Probe underway of sheriff’s deputy who tracked predators
NEWS-SUN STAFF REPORT February 1, 2013 11:00AM
Updated: March 3, 2013 6:09AM
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office is investigating misconduct by a longtime Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy for allegedly having sexual contact with a teenage boy.
Lt. Rick White, 51, who investigated sexual predators in his 24 years of service, was placed on paid administrative leave on Oct. 23, 2012 after the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office initiated an investigation, according to Sara Balmes, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office.
She said that while he was on paid leave he submitted paperwork to retire on Dec. 26.
State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim confirmed authorities are looking into the allegations against White. The investigation started prior to when he took office, he added.
“This is an active investigation,” Nerheim said.
He said he could not comment on the investigation.
Lake County Chief Deputy Wayne Hunter said Friday he does not believe that anyone was put in jeopardy during White’s career at the Sheriff’s Office, which included working with the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center that investigates child predators.
“He was one of the most experienced, well-versed detectives we had doing that,” said Hunter.
He said White was a good officer and that he had no prior disciplinary issues.
This was first report Hunter ever received that White allegedly had inappropriate contact with a minor and he does not believe he was ever a danger to anyone during his time with the Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m fully confident that the State’s Attorney Office will conduct a thorough investigation and let me know if I’m wrong,” Hunter said.