Federal probe of Wilmot's retirement closed
The federal investigation into Yuma County sheriff candidate Leon Wilmot is closed.
Wilmot's candidacy had been called into question by opponent Rick Sandoval as a possible violation of the Hatch Act, a law that forbids people whose salary is tied to government grant funding from running for partisan office.
Emails from an investigator from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which takes up Hatch Act complaints, shared with the Yuma Sun show that the case was “closed” as of Wednesday morning — although the message did not explicitly say if the findings agreed with Sandoval's complaint or not.
Agency spokeswoman Ann O'Hanlon said the office will not acknowledge when a case is cleared and will only acknowledge findings of violations as an exception to their privacy laws.
Wilmot said it would be speculative of him to say right now that the case was closed because he was cleared. But he said again that when he told an inquiring investigator that he was retiring from his chief deputy job at the Yuma County Sheriff's Office as of Sept. 30, the agent implied that the case would not be pursued.
Wilmot, a 27-year veteran of YCSO and Republican hoping to succeed longtime Sheriff Ralph Ogden, said that in his agency, a closed case either means the investigation is complete or there are no findings.
In correspondence with Matthew Catron, chief administrative officer at YCSO, the Office of Special Counsel investigator requested copies of Wilmot's letter of resignation and YCSO's official documentation recognizing the retirement. The investigator confirmed with Catron on Wednesday that he had received the documents, and the case was closed. He said Wilmot would be receiving a letter in the mail.
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