In October 2008, Matt Koenig, then a 38-year-old detective at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, was evicted from the home he owned in Palm Coast. A week later, a private mortgage lender filed a robbery complaint against him, charging that Koenig, entered that home illegally. Koenig was placed on administrative leave and the Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation. Days later, before the investigation was completed, the lender asked the Sheriff’s Office to drop the charges. The office followed suit, and Koenig was reinstated.
- Flagler Sheriff Bans Inmates From Writing Or Receiving Personal Mail Other Than Postcards
- Koenig’s Booking Sheet
This afternoon (Jan. 12), following a three-month investigation, Koenig, an evidence custodian at the Sheriff’s Office, was arrested and jailed on on charges of grand theft and official misconduct in connection with missing funds from the agency’s evidence room.
It started this past October. Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 5 conducted a routine evidence review. During the review, according to a State Attorney’s report, they discovered 12 evidence envelopes stuffed with paper napkins instead of seized currency. The envelopes, containing currency collected from 2004 to February 2010, had originally contained $4,847. The Sheriff’s Office called in the State Attorney’s office to assist with an investigation.
Four sheriff’s employees with access to the evidence vault were asked to provide a DNA sample for forensic testing on the envelopes. Three employees complied voluntarily, but a search warrant had to be sought and served on Koenig for his DNA sample. That’s not an indication of guilt: DNA testing is equivalent to a search under the Fourth Amendment; individuals have the right to decline such a search absent a warrant. But an analysis at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s lab in Jacksonville matched Koenig’s DNA with the evidence envelopes and the napkins inside, according to the State Attorney’s report.
Koenig’s financial records were then reviewed. Those showed several unexplained cash deposits in his personal checking account from 2009 to 2010. Earlier today, Koenig responded to the State Attorney’s office, where he was arrested.
Koenig has been with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office since 1998. The cash was currency seized in criminal cases and was being held until the cases were disposed of in court. Koenig was able to access the evidence room property through his position as Evidence Technician, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Koenig was booked into the Flagler County Inmate Facility this afternoon. Bond was set at $2,000. He posted bond and was released. For the second time in a little over two years, he’s been placed on unpaid administrative leave from the Sheriff’s Office. As a result of the investigation, procedure modifications have been made to the Evidence Division, according to the office.
Don’t know Detective Koenig, and am presuming he is as innocent as all of the other unconvicts at the jail. But this event relates to the comments I made on the Post Card rules for inmates the other day. If he is jailed and hadn’t been granted bail, he’d theoretically have been be subjected to the same harsh rules all of you Law and Order studs have been talking up as the 21st century bread and water treatment for modern day lawbreaking scum. Of course he won’t do a full day before trial, as any bond set he will easily meet. Between his Detectives salary, retirement account and evidently some sort of side income, I’m certain he will be OK.
But Captain C, will you and your punishment loving comrades explain why a cog in the Thin Blue Line that’s keeping us all safe would do this? After all, he of all people knows the deprivations in store if he crosses that legal line, yet he did. In the words of a leading champion of the local Law and Order Brigade: “Yep all that and it’s still not a deterrent…go figure.” . Go figure indeed. With a Detectives salary and benifits, generous pension and all of the additional benefits that come from being a law enforcement officer, he was arrested for stealing and put in jail.
What I want you to think about is this. Remember the age old maxim ” The Law, in it’s infinite wisdom. makes it illegal for the rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges.”? Detective Koenig will not have to worry about putting together his bail, or about coming up with the $3.50 each time he wants to make a local call. Or having to trust his defense to a Public Defender fresh out of law school who has 15 minutes to plan the defense that will determine where he spends his next decade, whether his family will be able to keep their home with the father in prison and more. All of the things that he would have in his head if he were poor.
And even though his crime may be similar to many of his cellmates, theft, it strikes me that his transgression was more of an elective option than most of the new friends he will meet there. They will more likely be waiting months to have their fate decided for things like bouncing checks, small time drug sales, domestic disputes or driving, walking or other things drunk. Things that make more well off citizens like us scratch our heads and ask how someone would get in this much trouble for something so minor to our point of view. What with most of us never having been that poor and all..
As a Russian ex-stripper told me once on a date in Miami, “We gotta go! In America, you can be arrested for anything”. After a second of shock I realized she was right. But it amazed me that a person that grew up in Russian St. Petersburg under communism would say this with such conviction. The Evil Empire shocked at police power here in the Land of the Free and all. Surprising. To me anyhow.
