CANYON CITY – A Grant County grand jury has indicted former John Day Police Chief Richard A. Tirico on two counts of first-degree official misconduct.
The indictment alleges he had two officers in the department falsify their time sheets, billing overtime hours against a DUII enforcement grant instead of the police budget.
The indictment says the actions occurred from May 1 through June 30, 2013, with one count involving the then-chief’s direction of Officer Daniel Pelayo and the other involving Officer Damon Rand.
The indictment calls it “an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit:” to avoid paying the officers from the city’s police budget.
Official misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.
Tirico resigned as chief suddenly in October 2013.
City records submitted to the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training indicated he was under investigation at the time, although city officials had no comment on the case.
Tirico was represented by Baker City attorney Robert Moon at his first appearance on the indictment Tuesday, Oct. 21, in Grant County Circuit Court.
Attorney Colin Benson of the Oregon Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the case, appeared by teleconference for last week’s court session.
A plea hearing is set for Nov. 25.