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FORMER POLICE CHIEF OF ESCALANTE BOUND OVER ON THEFT COUNTS

Former Escalante Police Chief Kent C. Robinson has been bound over on charges he stole more than $17,000 from a drug task force.

Robinson, 43, who resigned from the one-member force earlier this summer, will be arraigned in 6th District Court on Sept. 14.In a preliminary hearing at Kanab, witnesses testified Robinson controlled finances for Kane and Garfield counties' joint drug task force from 1991 to 1993.

An inquiry led by the Utah Division of Investigations found $17,628 was unaccounted for.

Authorities contend Robinson bought two handguns for himself with task-force money.

They also contend Robinson forged four receipts, saying he gave money to confidential informants in exchange for information. Those informants claim he did not give them any money, UDI investigator Scott Mann testified Wednesday.

"Mr. Robinson falsified the documents. He failed to hand over records. There's still a great number of invoices missing," said Kane County Attorney Colin Winchester. "His intent was to handle the money loosely for his benefit."

Robinson's attorney, Marcus Taylor, said the former chief is the victim of bad bookkeeping by all in the task force.

"There is simply paperwork missing," Taylor said.

An official testified revenues as compared to expenditures came up more than $9,000 short.