Deputy accused of crime
A sheriff's deputy has been charged in Leavenworth County District Court with possession of stolen property.
Adam Abramovitz, a five-year veteran of the sheriff's department, is accused of possessing a backhoe that was stolen three years ago from U.S. Highway 24-40 and 198th Street.
"Some information came to light earlier this week that Adam may be in possession of a stolen backhoe," Sheriff Herb Nye said Friday. "Through independent confirmation, we found he did indeed have it."
Abramovitz, described by Nye as a "very satisfactory" employee, was suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal case against the deputy.
"He's well-liked," Nye said. "I know this came as a shock to many people. I don't believe in firing them until the verdict is in. The guy deserves his chance in court."
Nye said a tip was received, and within 24 hours, officers obtained a search warrant for Abramovitz's property.
"I can't let information like that lay around," the sheriff said, "especially when it involves an officer in the department."
A John Deere highloader backhoe was discovered in the driveway of Abramovitz's home in the 26000 block of DeHoff Road, Nye said. At the time the backhoe was reported stolen, the sheriff said, it was valued at $90,000.
Abramovitz, who has been a deputy in the department's patrol division for the past three years, made his first court appearance Friday morning and was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13.
Usually, when allegations surface against a department member, the sheriff said, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation would be asked to handle the case.
"Because of the timeframe that the information came in," he said, "we believed if we didn't act immediately that the backhoe would have been gone."
If Abramovitz enters a guilty plea or he is found guilty in court, he will be fired.
"If he is found not guilty, then we will pick it up and go from there," Nye said.