Two more Meeker County deputies resign
LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Board of Commissioners accepted more resignations Tuesday from its Sheriff's Department. Meeker County Sheriff's Deputies Ben Aho and Brian Massingham are resigning from the Sheriff's Department to take positions w...
LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Board of Commissioners accepted more resignations Tuesday from its Sheriff's Department.
Meeker County Sheriff's Deputies Ben Aho and Brian Massingham are resigning from the Sheriff's Department to take positions with the Litchfield Police Department, according to county administrator Paul Virnig.
Aho's resignation will be effective Sunday and Massingham's will be effective Tuesday.
"Both indicated they were happy with the department, but it is just a better opportunity for them," Virnig said.
Meeker County Sheriff Mike Hirman said Aho was with the department for three years and Massingham for eight years. Hirman said better insurance policies with the Litchfield Police Department than the sheriff's department was one reason for the resignations.
Following Tuesday's resignations, Hirman requested permission from the board to advertise for the vacated full-time deputy positions.
Hirman also said that prior to the resignations the department had added a new sergeant from the Litchfield Police Department more than two weeks ago. Joe Engler was made a full-time sergeant by Hirman after serving Litchfield's department for more than seven years.
The resignations of two deputies and the hiring of a sergeant occurred just one week after a Sheriff's Department detective handed in his resignation to the County Board.
Meeker County Detective Roberts Hall Pace III handed in his resignation to the board at the Aug. 7 meeting and it was put into effect as of May 21 of this year.
Pace, 36, was charged March 5 in Meeker County District Court with a misdemeanor count of unauthorized computer access after a nearly year-long investigation.
According to Meeker County Attorney Stephanie Beckman, a resignation agreement between Pace and the county did not relate specifically to the criminal case.
According to the criminal complaint, Pace had accessed a Meeker County deputy's computer account and forwarded a union-related e-mail to other members of the sheriff's department.
According to the complaint, the deputy whose account was illegally accessed was Deputy Aho.
In other business during Tuesday's regular meeting:
- The board held a public hearing about an addendum to the county's comprehensive local water management plan. Virnig said there was little discussion. The addendum of the water management plan would be in effect from 2008 to 2012 following approval from the county.
A public hearing was set for 9 a.m. Sept. 11 to discuss the Meeker Washed Sand and Gravel Inc. mining expansion.
- An hour-long discussion about the funding formula involving Meeker County's libraries was brought forth by state library program specialist Nancy Walton. Meeker County's libraries are part of the Pioneerland Library System. The so-called "maintenance of effort" formula determines what member cities and counties contribute to the budget.
Although the discussion lasted an hour, Virnig said nothing was really accomplished.
"In today's world with budgeting restrictions and stuff, you can't have formulas that are requiring people to come up with (16-17 percent) of new money every year," Virnig said.