BOISE - A former Boise Police officer and his wife are accused of stealing money from the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge.
Ada County jail records indicate that Meridian Police booked Mark and Sara Furniss into the jail late Friday night on grand theft charges. Both have been released on bond.
In a statement sent to KTVB Saturday morning, Joseph Andreoli, the president of Fraternal Order of Police - Treasure Valley Lodge #11 says that in January of this year, members of the lodge's executive board discovered discrepancies in the lodge's financial accounts. Mark Furniss was asked to step down as lodge president while a committee of lodge members explored the possibility of criminal misconduct. Andreoli says the committee found evidence suggesting criminal wrongdoing by both Mark and Sara Furniss, who was employed as a part-time office manager for the lodge. She was also asked to resign from her position with the lodge.
The lodge turned over its evidence to the Meridian Police Department and the Boise Police Department's Internal Affairs office.
The investigation was later turned over to Nampa Police to alleviate concerns about conflict of interest.
Mark Furniss was hired as a Boise Police officer in July 2007, working most recently in the patrol division. He was suspended once the investigation into the alleged theft began. Boise Police Dept. spokeswoman Haley Williams says he resigned during the investigation and is no longer an employee of the City of Boise.
"After several months of investigation, during which the lodge and its members were fully cooperative and supportive, we have been notified by the investigating agency that probable cause was found to charge Mark and Sara Furniss with criminal acts against the lodge and its members," Andreoli said on Saturday. "The alleged victims of these crimes are largely sworn law enforcement officers from around the Treasure Valley, both current and retired, as well as law enforcement support staff such as dispatchers and community service officers."
Andreoli also says the lodge's executive board has enacted "additional stringent processes and controls to ensure that this type of misconduct does not occur again."
He adds that they fully expect to recover their losses through both insurance as well as restitution. The Lodge is bonded at $25,000, and any money lost that is not recovered through that process will be sought through restitution.
Mark Furniss is scheduled to appear in court on the grand theft charge on December 2. Sara Furniss is scheduled to appear on December 5.
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