Two Pinal County sheriff's staff investigated - East Valley Tribune: News

Two Pinal County sheriff's staff investigated

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Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:04 pm | Updated: 2:58 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu placed two members of his command staff on paid administrative leave Wednesday pending the outcome of investigations for two separate incidents involving deception and criminal wrongdoing.

In a statement issued by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Babeu said that Cmdr. Joe McAuliffe and Lt. Kaye Dickson were placed on leave pending the outcome of the results of an Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST) investigation into McAuliffe calling for his suspension, and a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigation into Dickson.

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Cmdr. Joe McAuliffe

McAuliffe, who is in charge of getting Pinal County Jail accreditation, worked as a Chandler police patrol officer for 11 years before joining Babeu's command staff in January. He is accused of deception during polygraph tests and failure to disclose pre-employment information about drug use, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

According to documents from POST, McAuliffe admitted during a Dec. 22 polygraph examination that he tried cocaine in college by rubbing some on his gums at a party. He also stated that he "never disclosed it" to the background investigator here and in fact stated post-test he had intentionally never mentioned it to any police agency he applied for," POST documents state.

McAuliffe admitted on his Chandler job application that in May 1997, he smoked marijuana no more than six times when he was 16 or 17 years old, according to the POST documents.

During a polygraph a month later, he denied ever using narcotics or dangerous drugs and he denied using cocaine on his POST application in 1997, according to the documents.

Lt. Kaye Dickson

Dickson was placed on leave amid allegations of criminal wrongdoing following a complaint that was filed against her for possible internal policy violations, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

The complaint against Dickson has been referred to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to be investigated and reviewed. Further review of Dickson's employment status will be made following the completion of the investigation, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

Lt. Tamatha Villar, spokeswoman for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday to give more specific information about the accusations against Dickson.

In the Pinal County Sheriff's Office statement, Babeu said, "These leaders will be afforded due process just as every private citizen expects and deserves. I will weigh all the facts once they are known and make the right decision. No person is above the law, and my staff is held to a higher standard of professionalism."

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