SALT LAKE CITY — Police believe the former secretary for the Utah Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the group.
But on the day Unified police officers went to Daniel Brooks' home to arrest him, they found him deceased in a car in his garage from an apparent suicide, a police report states.
Although he was not charged, investigators say Brooks made between $55,000 and $62,000 in unauthorized purchases using the association's credit cards since 2007.
"From 2012 to 2018, $55,505.80 in unauthorized purchases and withdrawals were made using APCO credit cards issued to Daniel Brooks," according to the report.
The board, however, claims the unauthorized purchases dated back to 2007 and included an additional $7,041.17 of fraud, the report states. But due to a lack of existing records, police were unable to verify purchases made prior to 2012. Brooks became treasurer of the organization in 2007. He was also the dispatch supervisor for the Granite Police Department at the time of the investigation.
Detectives believe Brooks made illegal cash withdrawals and numerous purchases from Apple and Amazon.
"The purchases included clothing, jewelery and items of a personal and sexual nature that would not likely be made for any legitimate purpose for APCO," the report states.
From November of 2013 through February of 2017, 57 purchases totaling $2,708.01 were made on a credit card issued to Brooks by the association, according to the report.
Other items the group suspects were fraudulently purchased was gas and car washes, the report states.
The suspected fraud was discovered while the association president and a board member were conducting an audit in preparation for trying to get the national chapter to host its annual national conference in Ogden, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in June.
At that point, no one was overseeing Brooks' purchases or his account, the affidavit states.
After the audit was announced, "Daniel started no-showing to the monthly meetings, which was unlike him. (The association president) started looking into the APCO finances in May 2018 and discovered that the money market account did not contain $30,000, as Daniel had told the board, but closer to $3,000," the warrant states.
Unified police first interviewed Brooks in May.
"During my interaction with Daniel, he was extremely nervous and sweating profusely. Daniel asked me if I believed he would be fired over this, which was odd considering I had not disclosed that his employer had been notified or the extent and large value sum of the missing money," police wrote in a report.
On Aug. 1, Brooks was scheduled to meet for another police interview. When he didn't show up, investigators went to Brooks' house. When no one answered the door, even though his car was in the garage, police obtained a "warrant to enter the home and arrest Daniel," the report states.
That's when they discovered Brooks was deceased.
Ben Horsley, spokesman for the Granite Police Department, said Brooks was placed on administrative leave from his job as dispatch supervisor as soon as the allegations came to light, and the department conducted its own internal investigation.
"Mr. Brooks was under investigation and the Granite District Police Department was privy to, and assisting with that investigation. In addition to the external investigation for embezzlement of a private organization, we conducted an internal investigation, and it was clear he did not embezzle any public funds" from Granite police.
Horsley added that the department is offering its condolences to Brooks' family.
"Loss of a life is a tragedy and our hearts are with his family. It's just a very sad situation," he said.