WINONA (AP) -- A Winona police officer and a part-time dispatcher were charged with theft following an investigation into missing bicycles from the city's storage barn.
Officer John Howe, 37, also is accused of altering duty books so he could take off 22 unauthorized days with pay.
Howe, who has been suspended with pay since April 26, is charged with 22 felony theft counts; two counts of misdemeanor theft; two gross misdemeanor counts of interference with property in custody; and one count of misconduct by a public officer.
The criminal complaint accuses Howe, who is paid $19.95 an hour, of stealing $3,458 from the public.
Steven D. Thornton, 27, Inver Grove Heights, was charged with gross misdemeanor possession of stolen property and two counts of misdemeanor theft. Thornton, who also is a juvenile detention officer, has been on unpaid leave from his dispatcher's job.
Court appearances for both men were set for Feb. 7.
The investigation started last April when Winona police officer Nicole Bohm and her husband, Troy Bohm, a Winona firefighter, suspected wrongdoing, according to documents filed Thursday in Winona County District Court.
The criminal complaint was filed by the Mower County attorney's office to avoid any conflict of interest.
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