AP NEWS

OSP captain on leave during criminal inquiry

March 2, 2018 GMT

A top Oregon State Police employee is under criminal investigation by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office after it received an anonymous complaint Tuesday night, the sheriff’s office said.

Capt. William “Bill” Fugate, an OSP employee for 11 years who serves as the agency’s spokesman, was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday after the sheriff’s office notified OSP that it was launching an investigation.

The investigation, the sheriff’s office said, is not related to his employment or his on-duty conduct.

“This investigation involves a high-level commander in a professional law enforcement agency,” Deschutes County Sheriff L. Shane Nelson said. “We are in the beginning stages of this investigation and want to balance transparency with our duty to protect the integrity of the investigation. We take these investigations seriously and will always do the right thing. In all criminal investigations, we respect our citizens’ rights as we investigate to gather the facts.”

If criminal charges are filed, Fugate’s leave will change to unpaid, according to OSP’s policy.

“The Oregon State Police is grateful for the immediate and professional response by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office to allegations involving our employee,” OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton said. “We are appreciative for the timely notification to our agency, so duty status determinations could be immediately made. OSP has the utmost confidence in Sheriff Nelson and his investigators to conduct a comprehensive and transparent investigation.”

No other details were released.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter @ChelseaDeffenB .