Mid-Missouri sheriff pleads guilty in harassment case

Dixon admits to suggestive phone calls and inappropriate contact

Osage Co. Sheriff pleads guilty to harassment charge

CLAYTON, Mo. - The Osage County sheriff today admitted to harassing a woman over the course of eight months ending more than a year-long criminal case.

Mike Dixon pleaded guilty today to misdemeanor harassment in exchange for having four other charges dropped including a felony.

Dixon had been under investigation since last July when he was accused of sexual misconduct with a Belle police officer.

Special Prosecutor John Beger of Phelps County tells ABC 17 News while Dixon pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, it is not a conviction. Because Judge Richard Bresnahan suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), Beger says it is not a conviction. Prosecutor Beger, however, said it is an admission of guilt.

Linn residents had mixed opinions on the decision. 

Some said they appreciate all of the work Sheriff Dixon has done to try to get drugs out of the county.

Osage County resident Diana Bishop said, "I don't think it's very good that our sheriff can do this."

However, County Clerk Patrick Steele said, "Michael has done a lot of good things since he's been Sheriff. Things aren't perfect but there have been a lot of improvements."

When asked if they would vote for Dixon again, people had mixed reactions.

Steele said, "I know that feelings are divided, only time will tell."

Bishop said, "I think they'll vote for somebody else if somebody else runs, I don't understand why he can't be impeached. Do they impeach sheriffs? I don't know if they can do something about it now."

On top of supervised probation, Dixon will have to take an alcohol treatment class and undergo sexual harassment training as part of his plea. 

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