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Report: Montana sheriff campaigned while on duty

May 23, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An investigation into last year’s Fergus County sheriff’s election has found the winner and current sheriff campaigned while on duty.

The report into Sheriff Rick Vaughn was written by an investigator hired by the Montana Association of Counties after Fergus County officials received complaints about how Vaughn and former Sheriff Troy Eades were handling the upcoming race.

The Billings Gazette sued to obtain a copy of the report.

Vaughn had been undersheriff since 2001.

The report says Vaughn acknowledged seeking support from the Montana Highway Patrol and Lewistown police and prosecutors while he was on duty. But he disputed that in an interview with the Gazette.

The commissioner of political practices enforces the law forbidding public employees from campaigning while on duty, but that office has not received a formal complaint about Vaughn.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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