Prescott Valley PD commander resigns; video shows alleged misconduct

A veteran police supervisor with the Prescott Valley Police Department resigned after he was caught allegedly stealing prescription drugs.

Hidden camera video shows Commander Arthur Askew standing over a box full of prescription drugs, he then grabs some and puts them in his pocket.

"IT was a shock to everybody," said Sgt. Scott Stebbins. Stebbins worked under the commander, and he says just before the end of the year the Chief got word that something unusual was happening in the evidence room where pills were stored. The chief then ordered a hidden camera investigation.

"Addiction knows no boundaries, and it can happen to anybody," said Stebbins.

According to a police report, Commander Askew told investigators that an unsuccessful back surgery left him in constant and chronic pain. 

The Prescott Valley Police Department turned the case over to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. In a taped interview, Askew explains his actions. 

Askew: "I hadn't slept in days, I was miserable. The pain was killing me, and I wasn't thinking and I screwed up... the only reason I did it was I thought it would help me sleep... it was a dumb, stupid, stupid mistake."

Police found pills in his office as well as a pistol, he claims, was given to him by a friend. When he was confronted by the department, he immediately resigned.

"He is a decent, kind, and very hard working officer. He served this department well for 20 years... the tragedy of it is that prescription drug addiction totally grabbed ahold of his life, and caused him to do something that he normally wouldn't do, and that is a shame," said Stebbins.
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