Umatilla County DA denies misconduct - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Umatilla County DA denies misconduct

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Umatilla County District Attorney Dean Gushwa says he is innocent of any wrongdoing one day after the Oregon Department of Justice charged him with five counts of official misconduct. 

Gushwa is accused of using his office to obtain sexual gratification and then cover it up. He told the East Oregonian on Thursday that the charges were not reviewed by a grand jury, and says they are the opinion "of someone sitting in an office somewhere in Salem."

The East Oregonian first reported the complaint of the employee, who accused Gushwa of subjecting her to physical, sexual and emotional abuse from December 2008 to April 2010.

Gushwa took a leave from office in August. The employee still works in the office. She first reported the accusations to police on August 16.

The charges Gushwa faces are misdemeanors, however Attorney General John Kroger is planning to introduce a bill that will classify an "official misconduct charge" as a felony.

Governor Ted Kulongoski has given the Department of Justice authority to act as District Attorney while Gushwa has stepped aside.