BENNINGTON — A change of plea hearing is scheduled for today in the case of a former Manchester Police Department officer charged with stealing money that was being held by the department as evidence.
According to the court calendar and to Steere’s attorney, Dan McManus, the change of plea hearing is set for 10 a.m. at Bennington Superior criminal court.
Steere pleaded not guilty in July 2020 to charges of grand larceny greater than $900 and embezzlement in an official capacity. Both felony offenses are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Steere was accused of taking $2,295 in cash that Manchester police had seized in a traffic stop in April 2017, according to court documents. He was serving as the department’s temporary evidence custodian at the time.
The police department discovered the cash missing from its evidence room in March 2018, when the state ordered the money returned to its owner after the case had been settled. Vermont State Police investigated at the request of then-Manchester Police Chief Michael Hall.
Steere and a partner reported having found missing money at the police station in June of 2018, months after VSP’s investigation began. But according to an affidavit filed by Detective Sgt. Jacob Metayer, investigators discovered that the money found didn’t correlate with the seized cash in several ways, including the total amount, its denominations and its condition.
The affidavit also said that a subpoena of Steere’s bank accounts showed that on May 19, 2017 — the same day he reportedly had prepared the cash evidence for lab testing — Steere deposited $2,200 in one of his accounts.