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Ray County Sheriff Childers stripped from office duties amid investigation from Missouri Attorney General

AG secures order to remove Childers during investigation
Ray County Sheriff Investigation Scott Childers.jpg
Posted at 1:00 PM, Mar 07, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol has launched an investigation of Ray County Sheriff Scott Childers at the request of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Missouri Assistant Attorney General Ted Bruce filed a petition Wednesday in Ray County Circuit Court that's stripped Childers from his office duties amid the probe.

Ray County Coroner Bart Willim will act as the county's sheriff.

The order alleges that Childers "knowingly or willfully failed and refused to perform official acts and duties."

Among the allegations is that Childers allowed individuals committed to the Ray County Jail to leave the jail without either posting bond or through the course of a legal proceeding.

The attorney general's office further alleges that Childers continued the practice even after he was informed by judicial and elected officials in Ray County that his conduct was unlawful.

Childers' conduct constitutes a Class D felony for any person who "allows or permits a person in custody or confinement to escape," according to the petition.

Court documents allege that Childers allowed detainees to leave the jail and perform work on his property as well as the property of "friends and acquaintances."

They also allege Childers allowed the detainees to bring contraband — including drugs, alcohol, and cell phones — into the jail and also allowed conjugal visits with detainees.

Ray County Circuit Court Judge Daren L. Adkins ruled Wednesday that Childers was to be immediately prohibited from carrying out the duties of sheriff. Adkins' ruling also prohibits Childers from entering the sheriff's office, the Ray County Courthouse or the Ray County Jail.

A highway patrol spokesperson told KSHB 41 Thursday that the agency’s Drug and Crime Control Division received a request from the attorney general's office "for criminal investigation of the Ray County Sheriff."

“I will always work to protect Missourians,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement. “As Attorney General, it is my duty to hold accountable those who refuse to do their job as required by Missouri law. To that end, I am moving for the removal of the Ray County Sheriff.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when the criminal investigation request was made.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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