Re­ports: For­mer Merced of­fi­cer had $30K on se­cret credit card

Merced Sun-Star - - Community - BY VIKAAS SHANKER vshanker@mer­ced­sun­

In­ves­ti­ga­tion re­ports in­di­cate ex-de­tec­tive Joe De­li­man used a bank ac­count of the Merced po­lice of­fi­cers’ union to fund al­most $45,000 in unau­tho­rized pur­chases, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous ev­ery­day ex­penses like fast­food and gro­ceries to out-of-state travel.

He also fun­neled al­most $30,000 from an­other ac­count into a credit card only he knew about and used for ex­penses, ac­cord­ing to the re­ports.

De­li­man, 57, was ar­rested Tues­day and charged with felony grand theft, ac­cord­ing to court and jail records.

De­li­man was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for about a year af­ter mem­bers of the Merced Po­lice Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion dis­cov­ered fi­nan­cial is­sues from De­li­man’s time as head of the Merced Po­lice Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We dis­cov­ered some dis­crep­an­cies,” said Nathan McK­in­non, the cur­rent pres­i­dent of the union. “We felt more ap­pro­pri­ate to have the (At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice) in­ves­ti­gate ev­ery­thing and turned it over to them.”

De­li­man ad­mit­ted to em­bez­zling funds from the union in Au­gust dur­ing a hear­ing stem­ming from a homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion he once led.

A crim­i­nal com­plaint was filed Tues­day with the Merced County Su­pe­rior Court al­leg­ing De­li­man took $82,495.94 in “money and per­sonal prop­erty” from the union be­tween Jan. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2017.

The money came from three sep­a­rate ac­counts, ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­tiga­tive au­di­tor’s re­port ob­tained by the Sun-Star.

From one of the ac­counts, $28,910 was trans­ferred to a credit card, the re­port states. An­other $5,778.85 was used for unau­tho­rized ex­penses in­clud­ing $288.04 to AFLAC, $129.60 to “Etch This and That”, $4,961.21 to West Mark Fabri­ca­tion and $400 to an in­di­vid­ual named John Tillery, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, De­li­man lied to union mem­bers and told them the ac­count was closed.

De­li­man also used a sec­ond ac­count for what ap­peared to be unau­tho­rized ev­ery­day ex­penses, in­clud­ing trips to gas sta­tions, fast food and gro­ceries. That ac­count also was used to fund ex­penses out­side Merced County, in­clud­ing trips to Cal­i­for­nia cities of San Diego, San Fran­cisco and Carmel, Las Ve­gas and Reno in Nevada, Huntsville in Alabama and Ni­a­gara Falls.

The to­tal amount of unau­tho­rized trans­ac­tions on the sec­ond ac­count was $44,666.81, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

A third ac­count was used for $3,140.28 in unau­tho­rized trans­ac­tions, the re­port states. Th­ese trans­ac­tions in­cluded one $140.28 trip to a Merced sushi grill and $3,000 in con­tri­bu­tions to three po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns.

McK­in­non, how­ever, said the po­lit­i­cal cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions were au­tho­rized.

“I can’t com­ment on any de­tails be­cause I haven’t read the ac­tual AG re­port yet,” McK­in­non said. “But th­ese are the au­tho­rized amounts we would have given th­ese can­di­dates.”

Of­fi­cials at the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice couldn’t be reached for com­ment on the po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions be­fore dead­line.

THAD­DEUS MILLERt­miller@mer­ced­sun­

Joe De­li­man was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for about a year.

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