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Regional News

Sheriff Reacts To News Of Shea Investigation

Spokane County Sheriff's Department

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says he’s happy the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Washington State Representative Matt Shea.


The sheriff learned about the investigation from a letter sent by the state bar association. It revealed it would forgo its own investigation of Shea until the FBI probe is complete.


“For several years, I have funneled every ounce of information concerning Mr. Shea's activities and interactions with many people who were afraid of Mr. Shea, and I had made it clear to the U.S. attorney here on the east side that I believe a federal investigation is warranted,” he said.


The sheriff believes Shea violated the law by helping to instigate the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. He also points to Shea’s role in helping to organize militia members to go to Nevada to support rancher Cliven Bundy in Bundy’s dispute with the federal government.


“There is plenty of nexus and probable cause to show that he committed federal crimes across many state borders,” he said.

Knezovich said he has not been asked to participate in an investigation.


Shea chose not to file for re-election to his Fourth Legislative District seat. He was removed last year from the House Republican Caucus after an independent investigator wrote a report detailing Shea’s activities.