Police investigating MSD employee's eBay sales - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police investigating MSD employee's eBay sales

Cincinnati Police Department's Intelligence Unit has a Metropolitan Sewer District engineer under investigation tonight after walking him out of MSD's headquarters on Feb. 12 (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Jody Barr) Cincinnati Police Department's Intelligence Unit has a Metropolitan Sewer District engineer under investigation tonight after walking him out of MSD's headquarters on Feb. 12 (Photo: FOX19 NOW/Jody Barr)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati Police Department's Intelligence Unit has a Metropolitan Sewer District engineer under investigation Monday after walking him out of MSD's headquarters on Feb. 12. The employee, Greg Doherty, has not been charged with a crime, but police continue investigating thousands of eBay sales connected to the city employee.

A search warrant obtained shows investigators asked a county judge for a search warrant on Feb. 11 after agents tried to buy a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses from an eBay account registered to Doherty on Feb. 6.

The warrant is listed as part of an “aggravated theft” investigation.

CPD agents created an eBay account and email address in order to purchase the glasses, the warrant states. Agents paid $117.50 and won the glasses at auction, according to the warrant. On Feb. 10, agents said Doherty canceled the sale.

On the same day, agents said Doherty removed all other glasses from his site. The agent who swore the warrant out wrote, “It is believed the suspect removed the remaining glasses of [sic] his website to avoid detection by law enforcement.”

A FOX19 review of Doherty's eBay account shows 2,120 separate feedback comments in a little more than a year. Those comments do not reflect the total sales from Doherty's site.

All the comments were positive sales of various sunglasses that matched the descriptions of the glasses CPD has accused Doherty of illegally selling. Doherty's site, registered as gredg11, has nothing listed for sale today.

The totals of the sales range from between $23 and $295. Doherty's site also lists power tools, a vacuum cleaner and tax preparation software as being sold. None of those items were listed in the search warrant as involved in this case.

THE SEARCH

On Feb. 12 at 9:25 a.m., two unidentified Cincinnati Police investigators walked into MSD's administration building and asked for Greg Doherty. Doherty, who works as a Senior Engineer, met the officers in the lobby and is listed as a “suspect” in the search warrant. The officers told Doherty there were members of CPD's unit at his home in Harrison waiting on someone to let them in.

“What's this concerning,” Doherty asked the officers, “Well, we'll let those guys explain it to you. They're out there waiting right now,” one of the two officers told him.

“Get your coat, get your keys and we're going to take a ride, okay?” one officer told Doherty. “Can I sit down for a second?” Doherty asked. After sitting for a few minutes on a bench in the lobby, Doherty went to his office and spent 20 minutes before walking out.

The two officers walked Doherty to an unmarked CPD car, patted him down and placed him in the back seat. The officers took Doherty to his home in Harrison where more than a dozen CPD agents were waiting to serve a search warrant.

We arrived at Doherty's home minutes later and watched agents in unmarked units walking in and out of the home. After several minutes, agents carried out a computer tower and placed it into the back of an unmarked van. Agents carried several other items out in brown evidence bags.

Agents walked Doherty back to the unmarked unit and took him away from the home. As of this report, there are no charging documents at the Hamilton County courthouse for Doherty and CPD's spokeswoman, Tiffany Hardy has not responded to FOX19 as to what CPD plans to do with the evidence collected.

Agents were looking for, “any evidence of aggravated theft,” the affidavit states, “any evidence of criminal activity…and any other contraband or items believed to be stolen, illegal items, or contraband, criminal tools, illegal items or evidence of a crime.”

WHAT THEY FOUND

It took 11 days for FOX19 to obtain the search warrant in the Doherty case. In it, agents accuse the MSD engineer of selling name brand sunglasses on his eBay site. Some of the glasses, according to the warrant, were “missing items” from the LensCrafters store in Western Hills.

In the search warrant inventory listing, CPD took 37 pairs of Ray Bans, Maui Jim, Oakley and assorted brands of sunglasses from an office and den inside Doherty's home. Agents also seized a computer tower, laptop, iPad and external hard drive.

Agents got a tip about the missing glasses from a loss prevention worker who told investigators he spotted glasses for sale on Doherty's eBay site with sales tags that contained UPC codes of glasses reported missing from the Western Hills store. The worker, the warrant states, has logged the UPC codes and store numbers for police.

CPD reported finding three other pair of glasses on Doherty's site that were missing from the Western Hills location. The warrant does not state how Doherty obtained the glasses.

After collecting potential evidence from Doherty's eBay site, CPD started working on creating an eBay page to do business with the city worker. The warrant states, agents were able to verify Doherty's IP address as one registered to him through eBay, as well as the email address associated with the eBay account.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR DOHERTY

As of this report, courthouse records show Cincinnati Police have not charged Greg Doherty with any crimes. We're working to find out from CPD whether this case is tied to a larger case and whether Doherty's case is being referred to the Hamilton County grand jury.

We called Doherty by cell phone right after CPD finished searching his home and took him away. Doherty answered and after identifying ourselves, Doherty said, “I don't' have any comment. I appreciate the call.”

Emails to Doherty's city email account and his personal Yahoo account have not been returned.

On Feb. 24, CPD spokeswoman, Tiffaney Hardy, told FOX19 NOW she had no information on the case and could not find an incident report or any charging documents related to this search warrant.

We also checked with Metropolitan Sewer District's administration to find out Doherty's employment status. MSD spokeswoman Cassandra Hillary told FOX19 Doherty is “actively employed” with the agency. Hillary said she was not aware of the criminal investigation involving Doherty.

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