Candidate Speaks out on Investigation Claims - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Candidate Speaks out on Investigation Claims

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Benton County Sheriff's Office said they're nearing the end of their investigation into allegations a former deputy county clerk used a search engine to find people's personal information.

According to sheriffs, they were notified by the clerk's office someone may have searched the accurint search engine for Republican committee officer's names and addresses.

Several months back, those officers made a recommendation to county commissioners as to who should replace the retiring clerk.  On Tuesday, Byron Pugh, who is currently being investigated said he never made those searches and the claims against him are meritless.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said there is potential this whole thing is over-blown. He adds his office will have to determine whether a crime was committed or not.