WEBER COUNTY — Eating on the job isn’t usually a crime, but investigators say that’s exactly why a former evidence technician is now facing 20 felony counts. The twist: the snack in question appears to have been meth, which was stolen from the evidence room.
Prosecutors charged Candice Follum, 48, of Ogden, in 2nd District Court, accusing her of stealing methamphetamine from evidence boxes and consuming them while on the job. In all, she faces 20 felony charges of stealing, altering or destroying public records, and another 20 misdemeanor counts of possession or use of a controlled substance.
Investigators believe as many as 60 cases may have been affected.
At issue, in particular, is at least 12 criminal cases that resulted in convictions. If the evidence in those cases was indeed tampered with, those convictions could be put in doubt. Prosecutors say money, jewelry and other property was missing from multiple evidence boxes.
Charging documents say the missing evidence was discovered last December, when Follum was found to be “under the influence of methamphetamine while on official duty.”
However, a report issued this spring shows co-workers had filed a number of complaints over several years naming Follum, alleging plunging work performance, failure to respond to police and prosecutor requests for evidence boxes, and an evidence room in disarray. Those complaints also accused Follum of failing to send sexual assault kits and other evidence to the state crime lab.
Investigators say Follum admitted stealing drugs from the evidence room for three years.
In an interview with the Weber County Attorney’s Office, Follum admitted to using meth every other day, but only while at work.
Not only was the evidence technician fired, but her supervisor, Ken Burns, came under fire for appearing to ignore the complaints from her co-workers. Burns says he retired and is being used as a scapegoat. He is running for sheriff.