By Will Sanders
January 28, 2014
By Will E Sanders
TROY — A former Troy police officer who oversaw the department’s D.A.R.E. program will spend the next 60 days in a Miami County Jail cell and the next five years on probation, a common pleas court judge ordered Monday.
In addition, Kirt E. Wright, 41, of Troy, will pay a $500 fine and the costs involved to prosecute his case, on top of the more than $13,000 in restitution he has already paid back to the taxpayers while his case was pending.
Convicted of a third-degree felony charge of theft in office, Wright spoke softly at his sentencing hearing as he apologized for the “disgrace and harm” he caused the Troy Police Department and their D.A.R.E. program.
“I would like to apologize for my conduct,” Wright said at the hearing.
His attorney, Jose Lopez, told the court life is about balancing the good and bad, and that his client was “more good than bad,” but also stated Wright had “brought disgrace to himself and his family” for his actions.
Wright, who resigned from the Troy Police Department on July 23, stole approximately $13,000 from the anti-drug program he oversaw between early 2008 through May 2013.
Authorities said the money came from a credit card issued for the program in which Wright had access.
Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell told the judge he felt Wright needed to be sentenced to prison.
“All of us in law enforcement know we are held to a higher responsibility, a higher standard,” Kendell said. “The vast majority of us take that very seriously. … He failed in his position of trust in a very miserable way.”
Kendell added: “He deserves a prison sentence.”
Shelby County Common Pleas Court Judge James F. Stevenson, who was sitting by assignment, also notified Wright that his conviction of theft in office bars him from ever holding public office for the rest of his life.
Wright also will need to pay a monthly $25 supervision fee while he is on probation.
Wright, who faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison, served as a Troy police officer since 1999 and prior to that served as a deputy with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office from 1991 to 1999.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.