SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office charged an OCSO civilian employee with grand theft of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Deidra Rezzarday, 40, an OCSO property room technician, was placed on immediate suspension without pay Aug. 24 following the launch of a criminal investigation. She was not allowed access to any OCSO computers, resources, or facilities.

Investigators stated Rezzarday committed criminal violations in connection with prescription drugs stored in evidence that had been designated for destruction. In a media release they stated Rezzarday admitted to taking medications from the Purge/Disposal area on four separate occasions for personal use.

The theft appears to be limited in scope, according to the media release, and only involves recent items designated for destruction, however, in an abundance of caution, Sheriff Larry Ashley ordered an internal audit of all items in evidence. There are no indications any of the drugs (Xanax, Ambien and Clonazepam) involved criminal investigations or had any evidentiary value. It is also believed Rezzarday acted alone.

“This situation came to light through routine procedures, spot checks, and internal controls,” Ashley said. “Following her suspension, our investigators moved as expeditiously and thoroughly as possible to determine if criminal charges were warranted. Unfortunately this individual broke the trust of her co-workers and our citizens by stealing medications that were to be destroyed/purged. She will be held accountable for breaking that trust and hopefully this incident will require that she get the help she needs.”

Rezzarday joined the OCSO staff in May 2004 as a Civil Process Clerk and transferred to the technician position in February last year.

Even though this incident was discovered relatively quickly, the OCSO is adding yet another layer of oversight and security to further strengthen its procedures in handling medications set aside for disposal.

The investigation is ongoing and if additional items are discovered missing, additional charges could be forthcoming.