Former Sheriff James Cordova Makes Initial Appearance in Court for Misuse of Public Funds

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Former Carbon County Sheriff James Cordova appeared in Seventh District Court on Friday regarding charges filed by the Utah Attorney General’s Office in early December for misuse of public funds. The charges are connected to allegations that Cordova used county-owned vehicles and credit cards to move personal items to a new home in St. George. The former sheriff was charged for misuse of public money, a third-degree felony, and display plate on an incorrect vehicle, a class C misdemeanor.

During the appearance, the date for a preliminary hearing was set. Cordova will once again appear in court on March 20 for the hearing. Cordova’s attorney stated this should give him sufficient time to review discovery that has been brought to light by the state.

Following the hearing, Cordova was booked into the Emery County Jail. He was immediately released following the booking. The Emery County Sheriff’s Office involvement in the matter was strictly book and release.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred last year. While moving personal items, Cordova allegedly used a county credit card to pay for fuel. The sheriff used the card 26 times, spending approximately $2,100 worth of public funds, resulting in the third-degree felony charge.

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. A class C misdemeanor for a license plate violation was filed upon the allegation that Cordova switched the license plate on a search and rescue trailer with a plate from another trailer.

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