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Governor Mead To Remove Campbell County Sheriff

Jack Guy via CC0 / Public Domain License

In a press conference Thursday, Governor Matt Mead says he’s instructed the Attorney General to remove the sheriff of Campbell County from office. County commissioners submitted a complaint last week saying Sheriff Pownall tampered with drunk driving charges against his son, Seth. The sheriff is accused of coercing his deputies into changing it to a pedestrian under the influence charge.

Governor Mead says he was troubled by the report since he recently supported Pownall’s nomination for legislature.

“Sheriff Pownall has been in law enforcement for 39 years and in fact he was the peace officer of the year this year,” Mead says. “He was nominated for that. And I’ve known Sheriff Pownall for a long time.”

Pownall’s term as sheriff was due to end in December. In Tuesday’s election, Pownall was elected to Legislature for the first time. Mead says he may decide to appoint a special prosecutor to file criminal charges. 

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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