Crime, Police, Washington County

Washington Co. deputy charged with official misconduct from 2018 use of force incident

Rian Alden booking photo from Washington County Sheriff’s Office

HILLSBORO – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says that a deputy under investigation for allegedly sending a racist email 16 years ago has been charged with official misconduct stemming from a use of force while booking an arrestee in the Washington County Jail in 2018.

According to a media release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Jail deputy Rian Alden was charged on Friday with ‘Official Misconduct in the First Degree,’ a Class A misdemeanor.

Dep. Alden used force on an arrestee during a booking at the Washington County Jail in March 2018, according to the sheriff’s office. A supervisor flagged the incident for review and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office requested an outside investigation, which was conducted by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police. 

They in turn sent their conclusions to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, which, according to the sheriff’s office, claimed it did not have enough evidence to prosecute the case. 

[We rely on subscribers to keep the lights on at the Gales Creek Journal. Support us with a digital subscription: Click here to start]

The matter was never disclosed to the public, until now, according to Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office public information officer Sgt. Danny DiPietro.

But with Dep. Alden placed on a paid administrative leave, according to DiPietro, stemming from Monday’s racist email allegation, the Washington County DA reopened the case and took it to a grand jury on Friday. The jury determined that there was sufficient evidence to charge Dep. Alden with Official Misconduct in the First Degree. 

“Given new information available in this case, I understand and support the District Attorney’s decision to present the evidence to a grand jury,” said Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett. ”I thank the grand jury for their time and respect their decision.”

Alden was booked and released on his own recognizance on Friday, according to Sgt. DiPietro.

Prior to his employment with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Dep. Alden worked at the Malheur County Jail, where he was hired in 2004, according to an Argus Observer article from 2005. 

That article, it is noted, discussed Dep. Alden’s philosophy on being adaptable while working in a jail environment. 

“You’ve got to have some good social skills to be able to handle it,” he is quoted as saying. “You’ve got to be able to talk through situations.”

Sign up for free Gales Creek news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!

New patients only, no cash value, cannot be combined with any other offers