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The Lake News Online
  • Deputy disciplined for county vehicle misuse

  • Allegations that a county employee used a sheriff's department truck to move personal belongings have been "dealt with" according to the presiding commissioner who received a complaint from a resident over the weekend.
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  • Allegations that a county employee used a sheriff's department truck to move personal belongings have been "dealt with" according to the presiding commissioner who received a complaint from a resident over the weekend.
    The incident was reported over the weekend after a Camden County resident saw the truck along several other vehicles around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9. Another resident also saw the vehicle and tried to snap a photo of the truck with furniture loaded in the back end. The vehicle was spotted on old Highway 5 about 7 miles outside of Camdenton.
    The sheriff's department confirmed they received a complaint but declined to discuss what had transpired.
    Lieutenant Joseph Botta, operations supervisor, said, "regarding internal investigations, if any deputy were to be reprimanded or disciplined, it would be a personnel matter and not something the Camden County Sheriff's Office would be able to discuss with the media."
    Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken said he learned of the allegations first-hand from a resident who saw the truck.
    "I am aware of what has transpired with regards to this situation. It is a violation of county policy. I contacted the sheriff's department and informed them of the complaint and it was relayed to me that one county vehicle was involved in a minor manner," he said.
    Franken said it is his understanding that the situation has been dealt with by the sheriff's department.
    "With regards to disciplinary action, while the commission has the authority to look into allegations of misuse of county resources, which I have done, the disciplinary action must be provided by the elected official under which they are employed," Franken said.
    Associate Commissioner Bev Thomas said she was made aware of the incident over the weekend. When she returned to work she contacted the county's attorney to get advice on how to proceed.
    "Yes, it is against county policy and therefore had to be addressed. I asked Commissioner Franken, who had been dealing with the sheriff's office on this matter if he knew of any disciplinary measures that had been taken." Thomas said. "He said yes, the department had written up the deputy involved and filed an incident report. I asked legal counsel if that was the appropriate measure and was told that it was appropriate. I take this type of offense very seriously. County vehicles cannot be used for personal use at any time for any reason."
    Associate Commissioner Cliff Luber was also aware of what had transpired. The incident was brought to his attention and based on the information provided and according to the county handbook is a violation of county policy.

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