PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Washington County jail deputy, who was placed on leave after a racist email surfaced, has been indicted on charges of first-degree official misconduct tied to a separate case.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into Rian Alden after recently receiving a screenshot of an email Alden allegedly sent in 2003 that contained a racist screed, said Washington County Sgt. Danny DiPietro.
On Friday, the sheriff’s office said the discovery of the email led to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office reopening a criminal case against Alden that was closed in 2018.
The district attorney’s office presented the case to a grand jury on Friday, which returned the indictment against Alden, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The sheriff’s office had investigated Alden on allegations of use of force against an inmate at the Washington County Jail as the person was being booked. The sheriff’s office investigated, and asked the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police to review the incident in 2018. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office concluded it did not have enough evidence to prosecute Alden, according to sheriff’s office documents.
According to sheriff’s office records that The Oregonian/OregonLive obtained from a public records request, the office learned about Alden’s racist email from a comment someone made to the sheriff’s official Twitter account. The sheriff’s office said it hired Alden in 2007, four years after the email was sent.
Sheriff’s office records say Alden has had four official complaints made against him in his time with Washington County, including the racist email.
Following Alden’s suspension on Monday, Sheriff Pat Garrett called the racist email “inconsistent with the core values and professional standards of the sheriff’s office.”