DCI consulted in Clayton Co. chief deputy resignation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DCI consulted in Clayton Co. chief deputy resignation

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CLAYTON COUNTY (KWWL) -

The resignation of the chief deputy with the Clayton County sheriff's office is raising questions.

Ryan Johnson resigned his position as chief deputy earlier this month, citing personal reasons. He's still with the department, though just as a patrol deputy.

Clayton County sheriff Mike Tschirgi said Johnson's resignation is a personnel matter and his office can't say what happened.

Mike Aschinger is the new chief deputy. He said even though officials can't disclose what happened to prompt Johnson's resignation, he did say the sheriff's office consulted the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation about an incident to see if any laws were broken.

"They weren't brought in to investigate, they were contacted about the issue back in the day, and DCI agreed there were no legal violations," Aschinger said.

KWWL reached out to Clayton County attorney Al Heavens Wednesday, who said while he doesn't comment on matters regarding the sheriff's office, he can say no charges have been filed against anybody working there.

KWWL also reached former chief deputy Ryan Johnson by phone and asked him what incident prompted his resignation.

"I'm not going to address any rumors," Johnson said, adding, "I made the decision with the support of my family to resign as chief deputy."

He said the job was demanding and he wanted more time for his family and community activities.

"People are going to talk when there's a change in personnel," Johnson said. "Rumors are rumors. You can't stop them."

Johnson sounded surprised on the phone to hear the sheriff's office had reached out to the DCI.

With Johnson's voluntary demotion to deputy from chief deputy, he's facing a 3.5 percent pay cut. That's according to Clayton County deputy auditor Peggy Lane, who said he went from a base salary of $53,950 to $52,047. Neither of those figures includes overtime pay.

Johnson has been with the Clayton County sheriff's office since 2002 and served as chief deputy for about five years, since 2009.

Johnson's replacement, Aschinger, joined the Clayton County sheriff's office part time in 2009, after 15 years in the US Army. He came on board full time a year ago. Aschinger, his wife and their three children live in Monona.

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