Jailer loses his job, gets probation for stealing vax cards

December 21, 2021 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A man lost his job as a jail deputy in Portland, Oregon, and will be on probation for six months for stealing blank vaccination cards for use by himself and his family, authorities said Tuesday.

Robert Haney, 50, pleaded guilty to official misconduct in the second degree and will also pay a $500 fine, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and Sheriff Mike Reese said in a statement.

Haney must resign from his position at the sheriff’s office within one week and relinquish his Oregon law enforcement certification. He was indicted in late September for stealing blank, official CDC vaccination cards from a Multnomah County Jail where he was employed.

“No one is above the law,” Schmidt said.

Co-workers who reported that Haney stole vaccination cards. Detectives obtained a search warrant for Haney’s work locker, phone, and home in Battle Ground, Washington. The stolen vaccination cards were found in Haney’s home.

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Authorities said Haney also took a co-worker’s filled-out vaccination card, made a copy and used the information from that card to fill out the blank cards he had stolen to indicate two COVID-19 vaccine doses, allowing himself and anyone who might obtain the cards to misrepresent their COVID-19 vaccination status. Haney intended to distribute them to his family, Schmidt and Reese said.

“While I am deeply disappointed in this employee’s actions, I commend detectives for conducting a thorough investigation,” Reese said.

Haney’s defense lawyer, Christine Mascal, said her client took two blank cards that contained official clinic site stamps and made a photo of a co-worker’s filled-out card, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The newspaper said Haney was a nearly 23-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.