Matt King pleaded not guilty to stealing from a local slaughterhouse while on duty as a state meat inspector last month.
After two court hearings, the parties are reportedly “close to resolution,” court documents say.
King was cited for petit larceny, a misdemeanor, just three days after he was sentenced to 12 months probation for embezzling thousands of dollars from the Milton Broncos youth football program. King pleaded to the felony charge on December 19 and was back in court December 21.
Milton police opened this latest case in early December after Jean Kleptz, co-owner of Bear Trap Custom Processing in Milton, reported King had stolen from their Cadreact Rd. slaughterhouse.
King was the primary meat inspector for the operation and worked in the facility most days, Kleptz told the Milton Independent last month. According to a sworn statement she gave to MPD, Kleptz and her husband, John, became suspicious of King after two of their employees visited King’s deer cutting operation and saw “the exact same supplies” there as at the slaughterhouse.
“If it wasn’t for the lime green disposable gloves … the exact same sausage seasoning we use and the uniquely styled knife handle, they may not have noticed anything unusual,” the statement says, as recorded in a police affidavit.
A few weeks earlier, an employee noticed a bag of seasoning had gone missing, so the Kleptzes installed a video camera in the operation’s common area. On December 6, Kleptz’ phone notified her of activity at the shop. She watched a live feed of King taking gloves from the office and concealing them under a meat coat before exiting, the affidavit says.
Milton detectives Nick Hendry and Cpl. Frank Scalise subsequently visited King’s home in Georgia. King wasn’t home, but his ex-girlfriend told officers she figured they were there to discuss King’s deer cutting business. King arrived shortly after and denied stealing anything from Bear Trap, court documents say.
Hendry countered he had proof of the crime, adding he could see the neon green nitrile gloves through King’s garage window. He asked King if they could search the garage, and King agreed after consulting with his attorney. He denied officers’ request to enter the outbuilding that houses his deer cutting operation.
In the garage, King handed over two boxes of green disposable gloves which he admitted he stole from the slaughterhouse, the affidavit says.
“King stated he took them because he needed them for his business, but he was going to pay the Kleptzes back for them at some point,” Hendry wrote.
Police also located two seasoning packets on King’s workstation and a knife matching the one Kleptz described. King said he got the knife from working as a meat cutter at Hannaford “but would not specify how he came in possession of it,” the affidavit says.
King pleaded not guilty to the charge at his arraignment on December 21. He was released without bail and under basic conditions to come to court when ordered and to submit his address and phone number to the court and his attorney.
Separately, the Kleptzes trespassed King from their property.
“We’ve had nothing but absolute professionalism from most of those people, and that’s why we were really shocked,” Kleptz said last month. “We have trusted these meat inspectors are doing their jobs when they come into the facility, because in the end, it’s our product that’s making it to the customers.”
King’s supervisor, Diane Bothfeld, said the state’s personnel investigation is ongoing. King is still listed as an employee on the state directory.
Last week, King and his attorney, Paul Jarvis, met with prosecutors in a private office across the hall from the courtroom. Jarvis told the Independent there is no resolution yet, and the parties were given more time to file motions.
King’s next check-in is February 20.