Deschutes Sheriff Reaches Settlement with Lieutenant Leak

A lieutenant with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has reached a settlement and will retire after nearly two years of paid administrative leave.

Lt. Tim Leak was placed on paid administrative leave due to unspecified conduct violations. Deschutes County Sheriff L. Shane Nelson said that the allegations that placed Leak on leave were not criminal but did not comment specifically on the nature of the violations.

Since he was placed on leave in May of 2016, Leak has been paid roughly $238,000 and Sheriff Nelson called the settlement and separation agreement a “business decision,” meant to save the department and the tax payers money in the long run.

 

Sheriff Responds to Kozowski Complaint

Sheriff L. Shane Nelson says he was expecting the lawsuit from former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski.

However, Nelson was unable to comment further on the lawsuit and the termination of Kozowski. However he said “people who don’t align with our values will not work here,” in a phone interview with Central Oregon Daily.

Nelson added that not everyone is going to like being held accountable.

Former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski filed a complaint in the District Court on Monday. He is seeking $3,400,000 in economic damages as well as non-economic and punitive damages.

The complaint from Kozowski alleges that his termination was retaliation against his use of his first amendment rights. Specifically when Kozowski ran against Nelson for Sheriff in a 2016 election.

Kozowski was fired on Jan. 31 by Sheriff L. Shane Nelson based on internal investigations which concluded that Kozowski violated Sheriff’s Office policies.

Kozowski was placed on paid administrative leave on September 24, 2017 due to allegations from 2010 and 2016. Kozowski allegedly failed to take a report in 2010 and failed to arrest a wanted suspect in 2016.

Kozowski Files Complaint in Court

Eric Kozowski Filed a Complaint Citing Wrongful Discharge and Retaliation

Former Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Kozowski filed a complaint in the District Court today. He is seeking $3,400,000 in economic damages as well as non-economic and punitive damages.

The complaint from Kozowski alleges that his termination was retaliation against his use of his first amendment rights. Specifically when Kozowski ran against Nelson for Sheriff in a 2016 election.

Kozowski was fired on Jan. 31 by Sheriff L. Shane Nelson based on internal investigations which concluded that Kozowski violated Sheriff’s Office policies.

Kozowski was placed on paid administrative leave on September 24, 2017 due to allegations from 2010 and 2016. Kozowski allegedly failed to take a report in 2010 and failed to arrest a wanted suspect in 2016.

Kozowski Fired from Deschutes County Sheriff

Deputy Eric Kozowski was fired on Wednesday by Sheriff L. Shane Nelson based on internal investigations which concluded that  Kozowski violated Sheriff’s Office policies.

Kozowski was placed on paid administrative leave on September 24, 2017 due to allegations from 2010 and 2016. Kozowski allegedly failed to take a report in 2010 and failed to arrest a wanted suspect in 2016.

Kozowski challenged Sheriff Nelson for his position in the 2016 election.

In a press release Sheriff Nelson stated, “I expect members of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office to adhere to the mission and values of this office. I will continue to enforce the highest standards of professionalism and conduct at the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.”

Kozowski’s lawyer, Michael McGean, released a statement just after the Sheriff’s Office announced Kozowski’s termination. In his statement McGean maintains that the investigation, and now termination, of Kozowski was retaliatory.

“Deputy Kozowski’s termination is clearly retaliation for exercising his constitutional rights of free speech and political participation in running against Sheriff Nelson,” said McGean. “That retaliation and the Sheriff’s violations of State and Federal law will be the subject of a lawsuit that will be filed shortly in the federal court of Oregon.”

The investigation into the allegations against Kozowski were opened after he announced his candidacy for Sheriff in March 2016.

McGean also said Kozowski was fired for an alleged violation pertaining to the wearing of Sheriff’s Office uniforms for campaign related activity, not the failure to write a report or arrest a suspect as was stated in the Sheriff’s Office statement.

A New Direction for Deschutes County Jail

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has made changes to the jail and introduced its newest corrections captain, all as part of efforts to better the conditions of the jail after the death of an inmate in 2014.

It’s been more than three years since Edwin Mays was arrested and placed in detention at the Deschutes County Jail where he died of a methamphetamine overdose hours later.

Since then, the Deschutes County Service’s office has made changes to both the facility and their procedures to prevent that kind of tragedy from happening again.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan went inside the jail for an exclusive look at the changes they’re making both with the structure, and the culture.

9 P.M. Routine

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has unveil its new campaign to prevent theft, and it’s pretty easy.

How often do you get out of your car after a long day at work and simply forget to lock it? It can be easy to get distracted enough to forget that you’ve left your vehicle unlocked, but it can take just one forgetful moment to make your vehicle a target for thieves.

That’s why the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has begun a new online campaign that they’re hoping will lower the number of thefts seen in the Central Oregon area.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon to discuss how they’re hoping the online campaign will encourage residents to lock their doors and discourage thieves from taking what’s not there’s out of unlocked vehicles.

Deschutes County Launches Program to Get Residents Prepared for Disaster

Deschutes County Emergency Management officials have launched a new program called “Make-A-Kit Mondays” to help residents prepare for a natural disaster.

Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton looks at what it takes to really be prepared. You can follow Make-A-Kit Mondays on the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon‘s Facebook and Twitter pages every Monday thru October 8th.

A Life in Law Enforcement

When you spend your career in law enforcement, you expect to deal with some of the worst elements of society, but there’s another side of that line of work that most people don’t think about and that’s the impact on the family of the law enforcement community.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom introduces us to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Cima, who recently served his last shift after nearly four decades of serving and protecting the people of Oregon.

Local Law Enforcement Participate in “No-Shave November” Face-Off

You may have noticed that your favorite law enforcement officers in the community are looking a little “scruffy” these days, but it’s actually for a good cause.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan reports on the “No-Shave November” friendly competition between the City of Bend Police Department and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon.

U.S. Representative Greg Walden Visits Bend for Roundtable Opioid Discussion

An average of three Oregonians die every week from a prescription opioid overdose. That’s why U.S. Representative Greg Walden paid a visit to Bend today to meet with law enforcement, medical personnel and local government agencies to see what kind of programs they are using to tackle the problem.