BEND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police are investigating the Deschutes County district attorney's office at the request of the state attorney general's office, the district attorney says.
District Attorney Patrick Flaherty said state police notified his office Monday that the attorney general's office recently asked for an investigation into a complaint of possible criminal wrongdoing.
The investigation, reportedly requested three weeks ago, involves the county office's handling of a grand jury investigation earlier this year and the recent layoff of an investigator.
The Bulletin of Bend said Flaherty initiated a criminal investigation of Deschutes County's top civil attorney, Mark Pilliod, in late February after Pilliod released job applications from recently hired deputy district attorneys to the newspaper in response to a public records request. The Oregon State Bar is also investigating Flaherty's action with the grand jury, the newspaper said.
Flaherty laid off investigator Sharon Sweet on Oct. 7, citing unspecified concerns about the job and cost increases for information technology, the newspaper reported. She has contested that action.
In a statement, Flaherty said his office would cooperate fully. He added that "so long as that investigation was conducted in an unbiased and fair manner, no criminal conduct whatsoever would be found to have occurred within the office in either of these instances."
Tony Green, a spokesman for Attorney General John Kroger, did not immediately reply to an email request for comment late Monday.
Two top county deputy prosecutors resigned last summer.
At the time, Flaherty praised both Chief Deputy District Attorney Traci Anderson and Deputy District Attorney Pat Horton but gave no details about why they were leaving, saying he would have no further comment.
Flaherty was elected in May 2010 after beating longtime incumbent Mike Dugan.