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Officials: Deputies resign, hunting incident under investigation

By Joe Beck

Three Warren County deputies resigned Monday over accusations involving a deer-hunting incident under investigation by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, law enforcement officials said Saturday.

Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron identified the three as deputies Brad Pugh, Eric Ramey and Mike Robinson.

"They do not work for my office, effective Monday morning," McEathron said.

McEathron would not comment on the alleged incident, but Front Royal Police Chief Norman Shiflett said it involved allegations of deer hunting in town limits.

The town code requires sportsmen to receive specific permission from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries under a management plan adopted by the agency and the town for the hunting of deer.
Shiflett said the alleged offenses came to the attention of Front Royal Police Capt. R. Clint Keller, who called investigators in the department. Shiflett said the three deputies might have been hunting near Keller's home.

"We turned it over to the gaming department" to avoid any conflicts of interest in the handling of the investigation, Shiflett said.

"We didn't want to show any favorites. That's why we went that way," he added.

McEathron said all three were off duty at the time of the incident.

"We received a report the town had a complaint, and we worked it from that point internally," McEathron said.

He said he did not ask the deputies to resign or give them an ultimatum, but added: "I think they knew it was best to resign."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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