FIRST ON CBS7: Midland Co. Sheriff candidates respond to news that office being investigated by Texas Rangers

MIDLAND COUNTY, Tx. (KOSA) -- Only 48 hours after CBS7 first reported that the Midland County Sheriff's Office is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, the League of Women Voters held a forum with the four men hoping to become the next sheriff.

That investigation was the hot topic right out of the gate, and for the first time, we heard from Chief Deputy Rory McKinney, who's one of the employees being investigated.

When asked about the investigation, he told the audience, "We’re corrupt Joe Lazano says. I’ve never heard us being called corrupt. The Rangers aren’t there every day investigating us. As far as this investigation goes, I don’t know – I have no comment on it. I have not been formally called by a Ranger to give a statement, so I do not know what the investigation is about."

Candidate Joe Lozano said, "I’m going to look for DPS Troopers and Texas Rangers to clean this house up. It’s pretty bad. Y’all know it. I know it. But everybody’s afraid to go against Sheriff Painter. Painter’s not here no more."

"You can’t say you’re going to make things better and change things when you’ve had since May when Sheriff Painter died to make changes – to be transparent – to put things out to the public and haven’t done it," said candidate Tom Hain. " I’m alarmed as a citizen at some of the things I hear going on in the sheriff’s office."

And candidate David Criner told the audience, "When I saw the allegations brought forward Monday, it concerned me very deeply. And it told me that the sheriff’s office needs a change and I’m the person to make that change at the sheriff’s office."

CBS7 has learned that complaints were made to two different district attorneys and Rangers are looking into four separate possible offenses.