JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating the discovery of approximately $500,000 in cash and checks from a file cabinet in one of the department's offices.
Sheriff John Rutherford said in an announcement Friday that his office did not even realize that the money was missing.
"When you don't have change for a long period of time ... things get sloppy," he said.
The money was found in a patrol officer's filing cabinet at the Forfeiture & Seizure Office on Haines Street. It came from the sale of seized vehicles.
"I ordered it treated as a crime scene until proven otherwise," said Assistant Chief Wayne Clark. The scene was marked off with that familiar yellow tape following the surprising discovery.
"That person's charged with depositing the money in a timely basis to the appropriate bank account," said Clark.
But the timely deposit never happened, and some of the money dates back five years.
The only reason the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office found the stash was because the City Council ordered them to do some major house-cleaning six months ago.
Half a million dollars could have helped the JSO with several things in the last five years, such as vehicle maintenance. Now, they must spend money to investigate this incident and figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
Police said one person is being investigated, but there could be more. Investigators are not considering this a crime, because they aren't sure if the officer took any money out of the office.
According to Internal Auditor Maxine Person, "There will be recommendations made and responses that will follow."