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Iron Co. Sheriff Charged with Obstruction of Justice

Iron Co. Sheriff Charged with Obstruction of Justice

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(Cedar City-AP) -- One day after Iron County Sheriff Dude Benson ended his self-imposed administrative leave to return to work, he was charged with obstruction of justice. County commissioners also reversed his one-day of personnel decisions and placed him back on administrative leave.

The charge filed yesterday by the state attorney general alleges Benson gave false information to investigators.

Benson put himself on leave seven weeks ago pending the investigation into nearly three thousand dollars missing from the sheriff's office. Sheriff's Lieutenant W. Chuck Mitchell, who had been the second-ranking officer, had agreed earlier to go on administrative leave while the investigation was under way.

Although the investigation is still under way, Benson, who claims he is the victim of political efforts to get him to leave office, said he returned to work Monday in response to "the overwhelming support of the citizens in this community."

Benson also said he wanted to "correct" changes made in the sheriff's office during his leave. The commission on Tuesday undid the personnel changes he made on Monday.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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