STATE POLICE INVESTIGATE SHERIFF DEPUTY CREIGHTON

October 17, 2000 11:00 pm

Curry County Sheriffs Deputy Mark Creighton is being investigated by the Oregon State Police as a result of an altercation with Deputy Ted Longton.

Capt. Mark Metcalf, of the sheriffs department, confirmed Tuesday that an investigation is underway. He said his office did not initiate the investigation, and has not been briefed on it.

Once the investigation is complete, it will be sent to the Curry County district attorney to determine if there is a basis for filing a complaint.

Metcalf said the investigation stems from an altercation between Creighton and Longton on Oct. 1 in Port Orford. He said both were off duty at the time, and acted as private citizens.

Longton made a criminal complaint against Creighton, but the Port Orford Police Department didnt want to handle it, said Metcalf.

The state police had already started the investigation when, as a formality, they asked Sheriff Kent Owens to sign a form officially asking for an investigation, said Metcalf.

He said the sheriff signed the form, feeling Longton had as much right to request an investigation as any other citizen.

Creighton saw it differently. He said the state police refused Longtons request until Owens had Lt. Allen Boice send a written request to state police headquarters in Medford.

Creighton said, What I do not understand is why the sheriffs office even got involved when there is such a direct conflict of interest.

I believe this is nothing more than an attempt to ruin my credibility in Curry County, punish, and make an example of me because I ran for sheriff in the last election.

Metcalf said any accusation that the investigation is politically motivated is nonsense. He said the sheriffs office isnt even involved. He said Longton initiated the investigation.

Creighton said he was contacted on Oct. 9 by Oregon State Police Detective Dale Oester, who informed him Owens had requested a criminal investigation for disorderly conduct, harassment and menacing.

Creighton said Longton cornered he and his wife in a Port Orford market and tried to start a fight, but that no fight took place.

Capt. Tim McLain, of the state police in Medford, was called by The Pilot Tuesday afternoon for more information, but could not respond by press time.