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Sheriff says he welcomes Oregon Department of Justice investigation

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton says he welcomes an Oregon Department of Justice investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior against him — but also says that an earlier outside investigation has already cleared him of some of them.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury request the ODOJ investigation on Wednesday during a telephone conversation with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Kafoury's request came after a top female deputy filed a sexual harassment tort claim notice against Staton and Willamette Week reported Staton had directed employees to compile information on members of a citizens committee studying whether the sheriff should be an appointed instead of elected official.

In a Wednesday evening press release, Staton says he cannot comment on the tort claim notice because it may end up in court. But Staton says that another allegation had been previously reported to the county, where an outside investigation concluded no classified files had been accessed.

The release quoted Staton as saying the following:

"Earlier today, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury made comments regarding conversations she was engaged in with Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to have their office look at recent allegations. I welcome the opportunity for an outside inquiry. I am unable to comment on the pending employee tort claim, however, I believe an outside review will result in a more complete response to all of the issues involved.

"The Charter Review Committee questions Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury brought up once again, have already been addressed by my office. The County Attorney was provided with the results from an internal audit completed at my order by MCSO IT in cooperation with Oregon State Police Law Enforcement Data Systems (LEDS). This was completed to address concerns raised by individuals that confidential or law enforcement search databases were utilized to 'profile' Charter Review Committee members. The results of this audit confirmed there were no inappropriate searches conducted by any MCSO staff.

"I have placed a call to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's office to concur with Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and recommend they conduct a review to resolve this matter once and for all."

You can read a letter summarizing the previous investigation here.

A previous Portland Tribune story on the allegation can be read at http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/291931-169280-county-chair-asks-oregon-department-of-justice-to-investigate-sheriff.