Even though he would have preferred “other mechanisms” than a criminal charge, Sheriff Ron Pierini said he respects the prerogative of the district attorney’s office to prosecute one of his deputies.
Douglas County sheriff’s deputy Jeffery Roberson is to appear in East Fork Justice Court today at 9 a.m. after he allegedly broke into a suspect’s car in May looking for illegal drugs.
Roberson is charged with two misdemeanors for trespassing and misconduct by a public officer.
Deputy District Attorney Kris Brown said Monday that Roberson is accused of breaking into then-county inmate David Gomez’s car after the man was arrested, in an effort to find methamphetamine.
Gomez, of Gardnerville, had had his car taken to Valley Tow on May 27, when Roberson allegedly hopped a fence into the car lot, entered the car and allegedly found an undetermined amount of methamphetamine, Brown said.
Pierini said he would have preferred the matter not be handled by a criminal prosecution.
“By statute, the district attorney’s office obviously has the prerogative to prosecute anyone they want,” Pierini said.
The sheriff added an internal investigation has been under way since May in the Roberson case and continues.
No action will be taken by the sheriff’s office until the criminal charge and internal investigation are resolved, Pierini said.
Meanwhile, Roberson was recently reassigned to the Douglas County Jail and has faced no loss of pay. Pierini said once the internal investigation is complete, his office will “take appropriate action.”
Roberson, 31, has been a deputy in Douglas County since 1999.
“Roberson is a younger officer who works extremely hard, with enthusiasm and the best interest of department and community at heart,” Pierini said. “While I may not agree with (the district attorney’s decision) to take this action, I respect their right (to file charges.)
“He’s a good officer,” Pierini said. “We’re very satisfied and he’s taken this very seriously and he’s got fairly good spirits about it.”
Pierini added Roberson has received “a lot of support from the department.”
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