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Employee on paid administrative leave quits abruptly during internal investigation

A Columbia County Sheriff's Office employee resigned last week amid an internal investigation into potential policy violations.

Sgt. Dustin Hald, who worked primarily in the Columbia County Jail, submitted an immediate notice of resignation Thursday, Feb. 1.

Hald resigned while on paid administrative leave from the Sheriff's Office. He was the subject of an internal investigation into what the sheriff characterized only as "policy violations" and "nothing criminal."

Hald, who formerly held the title of lieutenant within the Sheriff's Office, was later named a sergeant in the jail in 2017.COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE PHOTO - Dustin Hald submitted a resignation letter, effective Feb. 1. He was on paid administrative leave at the time.

No explanation was given for the reduction in rank.

What exactly prompted the internal investigation into Hald remains unclear. Documents related to the personnel investigation have not been released, and Sheriff Jeff Dickerson declined to comment on the investigation or any complaints that may have led to it.

Hald's sudden resignation will likely lead to more staff being hired at CCSO.

"We had openings before Mr. Hald left the organization," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson stated. "We still have openings and are attempting to fill them."

The Sheriff's Office is undergoing a staffing restructure that saw the elimination of a former undersheriff position, and the recent addition of an enforcement captain position

Hald worked with CCSO since 1998.

His resignation effectively stops any active investigation.

A request for copies of documents related to Hald's investigation was denied by county legal counsel, who cited public safety officer confidentiality. A similar denial of records related to complaints related to the Sheriff's Office's former undersheriff was made last year.

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