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May 27, 2022

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Multnomah sheriff’s deputy from Battle Ground pleads guilty to taking vaccine cards

He will serve probation and relinquish his certification

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A Battle Ground man who worked as a Multnomah County, Ore., sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to second-degree official misconduct Tuesday for misusing vaccine cards, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

Robert James Haney, 50, will serve six months of probation, resign from the sheriff’s office within a week, relinquish his Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training certification, and pay a $500 fine, a news release states.

He was indicted in September for stealing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination cards from the Multnomah County Jail, where he worked. Investigators said he stole two blank cards during a vaccine clinic at the jail. He made a copy of a co-worker’s filled-out card and filled in the blank cards with the intention of giving them to family members, according to the district attorney’s office.

Co-workers reported that Haney stole the cards to the sheriff’s office’s Professional Standards Unit in May, the news release states. Detectives with the sheriff’s office opened a criminal investigation.

Investigators served a search warrant on the night of May 20 at Haney’s Battle Ground house, with the help of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, court records say.

Two COVID-19 vaccination cards were seized from a kitchen cupboard, as well as the box for Haney’s county-issued firearm, according to a property receipt.

“While I am deeply disappointed in this employee’s actions, I commend detectives for conducting a thorough investigation,” Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said in the news release. “Allegations of misconduct are serious matters for public safety agencies. Community trust is the foundation upon which we build our legitimacy as public safety professionals. Our profession’s credibility is damaged when any member engages in illegal actions or misconduct.”

The district attorney’s office thanked the sheriff’s office for its help with the case.

“As law enforcement officials, we’re working hard to earn the trust of our community,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in the news release. “We know that demonstrating trustworthiness begins at home. The collective effort between the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute Mr. Haney shows our accountability systems at work, and more importantly that no one is above the law.”

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