UNION COUNTY — The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Police Policy Committee is launching a professional standards investigation against Union County Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen.

The 13-member committee met Thursday, Aug. 20, at the department's headquarters in Salem with some members attending in person and others online. Rasmussen was at the meeting in person. The committee discussed investigating the sheriff after receiving a complaint based on findings from an Oregon Department of Justice investigation.

"I don't know how we don't investigate these allegations the DOJ pointed out," said committee member John Teague, chair of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police.

The committee's vote to launch the investigation was unanimous.

The DPSST investigation will focus on the Union County Sheriff's Office contract to provide law enforcement services for Elgin and suspicions around the office's account for reserve officers.

The Department of Justice found evidence of misconduct in the Elgin contract. However, the incident was beyond the statute of limitations. The justice department also looked into concerns about the management of the deputy's reserve account and found there was not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anyone committed theft or to prove Rasmussen committed official misconduct when he terminated the reserve program.

Rasmussen did not speak during the meeting.

DPSST is not looking into whether Rasmussen committed any illegal activity but will investigate whether his actions violated the code of professional standards. A future meeting will evaluate the moral standards, and the committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Board of Public Safety Standards and Training.

Reporter

Newest reporter to The Observer. Beats include crime and courts, city and county news and arts/entertainment. Graduated June 2019 with a bachelors in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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