So next time you support harsher treatment, longer sentences, fewer appeals and fewer “comforts” for the low life scum lawbreakers behind bars, remember that you, your family, your friends and neighbors are way closer than you thing at joining them. For events that may happen in your life more trivial than you can imagine.
If you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Koenig.
Liana G says
You know NortonSmitty I was having a somewhat similar conversation earlier today with one of my kids. I said for the life of me I cannot understand why is it that kids in school are encourage/taught violence, sexual harassment etc – by ignoring the behaviors/complaints – until it gets out of hand or someone finally speaks up and say ‘stop, this is wrong’, and the child/perpetuator gets sent off to juvie only to have inflicted upon him/her the same behavior that got them there in the first place.
Now the child is totally confused because the thinking is; first the behavior was okay because it was allowed/encouraged to do it, then it wasn’t – so it was off to reform school, only to have said behavior performed on them by those responsible for reforming them. See the confusion. Even I am confused!
Why can’t the system simply remove the factors that are casuing these behaviors so that impressionable minds are not confused, and innocence is not lost.
Charles Ericksen Jr says
Just how did this deputy expect his acts to be concluded other than being discovered? All of these envelopes would have been opened upon settlement of the cases, and then what…4 suspects…Perhaps, the employment application and process should include an IQ test..
Elana Lee says
When Jason Jolicouer worked for FCSO as Det. Koenig’s CO back in ’07, I asked him a question about identifying a suspect from bloody fingerprints left at the scene, or on the victim’s clothing, etc. His response to me was, “This ain’t CSI, lady.” It is amazing that technology has advanced that much in such a short time that DNA can now be extracted from what would likely be trace eipthelial cells on the napkins in the envelopes.
Am I understanding correctly – are you guys saying he shouldn’t be punished to the fullest? He absolutely should!
He’s been charged with this not convicted, remember innocent until proven guilty? Let’s judge not on what we don’t know but what we do know and right now that’s not much!!!
The guy has blemished past and they put him in the evidence room. Something stinks!
Elana Lee says
To Jenn: No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m only saying that just because a person is charged with a crime, arrested, and the news reports it, and they lose their job over it, that does not mean they are guilty. Only God and Matt Koenig knows the truth as to his guilt or innocence in these charges.
Elana – I totally agree with you , but I also agree that if someone committed a crime that regardless of their job they be punished. I happen to personally know Matt, and think the world of him and regardless of the outcome, I think he is a great guy who maybe made a bad decision. Times are tough and people are trying to survive but it doesn’t make it ok to steal!
I am extremely conservative, but i have to say that some of these things are being approached ridiculously. The police officer who put his life on the line for his community, who steals money from the evidence room, is not the bad guy. Honestly, do we need to fear him? I am more concerned about the people out there committing rape and murder. Kids buying guns at walmart and shooting nine year old girls and congressmen? Now those are the people who need to be punished, not this guy, who from what i can tell, was a good officer of duty for a long time. It is is easy for people to judge and lower the hammer on everyone that isn’t you, but if you really come to think of it, that guy was probably doing whatever he needed to do for his family. Time ARE tough, and some of us who are better off are just insensitive to it. Did he kill anyone? No. Rape someone? No. Steal $50,000? No. Well then, perhaps he shouldn’t get such a bad punishment. You got a guy with a website trying to give up the government secrets, food corporations monopolizing the food industry, and a genocide going on in Africa. C’mon lets get our priorities straight..
Seeing as though you were the first jump on this topic and you wrote a novel with such great and unnecessary language, I feel as though it’s almost abusive to have your post up there regardless of your views. Your underlying sarcasm is specifically rude but I guess I can’t help it if thats the way you would be when talking to the officer face to face….But i think not.
@Charles Erickson Jr.
Really? As if you didn’t know about the abundance of aptitude tests necessary to become an officer of the law….i guess they should have an IQ test before the let people post…
You sound blood thirsty. The guy stole money, i’m sorry there ARE a lot of worse things that could have been done. I was very close to my manager when I worked at a department store, and it turned out that he molested his daughter. He went to jail for it, which he rightly deserved, and i completely supported that decision. But I didn’t go onto a website with the article and throw the guy to the wolves…
I agree with you one hundred percent. Punishment is certainly in order, but whats the most that can happen? 5 years in jail? You want to take this guy away from his family for 5 YEARS? He made a stupid mistake and he obviously feels horrible about it..
No, Michael, you are way more than extremely conservative, you’ve crossed the line into Good German territory and beyond. If he did steal, he’s a cop and should not be punished? Really?
