WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla County sheriff's Sgt. Bill White has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Last week's move puts the department down two members after the resignation of Deputy Kenton Boyd in March.
"It creates a real bind on our ability to fill shifts," said Undersheriff Edward Freyer, who stated a full shift is five people; one sergeant and four patrol officers.
"We're habitually at four," Freyer said. "Often it's three."
The bind will hopefully be temporary as the Sheriff's Office has already started looking for more staff, according to Freyer.
"We're in the process of hiring," Freyer said, adding an already hired new deputy will begin work in June after graduating from training academy.
Freyer declined to say why White, who ran against Sheriff John Turner in the 2010 election, was placed on administrative leave May 21. He said Boyd resigned March 31 for personal reasons.
Boyd was placed on administrative leave last year after an investigation into domestic violence allegations in College Place. Boyd was cleared by the College Place Police Department.
Freyer indicated it's not uncommon for personnel to face different types of disciplinary actions when a new administration takes office.
"I think it's an adjustment period," Freyer said, stating the current administration has brought higher standards and expectations to the Sheriff's Office.
"When (staff) fall short, they have to be held accountable. The process has to occur."
Luke Hegdal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8326.