Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Missouri Ethics Commission is no longer investigating Newton County Sheriff Ron Doerge.
An Ethics Commission official told me a few moments ago that the letter of reprimand, which was sent earlier this week, concludes the probe. "Once we send the letter, the investigation is over," the official said.
The complaint, which is reprinted in a Turner Report posting earlier today, indicated that Doerge had misused taxpayer funds in support of the election of his self-anointed successor, Kenneth Copeland.
Though the official did not provide me with any more details, it is apparent from the action taken that the Commission found that the sheriff violated the law, but it was not deemed to be a large enough violation to forward to the Missouri Attorney General's office for further action.
The letter of reprimand is a public document, the official said, but the Ethics Commission's policy is not to release it until the subject of the investigation has had the opportunity to see it. Anyone wanting a copy of the record can make a Sunshine Law request, the official said, adding that the letter will probably be available early next week.

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