayed on it and I couldn’t be prouder of him and that office.”
Mead, who formerly lived on Conestoga Drive in Yukon, had a last known address in Green Valley, Ariz.
Canadian County Special Judge Khristan Strubhar has issued a warrant for Mead’s arrest, setting bond at $5,000. The case has been assigned to District Judge Paul Hesse.
TOTAL VALUE WAS $2,960.95
Mead was Canadian County’s emergency manager between May 2017 until he resigned his position in March 2018. In this capacity, he was empowered to apply for grants to be used for emergency preparation and response.
Total amount embezzled was valued at $2,960.95 – including a $1,200 Wal-Mart grant check, according to a probable cause affidavit signed by investigator Grimes.
The defendant allegedly endorsed the back of the check, “For Deposit Only, Canadian County Emergency Manager Troy Mead”, and deposited the funds into his personal bank account.
The grant funds were supposed to be used by the Canadian County Emergency Management Office to purchase new Surface Pro 4s and MS Office, updated technology, and personal protective equipment, and to remodel the emergency operations center.
When he resigned his position, Mead allegedly took items valued at $1,760.95 that belonged to Canadian County and converted them for his personal use.
During his investigation, Lt. Grimes learned about the county owned property that went missing – the Notebook computer, color printer, ballistic vest, GPS device and mount, and computer software.
Grimes contacted Mead and requested an interview to discuss the missing funds and equipment so Mead could provide an explanation, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Mead reportedly said he wanted to talk to his attorney first. Grimes later received an email from Mead’s attorney and the sheriff’s investigator tried to set up an interview – but to no avail.