SMITHFIELD, Va. - Sworn to serve and protect, a former Smithfield police officer is being investigated for allegedly living about the law.
Search warrants recently filed in Isle of Wight County claim former Lt. Patrick Valdez may have stolen thousands of dollars from the Smithfield Police Department.
Court records indicate Valdez was the primary person in charge of cash used to assist in criminal investigations – money needed for things like paying off confidential informants or purchasing illegal narcotics.
According to court documents, the embezzlement investigation began while Valdez was on suspension for a separate incident. That is when another officer noticed cash was missing from the criminal investigations fund.
We went to Valdez’s house and he admitted to speaking with police. “We spoke with state police a few months back, and had not heard anything since then,” Valdez told News 3's Merris Badcock outside of his residence on Wednesday.
Valdez told Badcock he did not know recent search warrants had been filed in the case.
Court records indicate Valdez resigned from the Smithfield Police Department while he was on suspension.
We reached out to the Smithfield Police Department. In a statement, Chief Steven G. Bowman said:
"In reference to your inquiry pertaining to Patrick Valdez, he is no longer an employee of the Smithfield Police Department. This is a personnel matter and I am not at liberty to comment further. As to any questions pertaining to any investigation referenced in the documents you provided, you will need to contact the investigating agency, the Virginia State Police."
Valdez has not been charged with embezzlement. He is only being investigated at this time by Virginia State Police. We reached out to them and are awaiting a response.