Investigation under way into sheriff's office worker

The Washington State Patrol and Auditor's Office are looking into an allegation of financial improprieties, officials say.

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WALLA WALLA -- Two state agencies are investigating an individual in the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office for possible financial improprieties.

The Washington State Patrol is working with the state Auditor's Office on the investigation, said Bob Calkins, WSP spokesman.

Calkins said Thursday the WSP began its investigation in October 2009 at the request of the sheriff's office. "There has been an allegation of financial improprieties and we have focused on an individual in the sheriff's office."

Calkins said questions on the status of the person's employment would have to be answered by the sheriff's office.

The investigation is continuing and no conclusions have been released yet, Calkins said. "We are following the money and we are working with the state Auditor's Office on this," he said.

Sheriff Mike Humphreys said Thursday he could not comment. County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle said today he also could not comment because the matter is still under investigation.

Mindy Chambers, communications director for the state Auditor's Office also confirmed an investigation is under way.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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