BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The district attorney has declined to file charges against an Adams County deputy who was arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct while on duty.

Brandon Donahue was terminated from his position as a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for violating departmental policies. Donahue, 25, had worked with the department since July 2013.

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Brandon Donahue outside of court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Brandon Donahue outside of court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh said the alleged incident happened on Sept. 26 with an adult female. The victim was somebody who was known to Donahue.

“It was brought to our attention on Oct. 9 when the alleged victim took the brave measure of reporting this incident,” said McIntosh. “Our department launched an investigation into the allegations immediately. During our investigation, Donahue admitted to sexual misconduct while on duty.

“I am outraged. Mr. Donahue was on duty at the time of this incident and his actions in no way reflect the professional standards we have established in this office,” said McIntosh. “Trust and transparency are at the heart of every successful law enforcement agency.”

The details of the investigation were turned over to the district attorney who on Monday decided not to file charges because of lack of evidence and criticized the sheriff’s office for not consulting with them during the investigation.

Brandon Donahue (credit: Adams County Sheriff)

Brandon Donahue (credit: Adams County Sheriff)

CBS4 Legal Analyst Karen Steinhauser said coordination between prosecutors and investigators is key, particularly in high profile cases.

“There’s a very big difference between probable cause to arrest and enough evidence by which to convict somebody,” she said.

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“The Adams County Sheriff’s Office conducted the entire investigation without any assistance or meaningful consultation with the Office of the District Attorney regarding the evidence that would support the filing of a criminal charge,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “The investigation and subsequent arrest of the sheriff’s deputy did not comport with the established protocol for this type of investigation. Here, the sheriff’s office made the arrest without any discussion with the district attorney concerning whether the investigation supported the filing of criminal charges.”

LINK: Read The Entire News Release From The Office Of The District Attorney

“Obviously my client is very thrilled he doesn’t have to defend this case and his life can move forward now,” Donahue’s attorney Reid Elkus said outside of the courtroom.

Brandon Donahue (credit: CBS)

Brandon Donahue (credit: CBS)

Donahue is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and was honored as a handler for a bomb sniffing dog. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

With the charges declined, CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger asked Donahue’s attorney, “Will he get his job back?

“We can’t speak to that,” Elkus replied.

In his news conference last week the sheriff claimed Donahue admitted to having sex while on duty. If that’s true it could be a hurdle for Donahue to regain his position. The sheriff issued a statement saying they had enough information for probable cause in order to make the arrest. The statement added it understands the district attorney makes the decision on charges.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.