Former Sublette Co. sheriff found guilty
By DAVID MARTIN
A former Sublette County Sheriff was found guilty of four charges filed against him as a result of actions he took immediately following his election in 2014.
According to the Pinedale Roundup, a jury found Stephen Haskell guilty of three felonies, which were obtaining property under false pretenses, unlawfully receiving property and making a false claim Friday afternoon. He was also found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of performing an official duty before qualified to do so.
A fifth charge of committing an authorized act as an officer was dismissed. The Pinedale Roundup reports a sentencing date will be set later.
Haskell was removed from office last year after a jury found he committed misconduct as the county’s sheriff.
According to court documents, his charges stem from actions he made regarding the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office prior to taking his oath of office January 2015.
The Sublette County Board of County Commissioners requested a Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation probe into Haskell’s actions on Sept. 9, 2015, focusing on allegations made against Haskell of him using county funds to purchase uniforms before he was sworn in as the county sheriff.
Haskell had previously acknowledged the purchase as being his personal debt because he had ordered the uniforms before being sworn in and did not have the authority to make decisions for the office.
The investigation revealed Sublette County paid more than $11,000 of debt Haskell took on for the purchase. On Sept. 14, 2015, investigators spoke with Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford, who disclosed a number of invoices from Creative Culture Insignia of Ogden, Utah, and Skaggs Uniform of Salt Lake City.
Haskell requested payment of the invoices as expenses incurred after Jan. 5, 2015. The vouchers were approved by the Sublette County Commissioners during their Feb. 17, 2015, meeting.
Investigators also reviewed a recording of the Jan. 6, 2015, commissioners meeting, where commissioners had asked why the officers had appeared in new uniforms during Haskell’s swearing in the day before.
The commissioners told Haskell that any items purchased before his swearing in would be his responsibility, not that of the county.
Haskell denied receiving anything aside from the uniforms his command staff wore at the swearing in, which he told commissioners he ordered three weeks prior to his swearing in.
He also denied ordering anything else, including badges.
The Pinedale Roundup reports he plans to appeal the conviction.