Trial set for Ki-Be school official accused of selling property

Tri-City HeraldJuly 11, 2013 

— A Kiona-Benton City School District administrator who faces an Oct. 7 trial for selling school property allegedly advertised on eBay using a picture taken in a district building.

Mark S. Noyes pleaded innocent Thursday to allegations he posted a number of things on the online auction site, including a photo of one ream of 11x17 paper in a recognizable setting.

The paper reportedly failed to draw a buyer.

Noyes, 48, is charged in Benton County Superior Court with one count of first-degree trafficking stolen property.

Prosecutors allege that Noyes, in his role as the district’s maintenance and operations manager, sold property over a period of more than two years on eBay.

Noyes started working for the district in February 2010.

The allegations of theft surfaced in April, but he wasn’t placed on paid leave until mid-June after Benton County sheriff’s investigators got confirmation that Noyes was the registered online seller. The school board then placed him on unpaid leave.

According to court documents, Ki-Be board member Wayne Elston met with Detective Rick Washburn about school district property that had been stolen and resold on eBay.

Elston shared a printout of a listing for a set of 10 Automated Logic control modules for $300 by the seller “charming*impressions.”

He told Washburn the modules were taken from either the high school or middle school during a remodeling project, and added that he suspected Noyes, documents said.

Washburn then reviewed the seller’s eBay membership profile and found ads for two Automated Logic control modules and the ream of paper.

The detective interviewed a district maintenance worker on April 29 who explained the old wiring was pulled out of the elementary school about two years age. The worker, Harlan Pumroy, said about eight months after that they removed the old heating and air conditioning control modules, and the old modules were put into storage, court documents said.

They had 89 modules, but Pumroy said he can only find 26 now. Pumroy — whose boss is Noyes — also said the ream of paper for sale on eBay is the exact paper they have in storage and identified the picture as being taken in a district building, documents said.

Washburn used a warrant to get records from eBay and on June 3 was told the user name “charming*impressions” was registered to a Mark Noyes.

Washburn said Noyes allegedly admitted on June 10 to taking 12 of the sensors for heating and cooling systems and selling them on his personal eBay account for $500, court documents said. He allegedly told Washburn he hadn’t been able to sell the other two modules and had them at his house.

Noyes said this happened 1 1/2 years ago.

He also admitted taking a 35mm Kodak camera and selling it for $35, and trying to sell the paper, documents said.

Deputy Prosecutor Emily Sullivan wrote that Noyes gave permission for another investigator to stop by his house and pick up the remaining modules. Detective Larry Smith was handed three electronic control modules — one marked “Ki-Be” — at the house, documents said.

Noyes was charged June 25 and sent a summons. On Thursday, he appeared with attorney Peyman Younesi.

At the end of the brief hearing, Younesi told the judge, “Some of the media out there has been quite derogatory,” saying his client hasn’t yet had his day in court.

Noyes, who lives in Benton City, remains out of custody on his personal recognizance.

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