A retired Hollywood police sergeant suspected in the theft of as much as $175,000 from an evidence locker allegedly stole about $200 worth of office supplies from the department storeroom in December, according to an internal affairs memo of the incident.
Sgt. John Nevins, who retired in April 2012 after 30 years with the Hollywood Police Department, was seen inside the storeroom of police headquarters on Dec. 16, 2012, in violation of a city policy that prohibits non-employees from entering restricted areas, according to the internal affairs memo.
Nevins was allowed into the storeroom by Tony Dong, a civilian clerk who was fired Feb. 15 for theft, incompetence, negligence of duty and conduct unbecoming a city employee — all violations related to the alleged theft of office supplies.
According to the Feb. 5 letter informing Dong of the police department’s intent to discipline to him, Dong allowed Nevins — his former boss — into police headquarters, and they both walked to a restricted access area of the storeroom, where they chatted for about one hour.
Before leaving, the memo states, Nevins asked Dong for some office supplies, and Dong complied. Surveillance video of the area captured images of Dong carrying a box and placing it inside Nevins’ sport utility vehicle. Among the supplies that Dong admitted giving Nevins were batteries, compact discs, ink cartridges and weekly planners.
Dong told investigators he received a call from Nevins early in the day on Dec. 16. Nevins wanted to stop by and say hello, Dong told investigators, and he showed up at the sally port door.
Dong said he had left Nevins alone in the storekeeper supervisor’s office for about 20 minutes. Dong also told investigators that he had given Nevins a key to the mechanics’ storage area so the retired sergeant could use the bathroom.
Nevins left police headquarters without returning the key, the letter states, and Dong had to drive to Nevins’ Cooper City home after his shift to retrieve it.
Dong also told investigators that he did not know how many times Nevins went in and out of the restricted access area of the storeroom during his Dec. 16 visit.
On Tuesday, Dong declined to speak with a reporter outside his Fort Lauderdale home.
Nevins, who supervised the vault from 2006 until his retirement in April 2012, is the focus of an investigation led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into missing cash — estimates range from $125,000 to $175,000 — from the evidence locker, although everyone who has overseen the vault for the past few years is being scrutinized, sources said.
The money allegedly went missing under Nevins’ watch, and he is now part of the criminal investigation, according to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.
It is not clear if the missing money is connected to the Dec. 16 incident involving the stolen office supplies.
Last week, Nevins acknowledged to The Miami Herald that he went to the Police Department on that date, but only to retrieve empty boxes from the storeroom. He said he was using the boxes to pack gifts for the needy.
On Tuesday, when confronted with the allegations that he stole office supplies from the storeroom, Nevins said: “It’s in my best interest to not comment any further.”
“I will be more than available to discuss this when it is all over,” he said.