West Texas Sheriff Removed from Office

LEVELLAND, Texas (AP) - A West Texas sheriff has been suspended amid allegations he filed false reports and was incompetent in the hiring and supervision of his staff.

David Kinney on Friday told The Associated Press that he was "shocked" at his removal as Hockley County sheriff and denied wrongdoing.  District Judge Blair Cherry signed the order Thursday that temporarily ousts Kinney as sheriff.

Cherry also issued a restraining order against Kinney, a 20-year employee of the sheriff's department who had been in charge for four years, keeping him from influencing witnesses and having access to county property.

Last month, two of Kinney's deputies were arrested on federal drug charges related to a major methamphetamine ring.

A hearing on Kinney's removal is set for Aug. 24 in Levelland, about 25 miles west of Lubbock.