A political dispute involving Sublette County Sheriff Stephen Haskell took a nasty turn today. He is accused of ordering more than $11,000 worth of equipment before taking office, then altering invoices to make it look like he purchased the uniforms and badges after being sworn in.
The Wyoming sheriff gained national criticism earlier this year after banning his deputies from wearing cowboy hats and boots. The goal of the initiative was to have deputies have a standard look, including black trousers, a tan shirt, black boots and a black ball cap. However, it appears he was a little overzealous in his efforts to obtain the new look and bent the rules and then attempted to cover up the fact that he made the purchases before he took office.
Today’s charges include 3 felony counts and 2 misdemeanors which carry a maximum sentence of 22 years in jail and several thousand dollars in fines, according to the Star Tribune.
The investigation by the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation was conducted at the behest of the Sublette County Commissioners. Prior to the the charges, Sheriff Haskell had filed a court action against the County Clerk, Mary Langford alleging she had been altering budget line items without permission.