Court officer steals documents from the defense file on videotape!

Now he has to apologize or go to jail.

Judge Donahoe held Deputy Adam Stoddard in contempt for the Oct. 19 incident in which he could be seen on a courtroom security video sneaking up behind attorney Joanne Cuccia in the middle of a hearing and taking a document from her file.

During several days of testimony following the incident, Stoddard said he happened to have glanced at the file and saw the words “going to,” “steal” and “money” grouped together in a sentence. It made him think a crime was taking place and gave him the authority to pull the document, he said.

But Donahoe rejected that story, saying there’s no way “a reasonable detention officer” would have thought a crime was taking place based on what he saw.

“There was no immediate or future security threat that would have justified a reasonable detention officer in DO Stoddard’s situation removing, seizing and coping a document from a defense attorney’s file,” Donahoe wrote in his ruling, which was made public today. “A reasonable detention officer would have recognized after spending approximately 37 seconds reading the paragraph in question, that the ‘key words’ had nothing to do with an immediate or future security threat to the jail or anyone else.”

Here's the video!

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