DOJ: No criminal charges for Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton - KPTV - FOX 12

DOJ: No criminal charges for Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton

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Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton (KPTV file image) Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton (KPTV file image)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Department of Justice will not pursue criminal charges against Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton.

An investigation was launched in February into misconduct allegations against Staton after a tort claim was filed by former Chief Deputy Linda Yankee.

A settlement was reached in that case, however Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury asked for an official review into possible criminal charges.

The Criminal Justice Division investigated the allegations in the torn claim, as well as allegations Staton used a law enforcement database to obtain information about Multnomah County Charter Review Committee members, made threats of violence and offered a promotion to a union official in an attempt to block a vote of "no confidence" from the union.

In a letter to Multnomah County officials Friday, The Department of Justice said, "We have concluded that the sheriff engaged in no criminal conduct in relation to the four areas of allegations under review."

The Criminal Justice Division reported that information obtained about the Charter Review Committee members was provided to Staton or was found through Google searches and public websites.

Investigators said the sheriff's "threatening comments" did not rise to the level of criminal misconduct, nor did any of Staton's actions that were described in Yankee's tort claim.

The Department of Justice also said there was not "evidence sufficient to support criminal charges" with regard to the union situation.

The investigation was limited to only potential criminal matters.

"We did not conduct any investigation into questions that were purely civil or administrative, nor concerning matters of labor or employment law. We offer no opinion as to the sheriff's conduct in those areas," the Department of Justice letter states.

Last month, Staton asked former Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese to serve as interim Multnomah County sheriff if he were to leave office. The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution in support of that.

Staton said union leaders had formally requested he consider resigning. In a statement last month, Staton said he would "take their thoughts into consideration" as he waited for the completion of the Department of Justice investigation.

Staton was first elected sheriff in 2010. 

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