SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Michael Drury claimed he was set up by people he once considered his allies.
The former president of Salt Lake’s Honorary Colonel is facing a trial on charges he stole from the fund.
But in his first public statements since the 2018 charges were filed, Drury claimed the investigation was bogus.
“I was on the news as the bad guy and I was never given a chance to show one piece of evidence,” Drury said.
A year ago, Drury was arrested after his former business partner tipped police about his whereabouts. By nightfall, Drury was in a Utah County jail after being charged for multiple felonies including three counts of theft and two counts of unlawful dealing with the property by fiduciary.
“I worked hard for 10 years to support everybody and I got 90 days in solitary confinement,” Drury said about the charges.
He was in charge of Salt Lake’s Honorable Colonels. The group provides financial support for families of fallen officers. In charging documents he allegedly stole more than $300,000 from the account.
“Once I saw the allegations I identified every single check and verified the accounting,” said Drury. “I have all the support and records.”
But he said investigators never asked him about those documents.
Unified Police officer Doug Barney was shot and killed in 2016 after pulling over a driver. Drury is accused of never sending money targeted for Barney’s widow.
“We wrote two checks, one to Doug Barney’s wife and another to Sheriff Jim Winder to go on a commemorative ride to honor Doug Barney.”
But he said when he attempted to get those financial records to verify the checks, Wells Fargo told him the account no longer existed.
“That’s pretty scary when you can have an account that is wiped from the system,” Drury said.
What bothers Drury the most, is the relationship he once had with law enforcement. He said he feels betrayed by some members.
“The charges were devastating,” Drury said. “All the people I supported turned on me at once. I will go down fighting for my reputation. Everybody that knows me knows that I would never take a dollar.”
But according to the charging documents, investigators did look at bank records and noticed questionable funds shifting from the honorary colonels account to Drury’s own bank account.
Drury said his legal team is no longer representing him and will proceed as his own attorney. His trial is scheduled for March 2020.