A dispute between the Modoc County sheriff and the county’s district attorney continues with no quick end in sight.

Modoc County District Attorney Jordan Funk wants Sheriff Mike Poindexter to provide him with information in a case involving possible excessive force by Sgt. Dan Nessling during a November 2014 arrest. Poindexter has refused Funk’s request, saying his department is conducting an internal investigation.

Funk last month filed a writ of mandate that would require Poindexter to submit that information. Funk said he needs the information to determine whether or not to file charges against Nessling.

The dispute stems from Nessling’s Nov. 4 arrest of Jason Colt. According to the writ, a video from a body camera of the arrest obtained by Funk “provided probable cause to believe that Sgt. Daniel Nessling assaulted Jason Colt (an unarmed arrestee who was handcuffed behind his back).”

At a hearing on Funk’s writ request last week, Modoc County Superior Court Judge Fritz Barclay continued the case because Poindexter’s attorney could not attend. Although the attorney he has contacted was attending a funeral, Poindexter told the Herald and News he does not have a contract with the attorney because Modoc County has agreed to provide $3,000 for his legal fees, which his attorney said is not enough to cover fees.

During the hearing, Joshua Olander, Nessling’s lawyer, requested Barclay seal Nessling’s personnel records. The request was denied. Olander told the Herald and News the request “in no way sought to ban the public or media from the proceedings,” but to establish a procedure for protecting Nessling’s personnel records.

In his writ, Funk said in trying to determine whether a criminal charge against Nessling is warranted, he learned of another excessive force complaint against Nessling made by Charles and Janice Bishop in July 2011. (In the Feb. 19 issue of the Modoc Record, an advertisement by Funk said his office “has received numerous complaints of assault and excessive force against a peace officer employed by the Modoc County Sheriff” and asked “if you believe you have been the victim or witness to an assault or excessive use of force” by a sheriff’s deputy to contact his office.)

Bishop, according to the writ, complained to Poindexter that “he was slammed onto the hood of his vehicle during a routine consensual encounter or traffic stop and that this use of force was unnecessary and excessive.” The alleged incident was witnessed by Bishop’s wife, her adult son, his wife, Bishop’s grandchildren and others.

After the incident, the Bishops complained to then-DA Christopher Brooke. According to the

writ, Brooke escorted them to Poindexter’s office, where they told the sheriff about the incident. A Feb. 26 letter from Poindexter said he “has no knowledge of any such complaints, either oral or written, concerning this alleged complaint.”

In the letter, Poindexter said, “this office cannot release any information related to this investigation.” In addition, “Based on the complexities of this investigation, this office cannot provide a definitive time frame for completion of the investigation.”

Funk said Poindexter’s refusal to provide information, which he believes is clearly required by state law, is causing concerns, in part because of ongoing incidents of possible misconduct by police officers nationwide. He is also critical of the request to seal Nessling’s records.

“Judge Barclay was absolutely correct in denying Sgt. Nessling’s attorney’s request to seal the legal proceedings and keep the public out of the courtroom ... the law is very, very clear,” Funk said. “They don’t have a leg to stand on. The matter would never have become public and would not have gone to court if the sheriff had complied with the law.”

Poindexter said he cannot comment because of the ongoing internal investigation.

“There’s not a whole lot I can say,” he said. “I asked for and was granted a continuance. Although I have much to say regarding the who, what, where, when and why, we are at this current crossroads with the district attorney. This is currently an open personnel issue in which we have an obligation to confidentiality.”

The hearing on Funk’s writ of mandate request was continued to 11 a.m. April 27.