Ex-Kings County deputy gets 180 days in jail for theft

KINGS COUNTY, Calif.

Nick Simpson, 34, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and five years felony probation. Through his attorney he apologized for making a mistake that ultimately cost him his career.

Former Sheriff's Deputy Nick Simpson refused to comment as he left a Kings County courtroom on Friday. The Armona resident was sentenced to six months in jail after he plead guilty to concealing stolen property.

Back in December, the Kings County Sheriff's Office received a tip that Simpson was stealing money on the job. Sheriff Dave Robinson worked with the district attorney's office to set up a sting. They planted a car with cash and drugs in it. When Simpson was called out to investigate they found $500 missing from the car. He resigned from his deputy post shortly afterwards.

Sheriff Robinson said, "Anytime there's anything that comes to our attention like that we are definitely going to aggressively pursue it we have to hold our own accountable just like we hold everyone else accountable."

Cameras were not allowed in court during Nick Simpson's sentencing. His attorney told the judge that his client was remorseful and asked for leniency.

"I really would have liked to have heard him speak and address the court directly," said Sheriff Robinson. "It probably would have meant a little bit more there's no harm in doing it at this point."

Judge Shane Burns told Simpson that because of his position as a sheriff's deputy, an example would have to be made of his actions. Normally, the judge said he would sentence Simpson to two years in prison but because of the state's recent inmate realignment changes, he sentenced him to six months in county jail. The realignment law also means Simpson will likely only serve half of the sentence.

"He would have done six month sentence so the distinction between probation and a prison sentence can be nonexistent under realignment."

Nick Simpson will likely not serve out his time at the Kings County Jail because of the high security that would have to be in place to separate him from the other inmates. Some of the inmates he has arrested personally.

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