City employee theft leads to security changes

DERBY, Kansas — A one-time Derby city employee who raided the police evidence locker to satisfy a drug habit won’t spend any time behind bars. But that city worker’s actions forced the police department to make security changes.

Frank Sneller used his knowledge of Derby’s computer system to make himself a key to gain access to the police evidence room and take hundreds of narcotic pills and other drugs between March and April of 2013. Sneller was sentenced to diversion, meaning if he goes through drug rehab and completes other court-ordered requirements, he won’t do any time in jail and his criminal charges will be dismissed.

Sneller is ordered to attend “The Theft Program” as part of his diversion agreement.  It’s an eight hour class that Shawna Mobley, the Director of Correctional Counseling of Kansas has been involved with for more than 20 years.

“There aren’t many resources like this available. I think the courts are scrambling for what do we do so most of the people are shoplifters, they’ve stolen from merchants and as I said, there may be a small percentage that it’s a forgery a bad check, but  this is a very unique situation,” Mobley said.

Mobley says it’s unique for a city employee charged with a crime like this to be involved in the program.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office says the city worker did not receive any special treatment and diversion sentences for these types of charges are common. Derby’s police chief and other city officials did not speak on with KSN about the case, but a spokesperson for the city tells us the police department did change security measures, including how the evidence room is accessed. Derby city leaders say they have a thorough pre-employment screening and they don’t see any reason to change that policy.

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