Police Commander Destroys His Career Stealing Fuel in Oregon State
An OSP (Oregon State Police) commander, thriving in his career, gave up his badge after pleading guilty in court to first-degree official misconduct. The commander, Jeff R. Lanz, built his career within the OSP based on his integrity in investigating fellow officers, but saw his law enforcement career evaporate as a result of his criminal conviction in the Linn County Circuit Court in Albany.
The commander pleaded guilty to misusing a state-issued fuel card to fill up the gas in his personal vehicle last October. An on-duty state trooper witnessed Lanz filling his family vehicle at a commercial fueling station, often used by OSP vehicles, and reported this to the higher authorities. This caused Commander Lanz to be sent to jail for three days along with probation for a full year, and the loss of his certification as a police officer.
Though he was only convicted of one crime, Lanz was originally charged with six counts of third degree theft, meaning he was charged with stealing gas for his own vehicle six different occasions. All but one charge was dismissed as a result of a plea bargain. The day before going to court, Lanz paid restitution for all instances of stealing gas money for his own purposes, in the amount of $485.19, for all six instances of misconduct. Lanz had a past history of unpaid medical bills and other debts yet to be paid off.
Because of his crime, Lanz is now officially banned from the police force for life. In Oregon State Police history, he is only the second high ranking officer to receive this fate as a result of a criminal conviction. Commander Lanz destroyed his career due to a crime that could have been avoided, tossing away his badge for the rest of his life.