About a year ago Jefferson County Sheriff was faced with allegations of suspected misuse of funds. Monday the Restoring Integrity Project, also known as R.I.P., confronted Jefferson's commissioners with a letter obtained through a freedom of information act request that states the Attorney General's Office is willing to do the investigation and resolve this situation.
I attended the Commissioners meeting and spoke with Bruce Baxter, a founder of Restoring Integrity Project, to get his thoughts on the situation and Sheriff Blair Olsen's response.
"My investigation has not been based on rumors, but what we could confirm. I guess it did start with rumors and later we were able to confirm much or all of the rumors as being accurate based on Freedom of Information Act requests," said Bruce Baxter, the Founder of the Restoring Integrity Project.
Baxter says a few suspected misuse of funds include the use of a county cell phone, double reimbursements by the county and then by the state, unaccounted checks, and misuse of a county credit card.
"This cell phone issue, the commissioners have answered questions on that, I have answered questions on that, the prosecutors office has answered questions on that, and it should it have been answered and resolved," said Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen.
The letter presented today was from the Deputy Attorney General to Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney stating, "It comes to our attention that the matters involving Sheriff Olsen may not have been resolved. We now have sufficient resources to provide the assistance you previously requested."
"I have asked the commissioners to go ahead and direct the prosecutor to conduct a independent investigation to the Attorney General's Office and allow things to be looked at from the outside and resolve this and bring it to an end," added Sheriff Olsen.
Sheriff Olsen continued to say that he would also recommend an investigation on how Bruce Baxter received the credit card statements with his account information.
Both parties at this time are in agreement that some action into an investigation is necessary not only for Sheriff Olsen, but also for Jefferson County residents.
"What do you say when you're trying to do the right thing, based not on hear say, not on gossip, but based on documents and then they want to investigate you for it. I mean how constitutional is that. What kind of government do we have in Jefferson county that would pull a cheap stunt like that just because they are in the position to do so," added Bruce Baxter.
KPVI also reached out to the county chairman, but at the time he was unavailable for comment. The chairman's assistant though told us at this point they do not know if or when further action into either investigation would be taking place.