Pubdate: Fri, 12 Nov 2004
Source: Kingsport Times-News (TN)
Copyright: 2004 Kingsport Publishing Corporation
Author: Becky Campbell
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


BRISTOL, Tenn. - A former drug task force officer fired from the
Sullivan County Sheriff's Office for stealing money used in undercover
drug transactions pleaded no contest to theft Tuesday.

Jeff Tabor entered the plea to theft under $500 in Bristol General
Sessions Court and asked for judicial diversion.

Tabor was originally charged with a felony, theft over $500, but was
allowed to plead to the reduced charge.

Judge Klyne Lauderback reset the case for sentencing on Dec. 14.

There will be a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation background check to
determine if Tabor is eligible for diversion, but Lauderback will make
the final decision.

The diversion would allow Tabor, who was a 12-year veteran of the
sheriff's office when he was fired, to complete a term of probation
and if successful have the conviction erased from his record.

Tabor was on paid leave about three weeks before Sheriff Wayne
Anderson fired him and before his arrest in October.

Anderson became aware of the allegation when Tabor and the director of
the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force, to which Tabor was assigned at the
time, met with the sheriff about the missing funds.

Anderson said at the time that Tabor wanted to repay the money.

But after conferring with District Attorney Greeley Wells, Anderson
called in the TBI to investigate.

Anderson said Tabor took $888 from the agency's confidential drug
funds - money agents use to make undercover drug purchases during
investigations - and did not repay it.

Agents in the DTF are assigned some of the funds, Anderson said.

In addition to his assignment with the DTF, Tabor was also once a
school resource officer and a narcotics officer for the sheriff's office.

Tabor remains free on bond pending the outcome of his sentencing
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