Sgt. Scott Stebbins with Prescott Valley Police says the department received information in November 2014 of suspicious activity within the PVPD Property and Evidence room. More specifically, they learned that someone might be taking prescription drugs from the property room. The public had previously turned over these medications to the department for destruction, Stebbins said.
Based on the tip, the Chief of Police requested that a motion-activated camera and a covert video surveillance camera be placed in the drug vault, according to Stebbins.
The video and camera evidence from these devices showed that Commander Arthur Askew of the Prescott Valley Police Department removed prescription drugs from the discard box on two separate occasions, December 30, 2014 and December 31, 2014, Stebbins said.
Askew was confronted with this evidence and immediately placed on administrative leave with pay January 2, 2015. Later that same day, Askew resigned, effective immediately.
Prescott Valley PD quickly conducted an internal audit of the drug evidence vault, inspecting a total of 3,414 items covering the calendar years of 2005 through 2014.
This audit revealed that no criminal cases involving drugs or narcotics were compromised. The items taken in these incidents were restricted to the prescription medications discarded by the public for destruction, according to Stebbins.
Askew was with the department and served the people of Prescott Valley for more than 20 years. He was instrumental in the creation and development of the Department's S.W.A.T. and canine units, serving on different law enforcement commissions and boards for many years, Stebbins said.
At this time, a complete criminal review of the incident has been submitted to the Mohave County Attorney's office for review of possible criminal charges.
So far, Askew has fully cooperated with all stages of the investigation, Stebbins said.
The department is currently reviewing their intake procedures for all drugs and drug evidence, according to Stebbins.