I looked up Officer Koenig on the news. Turns out this guy was recognized with a metal for his merit in 2007, worked on removing the Bloods in Flagler county, and also another case with a sex offender in Palm Coast. These are just a few of the major things I picked out from the news articles, and we want to punish him as harsh as possible, where another officer Lt. Robert Wayne Milstead only got three years probation for
“yanking a disabled man out of his car, shoving him to the ground, handcuffing him and blasting him in the face with pepper spray”
Now, who did the worse thing? Koenig or this guy?
No I am saying that he should be punished, obvious, my colorful fellow. But how badly? Nothing too severe.
Maybe you can write me a book on it? How amazingly perfect our justice system is? Oh how I could really use that when I face such masterminds of post discussions!
The guy should obviously be punished, but not as harshly as I can tell some people are thinking. Good Germans? Do I detect a hint of….hmmm….racism?
[Please don’t monopolize the comment thread by repeatedly posting separate comments that could be bunched into one, or by deliberately using different sign-ons (Michael and Nathan are the same writer in this thread). Doing so will ensure that your comments won’t go live. Thanks.pt]
Blood Thirsty? Are you kidding me! Wht planet are you from. Please re-read my post since obviously you can’t read well!
“I totally agree with you , but I also agree that if someone committed a crime that regardless of their job they be punished. I happen to personally know Matt, and think the world of him and regardless of the outcome, I think he is a great guy who maybe made a bad decision. Times are tough and people are trying to survive but it doesn’t make it ok to steal!”
I simply said that regardless of his job he needs to get punished – I didn’t say the death penalty but there needs to be a consequence!
So what you are saying is that because I am a good person, a great mom etc that I can steal or break the law and get excused from punishment because I am good?
GET A GRIP! You really need to find something better to do with your time!
I completely understand why they are doing it but most of those inmates (good or bad) have families and most importantly , children. Who are they really punishing? So if it isn’t bad enough that some childs mom or dad is locked up, now the kid can’t send a picture he or she drew or a letter etc. Come on get a grip – they should instead worry about the people they have working in there who are supplying the drugs and cigarettes etc.
I know officer Koenig personally and my daughter is close friends with his son. I will not comment on the charges made but I will say that he is a good man. He has protected our community for many years and is a very fair and just man. I know I will probobly be bombarded by comments but I hope things turn out well for he and his family and only wish them the very best.
Wow, there is a lot of emotion in this forum! I am a wife of a retired police officer. I can remember when my children were young we were very tight with our budget since, I was a stay at home mother of three children. However, my husband worked several off duty jobs to make ends meet. Thank God up above he didn’t ever resort to stealing money! To one blogger, Mr. Smitty it may surprise you, but police officers or detectives don’t make that much money. Yes, this detective needs to be punished for what he did. There are bad apples in every profession. I have an accounting background so, my thinking is he may have thought he would be able to replace this money before anyone would find out by audits, supervisor, etc. Checks and balances need to be in place in every organization when money is involved. The saying is, “money is the root to all evil, no, people are”.
Inmate's Wife says
He should be treated lightly because he is a police officer and has done wonderful things for the community? NO. Absolutely the opposite. As an officer of the law, he broke that trust. He broke the very laws it was his job to uphold. Our justice system relies on the integrity of the people who are it’s participants – police officers, attorneys, judges, jurors – to operate fairly and correctly. When one of those people violates that trust, it calls into question their integrity and therefore the integrity of any action they have taken part in in the system.
Michael/Nathan, whatever. I don’t understand what your point is. I said he deserves to be considered innocent until judged in my first sentence. I have no beef with the Law enforcement community, just the way they are being used by our government. I sit in Lodge with many. I was back in Pittsburgh in October to be Best Man at a Judges wedding.
But I believe that the entire community must be held to the same standards as the rest of the population if not higher because of their additio0nal powers granted to them. Every day thousands of citizens are sent to prisons for years on convictions that aren’t even crimes in more civilized countries. Like bouncing checks, drug use, traffic infractions and other relatively trivial infractions. And not for thirty or ninety days like it used to be, but for years and years. With no thought of their families losing their homes and going on welfare because their father isn’t working and paying taxes but incarcerated at a cost of about $60.000 per year to the taxpayers.
Something is wrong when America, the Land of the Free, has 5% of the worlds population but over 25% of the worlds prisoners! One of every four people imprisoned onm this entire planet is in this country, and the wingnuts are clamoring for more. These aren’t numbers I made up, here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html?_r=1 Read it for yourself.
I’m just saying the police have to be treated the same as the rest of us, no matter how many “Metals” they have Mike.
@ michael/nathan, its so funny that the editor called you out. i love it. i also love how you agree with yourself 100%