San Juan County Sheriff Accused of Pointing Rifle At Staffer

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

U.S. News:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The sheriff in a rural southeastern Utah county was charged Friday with threatening an employee in 2015 with a rifle, failing to properly carry out an investigation of the incident and then firing the staffer in retaliation. Two of his deputies were also charged.

San Juan County Sheriff Richard Eldredge was charged with one count of felony witness retaliation and three misdemeanors: official misconduct, reckless endangerment and obstruction of justice, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

Chief Deputy Alan Freestone, who ran an internal investigation state prosecutors allege was fraught with missteps, is charged with one count of felony witness retaliation and two misdemeanors: obstruction of justice and official misconduct.

Deputy Richard Wilcox, who is accused of being with Eldredge the day the sheriff pointed the assault rifle at the employee, is charged with three misdemeanors: official misconduct, reckless endangerment and obstruction of justice.

[ … ]

The alleged events occurred at a shooting range parking lot on May 26, 2015, according to a narrative from state prosecutors in charging documents.

An unnamed sheriff’s office employee said he heard a click and the sound of a trigger pull and turned around to see Sheriff Eldredge pointing an assault rifle at him. He said he heard deputy Wilcox chuckling. The employee said he had been previously confronted by the sheriff.

After the employee lodged a complaint, Eldredge assigned Freestone to investigate the incident despite previously assigned cases involving his department to be reviewed by outside agencies.

Freestone didn’t’ record his interview with Eldredge and Wilcox but recorded the employee’s interview and then allowed Eldredge and Wilcox to listen to it. His investigative report contained incorrect dates and paperwork and was missing audio interviews, prosecutor say.

Freestone closed the investigation in May 2016 concluding it didn’t happen.

Eldredge then used that finding to against the employee, eventually firing him in February of this year.

Gosh, I hate it when that happens to me.  I like to point rifles at people all the time and pull the trigger just to see the reaction on their faces.  Most of the time the rifle is unloaded and not cocked.

Hahahahaha … it’s really funny.  Just being boys, they were.  Too bad the dude had to take it so seriously, losing his job over something silly like this.  Hey, just be cool and let boys be boys.  Why do you have a problem with rifles being pointed at you, dude?


Comments

  1. On May 15, 2017 at 10:40 am, DAN III said:

    There are no good cops.

  2. On May 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm, Blake said:

    I guess we know why the employee had confronted the sheriff in the past.

    The sheriff sounds like a special kind of jackass.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published May 14th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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