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No action yet on Hedges complaints

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A Los Angeles medical marijuana patient has filed several complaints against SLO County Sheriff Patrick Hedges over his role in the investigation of Charles Lynch, the former owner of a Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary. Complaints were filed to the Sheriff’s Department, the California Attorney General, the SLO County District Attorney, and the SLO County Grand Jury.

The complaints, filed by Cheryl Aichele, are asking for an investigation of the sheriff’s actions, which she called “unwarranted, oppressive, [malicious, and] intended to harass medical cannabis patients and providers.”  She also claims that the investigation was a waste of taxpayer money.

Aichele said she was compelled to file the complaints after meeting Charles Lynch and watching his trial in federal court last summer. Although she does not live in San Luis Obispo, Aichele said she was filing the complaint on behalf of the more than 2,000 patients who relied on Lynch for “safe access.”

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Rob Bryn said it is official policy not to comment on personnel matters, but noted that the complaint, in accordance with state law, had been forwarded to the Attorney General. Complaints concerning the sheriff, he said, are not always real complaints, but can be political tools.

“Any attacks against elected officials are political in nature, not real complaints,” Bryn said. “I’m not saying this isn’t a real complaint.”

Aichele said she was told the department won’t be investigating, saying in a letter: “It is the department’s position that there are no violations of state or federal law committed by employees during the course of the Lynch investigation.”

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