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State Police handling Neff investigation

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Jefferson County Sheriff John P. Burns said Monday that state police are investigating allegations brought in October against his undersheriff, Andrew R. Neff.

Mr. Burns said he requested the outside investigation.

Mr. Neff has been suspended with pay since Oct. 25 following disclosure of a woman’s allegations in a notice of claim that he used his county-issued cellphone to send her unwanted images of a man’s genitals. The woman, Michele R. Bowens, 42, Adams Center, revealed text messages that he allegedly had sent to her. She claims she had a sexual relationship with Mr. Neff more than five years ago.

She is a convicted felon and, she said, a former informant for the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force, of which Mr. Neff was a member at one time.

Among the sheriff’s policies — one that Mr. Neff himself has been quoted in the past about enforcing — is that members are prohibited from consorting with known criminals.

The sheriff said Mr. Neff is not subject to a Civil Service disciplinary hearing because he is not a member of the deputy sheriffs bargaining unit, Local 9100, New York State Law Enforcement Officers Council 82, AFL-CIO, and serves at the pleasure of the sheriff.

District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert declined comment Friday about the investigation.

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