The day most of the Bundy Gang was arrested, they were on their way to a neighboring county to speak at a meeting organized by "Constitutional Sheriff" Glenn Palmer.
Palmer is one of those Bundy sympathizers who was completely in agreement with the occupation of Malheur Refuge, despite the fact that it was utterly illegal. He also spent money to hire 70 "special deputies" to add to the strength of his regular force.
Now NBC News is reporting that Palmer may lose his post as a consequence to the investigation into his collaboration with the Bundy Gang.
The state Department of Justice opened an investigation this week into Palmer, who faces nine complaints, some from government employees, accusing him of promoting a personal agenda "over the welfare and safety of the general public he is sworn to protect."
A state DOJ spokeswoman told NBC News that some of the complaints sent via the Oregon Department of Public Safety and Standards go back several years, even before the occupation began on Jan. 2.
"DOJ's Criminal Justice division is now following-up and investigating one specific complaint," spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson said in an email, declining to provide additional details.
While some of the complaints were filed confidentially, as permitted by law, one was made by John Day Police Chief Richard Gray, who wrote on Feb. 5 that Palmer was seen spending time on the clock with occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns.
Grant County neighbors Harney County, where the wildlife sanctuary is located.
Gray also claimed that Palmer in January spent more than three hours having lunch with two members of the occupation, Jon Ritzheimer and Ryan Payne, who are now both jailed on federal conspiracy charges. Ritzheimer later told The Oregonian that Palmer asked the pair to autograph his pocket version of the Constitution.
"The sheriff has a practical plan for helping unravel the federal government," Payne told the newspaper.
The investigation could lead to Palmer's de-certification and subsequent resignation.
Palmer did not return requests for comment from NBC News. If he is found to have violated state training standards as part of his role as sheriff, he could lose his certification — a requirement for holding his office.↓ Story continues below ↓
The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training said sheriffs have resigned in such cases in the past, although they could technically argue that the state statute only requires that an elected sheriff be certified within a year of taking office and doesn't say they must retain certification.
There are a few of these so-called "Constitutional Sheriffs" that should be investigated. But if the DOJ wants to make an example out of the one that openly sympathized and met with members of the Bundy Gang, that's fine with me.
Let the word go out that we, the people, will no longer tolerate bullies destroying our public lands.