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Investigations Continue Into DCSO Challenger

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s race was perhaps the most contentious in the region, during the November general election. Allegations and complaints were leveled against both Sheriff Shane Nelson and his challenger, Deputy Eric Kozowski.  

 
Sheriff Shane Nelson tells KBND News, "We have personnel investigations on some level that occur all throughout the year. But, right now, there are several investigations that are going on involving the other candidate for Sheriff." He would not say just how many complaints involving Deputy Kozowski are being looked in to, but says, "One of the claims that was made about his use of uniform: that’s against policy. He did not follow orders; he did not follow policy and procedure by wearing his uniform and campaigning in his uniform. Accurate information is important, and that’s why those that don our uniform, it is assumed they speak for the office; and that’s why that piece is important."
 
Due to the timing "We asked outside agencies and outside investigators to look into those, because I feel that’s the right thing to do. Our office should not have been looking into those because it was occurring during an election. But, everyone will be held accountable."
 
In October, Kozowski claimed the investigation amounted to harassment and threatened to sue the Sheriff's Office. 
 
Nelson says overall morale at the agency is good, following the election. 

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