Whitman County prosecuting intern Luke Baumgarten is pressing charges against Paul Verrell, a WSU associate biology professor, for allegedly shoplifting $527.29 worth of jewelry from Shopko in Pullman.
released a statement to The Daily Evergreen
on Wednesday regarding the charges.
Verrell also serves as the assistant dean for recruitment and retention in the College of Sciences.
"I made a serious error of judgment for which legal proceedings (sic) are underway.
I am most grateful for the kind support of so many colleagues, and I am working to resolve certain personal issues underlying my actions," he
"I look forward to continuing the contributions I began making to WSU
students 15 years ago."
Gary Thorgaard, professor and director of the School of Biological Sciences, released a statement Thursday in response to the charges being pressed against Verrell.
has been one of our most successful teachers and advisers in the School of Biological Sciences," Thorgaard stated.
According to the police report, Verrell
was allegedly caught on camera placing an earring from a display case into his
mouth Sept. 25.
later admitted to the Pullman police that when Shopko loss prevention officers confronted him, he
swallowed the earring, along with another earring he
was allegedly attempting to smuggle from the store.
When Pullman Police Officer Matt Burkett arrived on the scene, Shopko loss prevention officers said they suspected Verrell had been stealing from the store for a while, according to the report.
While being questioned at Shopko
by police, Verrell
had taken more jewelry from the store, which he
had stashed in a box at his
Police decided not to arrest Verrell
and allowed him to return home unassisted.
Later that day, Verrell
arrived at the Pullman Police Department
and handed Burkett a sandwich bag of stolen jewelry.
Loss Prevention Office matched much of the jewelry to the missing earrings from the store.
It was confirmed that Verrell
stole a total of 22 items, 19 of which were earrings.
At WSU, Verrell teaches Biology 101, 102 and 105.
Next semester, he
is scheduled to teach Biology 330.
Verrell was named Outstanding Thesis Advisor by the Honors College in May 2004.
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