PEORIA, AZ — Two former West Valley cops have been indicted for theft and fraud.
Cameron Lebbon and Mitch Fuller are accused of stealing thousands from their department's union.
The pair worked for the Peoria Police Department and held leadership positions with its police association.
Lebbon, who joined the department in 2001, was President of the Peoria Police Officers Association from 2017-2020.
Fuller got his badge in 2014 and was Treasurer for the union at the same time as Lebbon.
While their fellow officers were trusting them to advocate for their best interests, the two are now accused of stealing from their brothers in blue.
"When a new treasurer took over, an audit was done on the books," said Peoria Police Chief Art Miller. "They kept unraveling more and more pieces of information until it came to light that, more likely, some theft was going on, as opposed to mishandling of the books."
The Arizona Attorney General's Office indicted both men in October. Each former cop is now facing a theft and fraudulent schemes and artifices charge.
Lebbon is accused of taking $15,700. While Fuller allegedly funneled away $34,000
"This hurts on a professional level," said Chief Miller. "But it also hurts on a personal level because, at Peoria PD, we have over 300 employees affected by this."
Chief Miller expressed his outrage over the alleged corruption.
"We took action immediately when we found out," said Chief Miller. "I terminated [Fuller] and he went on his way."
Fuller was fired in October 2020 for a separate incident of dishonesty within the department, according to Peoria PD. He also voluntarily relinquished his certification to become a police officer in Arizona.
After being indicted and missing a pretrial conference, a warrant was issued for Fuller's arrest. He was pulled over by Gilbert police on February 2 and booked into the county jail.
Lebbon, meanwhile, retired in May 2021 and his police certification is still active, pending a decision by the state oversight board.
"Quite frankly, Lebbon beat the clock," said Chief Miller. "He was on administrative leave and ended up retiring earlier than he wanted to."
Officers being arrested for allegedly pilfering from their own unions is not a new problem.
In 2019, former Peoria Police Sgt, Jon Meck was arrested for stealing from the Arizona Tactical Officers Association.
Like his former co-workers, Lebbon and Mitchell, Meck was indicted by the Arizona Attorney General.
He ended up pleading guilty in November 2019 and was sentenced to one day in jail, three years' probation, and ordered to pay $51,268 in restitution.
"The selfish acts of these particular officers, Jon Meck included, just makes me sick really," said Chief Miller. "Because I know how officers operate, I know how giving they are, how compassionate they are, and when they do these types of things, it hurts."
The Peoria Police Officers Association sent ABC15 the following statement via email:
"At this time the Peoria Police Officers Association (PPOA) is grateful to the Special Agents of the Attorney General's Office for their time in thoroughly investigating the matter. The Board and Members of the PPOA trust in the judicial process and we will stand back to allow the Criminal Justice system to handle this unfortunate matter."