Sarcoxie Police Chief charged with misuse of information
SARCOXIE, Mo. – Missouri Courts filed a charge of “Misuse Of Official Information By A Public Servant ” against Sarcoxie Police Chief Brandy Corum on Wednesday, May 20. She’s accused of conducting a M.U.L.E.S./N.C.I.C. computer inquiry for a personal friend, who was going through a divorce.
According to court documents, the Pittsburg, Kansas Police Department contacted the Jasper County Emergency Services Director April Ford, telling them of the possible violation.
According to Ford, after she learned of the possible violation, she conducted an “offline search” and confirmed that Brandy Corum did a law enforcement computer inquiry of the Missouri license plate in question. The inquiry was made on October 11, 2019, using a mobile computer terminal at the Sarcoxie Police Department.
On November 20, 2019, Ford contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol to help investigate the incident.
Court documents state that on October 11, 2019, Chief Brandy Corum got a text message from her personal friend. The text displayed a black Toyota truck with a visible license plate. According to the investigator, J.L. Mason, the personal friend was going through a divorce and believed the vehicle “belonged to a mistress of her husbands and she was requesting the personal information of the registered owner.”
After getting the text, Chief Corum allegedly conducted a computer inquiry using the law enforcement computer system, and got the personal information of the registered owner. Court documents state that Corum then texted her personal friend and provided her with the name and city of the registered owner.
On December 31, 2019, Mason interviewed Chief Corum. According to court documents, she “explained she knew that information obtained during a law enforcement computer inquiry was restricted information and releasing the information was a violation of law.”
Mason states that Corum admitted about the text messages and read him the back and forth between herself and her friend.
He states Corum “indicated she didn’t have a legitimate law enforcement need to conduct a computer inquiry of the license plate.”
Court documents also show that during Mason’s interview with Chief Corum, she admitted to recently terminating a Sarcoxie Police Officer for committing a M.U.L.E.S. violation. She also told him there were other factors that played into the termination of the employee.
Part of the Probable Cause Statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol can be seen below. A response from the City of Sarcoxie follows.
Response from the City of Sarcoxie:
To the residents of the City of Sarcoxie,
By now, we have probably all seen information about Chief Brandy Corum being charged with the misdemeanor offense of misuse of public information. Without excusing or condoning the issue, I do want to provide some additional information.
In late December of last year, I was advised of this matter by both Chief Corum and an impacted county agency. Because of its potential seriousness, the City took a wait and see position while the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted a thorough investigation of the matter.
Regardless of whether or not charges were filed against Chief Corum, I addressed this matter directly with Chief Corum through disciplinary action that included an unpaid suspension. In addition, she was also sanctioned with restrictions on future access to this kind of information.
Chief Corum understands the seriousness of what I believe to have been a momentary lapse in judgment and learned a powerful lesson for both herself and fellow police officers for the remainder of her career in law enforcement. Chief Corum also took the initiative to self-report this matter to the Missouri Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission (POST) – the State agency for police officer certifications.
Prior to and since this incident, Chief Corum has tirelessly served the City of Sarcoxie with dedication and enthusiasm. While she will have to face the consequences of her actions in court, Chief Corum continues to have my confidence in her ability to lead the Sarcoxie Police Department.
City of Sarcoxie, MO