The Carbon County Attorney’s Office is currently investigating allegations that Carbon County Sheriff James Cordova used public funds to purchase fuel for personal use.
According to county attorney Gene Strate, several calls came in to commissioners questioning why Cordova spends very little time at the sheriff’s office. Callers also questioned the use of county owned property by the sheriff.
“I first heard of this about a month to five weeks ago,” Strate explained. “The county commissioners contacted me and asked that we look into the matter.”
Since that time, credit card transactions for approximately $2,100 for the purchase of fuel was found. Now, it is the job of the attorney’s office to determine whether this was an unauthorized use of funds.
“It’s so early in the investigation that it is hard to determine if charges will be made,” Strate explained. “Elected officials have lots of powers that are different than employees. Because of this and the fact that our office has worked closely with the sheriff for many years, the attorney general’s office will be asked to look into it.”
Allegations claim that Cordova not only purchased fuel using a county issued credit card, but that he also used a truck and trailer owned by Carbon County to move personal belongings to St. George. Strate explained that this matter is being looked into as well, but the use of the credit card is the main concern.
As to claims that Cordova is seldom at the sheriff’s office, Strate explained that as an elected official, the sheriff’s job is to make sure the office runs well. “I believe he is an exemplary officer,” the county attorney stated. “He may have used poor judgement and this is a gray area that needs to be sorted out.”
Cordova was originally elected as Carbon County Sheriff in 1999 and has held the position since. His current term will end in December and he will not seek re-election.