GREENFIELD — A former McCordsville postal worker will serve time in jail after admitting he stole and used two gift cards from the mail he was responsible for delivering.
On Tuesday, Brett Teeters, 34, of Pendleton, pleaded guilty to theft and official misconduct, both Level 6 felony charges, as part of a plea agreement with the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office. He admitted he also failed to deliver two tax returns from the federal Department of Treasury.
Teeters was sentenced to serve 2½ years in the Hancock County Jail and six months of probation. Teeters will pay $200 in restitution to two hardware stores from which the gift cards came.
In April, investigators discovered Teeters had taken two $100 gift cards from a greeting card destined for a McCordsville address along his mail route. The cards’ account numbers revealed they were used in Anderson and Noblesville, and video surveillance from the stores showed Teeters making purchases within a few days of when the mail went missing.
Additionally, four postal service barrels containing about 600 pieces of mail bound for addresses along Teeters’ route were found abandoned in a wooded area in McCordsville. Among those notes and packages were two tax refunds.
Deputy Prosecutor John Keiffner called Teeters a public servant, charged and trusted by the public to efficiently deliver the mail. On multiple occasions, Teeters breached that trust by seizing others’ property and using it as his own, Keiffner said. Although there is no evidence that Teeters attempted to cash the tax returns, Teeters’ failure to properly deliver the checks amounted to theft all the same, Keiffner said.
Court Commissioner Scott Sirk, who took the bench in Hancock County Superior Court 1 in Judge Terry Snow’s absence Tuesday, told Teeters his behavior had tarnished the reputation of all public servants. Sirk, however, commended Teeters for taking full responsibility for his actions by admitting his guilt.
Teeter blamed troubles in his marriage and use of drugs and alcohol for his poor decision-making. He told Sirk he was remorseful and understood that he needed to be held accountable for his illegal actions.
“I know I was in a trusted position,” Teeters said in court. “I was in a bad place in my life, and I truly feel bad for what I did.”
Investigators found drugs while searching Teeters’ house for mail, court documents state. Prosecutors chose to drop two misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in exchange for Teeters’ guilty plea.
Teeters had faced up to 3½ years in prison and $15,000 in fines for the original charges.