CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office has announced that the Sheriff’s Deputy identified as a member of the Oath Keepers by the Anti-Defamation League will not face discipline.

The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism identified over 370 Oath Keepers believed to be members of law-enforcement agencies after a list of over 38,000 members of the far-right extremist organization.

According to the ADL, the deputy said in a message board that, outside of military service, they are a graphic designer who has worked in publishing and media, as well as the self-storage industry.

According to a release from the Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office, the deputy in question was hired in 2018 before leaving for active-duty military service in September of 2021 and is expected to be back in 2023. The Sheriff’s Office was made aware one of their deputies was identified as a member of the Oath Keepers after the Associated Press reported on the leak on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

“I will always defend individual constitutional rights. Memberships in an organization such as Oath Keepers, as well as many other groups, is a protected 1st Amendment right,” said Sheriff Karl Leonard. “However, if at any time the line is crossed to violence, any criminal act, or any actions discriminatory in any fashion, swift action will be taken as that behavior will never be acceptable or tolerated.”

Appomattox County Supervisor John Frederick Hinkle was also identified as a member of the Oath Keepers following the leak.

“An individual’s inclusion in the Oath Keeper database is not proof that they were or are still an Oath Keeper, that they hold or held all or some of Oath Keeper ideology or viewpoints, or that they ever actively participated in Oath Keeper activities,” a statement from the ADL reads. “When reviewing this information, you should bear in mind the possibility that the individual misunderstood the nature of the Oath Keepers. Before taking any action based on this information, an individualized assessment of the individual must take place.”

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