Sublette County sheriff arrested Tuesday
EXCLUSIVE From the Pinedale Roundup
by Joy Ufford, Pinedale Roundup
January 19, 2016
PINEDALE – Five charges were filed Tuesday, Jan. 19, against Sublette County Sheriff Stephen Haskell, after the Sublette County Board of Commissioners formally requested the Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate possible wrongdoing back in September 2015.
Haskell, elected in November 2014, was sworn in as Sublette County sheriff on Jan. 5, 2015, but before he was sworn in as sheriff, he ordered and purchased new uniforms and items; he later paid most invoices himself, records show.
The DCI’s investigation last fall was forwarded in to Natrona County Michael Blonigen, who was appointed as special prosecutor for Sublette County and who drafted the charging documents filed in Sublette County Circuit Court in Pinedale.
The charges claim Sheriff Haskell allegedly intended to defraud by false pretenses, allegedly received payment of a personal debt by public funds, presented a false claim or voucher with the intent to defraud, performed a duty related to his office before taking office, and intended to obtain a pecuniary benefit, according to court documents.
The Sublette County commissioners requested the DCI’s investigation into Haskell’s activities on Sept. 9, 2015, less than two weeks after Haskell filed a civil complaint in Ninth District Court for writ of mandamus against Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford, whom he claims interfered with his administration of the sheriff’s office.
After learning of the DCI investigation against him, Haskell had stated in November, "I am anxious to see my name cleared as soon as possible. It is and always will be my hope and goal that we, in Sublette County government, can all move forward and work as a team to produce the highest level of service to our community."
Ninth District Judge Marv Tyler transferred Haskell’s court case to Second District Judge Jeffrey Donnell, who will preside over an upcoming Jan. 25 summary-judgment hearing requested by Lankford, court records show.
Tuesday morning, due to his position as Sublette County sheriff, Haskell was required to turn himself in to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office. He was escorted there by DCI agents and booked, then released after posting a $10,000 bond, according to the detention center.
Sheriff Haskell is scheduled for a court hearing in Sublette County Circuit Court on Thursday, Feb. 11th at 1:30PM for an Initial Appearance and Preliminary Hearing.
See the Friday, January 22 edition of the Pinedale Roundup for additional information on this story or go to www.pinedaleroundup.com.
Joy Ufford - Pinedale Roundup, firstname.lastname@example.org