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Commissioners investigate Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office

The case is closed on several allegations made against Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen.

That’s according to commissioners who met Monday to discuss the issue, following a week-long investigation.

The three county commissioners, Debbie Karren, Tad Hegsted and Jerald Raymond, listened to a full-report regarding the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

They also heard arguments for and against a forensic audit.

An exchange ensued between commission chairwoman Karren and Chris Campbell over eight allegations made toward Olsen and his department, including what Campbell said is the misuse of a taxpayer funded cell phone.

County commissioners, with about 20 locals in attendance, went over a detailed report given by commission executive director Emily Kramer, who researched everything from hotel stays to financial records.

She said nothing outstanding has surfaced.

Kramer said $42.25 is the only money unaccounted for and it may have been paid back to the department in cash.

“Through all of that process, it exonerated the justice department of what has been presented thus far,” said county attorney Robin Dunn.

Mike Peterson and Jason Kofoed asked the commissioners to drop any thought of a forensic audit, submitting 16 pages of signatures from people who agree.

“It’s time for us to put an end to it. We need to step up and make the corrections where needed,” said Peterson.

Dunn said commissioners want the community to heal and move on from the issue.

“It’s fractured the community. Neighbors, families, friends and, in some instances, religious denominations are one against the other,” said Dunn.

Dunn said the Attorney General’s Office declined to investigate the allegations. They intentionally left it up to the trust of the commissioners.

Olsen admitted to giving his wife a department cellphone.

Up until recently, there has been no written policy on usage.

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