The state Justice Department is investigating criminal allegations against a Grant County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
The Oregon Department of Justice said an investigation involving Deputy Abigail Mobley was ongoing but did not provide any details.
Mobley was placed on paid administrative leave March 18 and has remained on leave through Oct. 17, according to county records obtained by the Eagle. Grant County officials have declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding the leave.
Attorney Dominic Carollo, on behalf of the county, said in an Aug. 28 statement that records requested by the Eagle regarding the circumstances behind the leave were exempt under a state statute that shields “investigatory information compiled for criminal law purposes.”
“To the best of the County’s knowledge and belief, they are part of a pending criminal investigation being conducted by a third-party state agency,” Carollo said.
Grant County Human Resources Manager Laurie Wright said Oct. 17 that the “public records requested by the (Blue Mountain Eagle) are part of information that was referred to the Oregon Department of Justice.”
In response to an Aug. 21 records request from the Eagle, a DOJ employee said Oct. 17 the agency possessed no records related to active investigations of or complaints against Grant County Sheriff’s Office employees.
After further questions from the Eagle seeking clarification, the DOJ employee admitted Oct. 18 there was an investigation.
“We do have a pending investigation for Deputy Mobley,” the employee wrote. “Because it is an open investigation, the records are exempt from disclosure.”
Mobley remains a county employee and has been payed seven month’s worth of wages and benefits during her absence. At $21.83 per hour, she earns about $3,785 per month.
Wright said all benefits remain active when an employee is on administrative leave, including PERS retirement, paid holidays, life insurance, long-term disability insurance and health insurance.
PERS retirement contributions cost 11% of wages for law enforcement officers, about $416 per month.
Accruing 10 hours of vacation and eight hours of sick leave each month costs another $393.
Dividing the 80 paid holiday hours equally throughout the year gives a monthly cost of about $145.
Wright said life insurance and long-term disability costs vary by age and monthly wages but range from about $20-30 per month.
The county pays between $840 and $2,335 per month for health insurance, depending on other family members on the plan, Wright said.
Seven months of administrative leave has cost county taxpayers between $39,200 and $49,700. Each month of additional leave will cost between $5,600 and $7,100.