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JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON
10 S OAKDALE AVE
MEDFORD, OR 97501
December 12, 2017
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28 December 2016

Jackson County Commissioners Address Concerns Regarding Vacancy in the Office of Sheriff

MEDFORD, OREGON - Since the press conference on December 27, 2016, Jackson County has continued to receive inquiries regarding the statements made by Sheriff Corey Falls.  At this time, the County Commissioners are focused on the process of replacing Sheriff Falls and ensuring stability to the staff of the Sheriff's Office and providing continued public safety for the citizens of Jackson County.

Under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 236.210 and the County Charter, the County Commissioners are unable to replace Sheriff Falls until after he vacates the Office of Sheriff on December 30, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., as set forth in his notice of resignation.  As the Office of Sheriff is an elected office, the County Commissioners do not have authority to deliberate and take action on selecting a person to fill the vacancy in the Office of Sheriff until the Office is actually vacant.

However, the County Commissioners have begun taking steps to proactively shorten the period of time that the Office of Sheriff will be vacant.  The County Commissioners have solicited materials from qualified persons to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Sheriff Falls.  They will begin deliberations on selecting a person to appoint to fill the vacancy in the Office of Sheriff caused by Sheriff Falls’ resignation at the first public meeting following his departure on January 3, 2017. 

The County Commissioners have been transparent regarding this process and Sheriff Falls was informed of the public meeting on December 13, 2016, where they discussed at length the process they would use to appoint a person to fill the vacancy in the Office of Sheriff.  Sheriff Falls chose not to attend that public meeting. 

At his press conference, Sheriff Falls stated that the timing of selecting a person to fill the vacancy was due to a desire to have Commissioner-elect Strosser involved in the process.  This is inaccurate.  The timing of the selection relates to the timing of Sheriff Falls’ effective resignation on December 30, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. and the authority of the Board of Commissioners to take action on a vacancy in an elected office.

Until the vacancy is filled, in accordance with state law and Sheriff’s Office Standard Operating Procedure, Captain Nathan Sickler, as the Operations Captain, will have the authority to perform all of the official acts and duties of the Jackson County Sheriff.  The County Commissioners have every confidence that Captain Sickler will be able to lead the Sheriff’s Office through a smooth transition and without interruption of law enforcement services to the citizens of Jackson County.

The County has received numerous public records requests for the draft investigatory report pertaining to Sheriff Falls’ December 2015 complaint.  In light of the statements and allegations made by Sheriff Falls at his press conference on December 27, 2016, a copy of the draft investigatory report is being made available.   A copy of the report and related documents can be found below.

The Commissioners are disappointed by the manner in which Sheriff Falls is leaving his position as Sheriff; however, they would like to thank him for his service to the citizens of Jackson County.  He has accomplished a great deal during his two years as Sheriff.  The County Commissioners intend to select a professional and competent individual to replace him as soon as they have had time to thoroughly review potential qualified persons.

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