Embattled Multnomah County Sheriff announces retirement

Sheriff Staton to retire August 16

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton will retire on Aug. 16, he said in a letter sent to county commissioners Friday morning.

"I have been thinking about all of the employees here at the Sheriff's Office and everything that has transpired over the past months," the letter reads. "I can no longer subject any of you to the challenges that I am facing."

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said she is "looking forward and not back" from the issues surrounding Staton, which she called a "recurring distraction." 

"My staff and I will continue to work with Sheriff’s Office employees to ensure they can be effective and assure a smooth transition," she said. "I want to reassure people who live here and visit, that Multnomah County is committed to their safety and protection."

Staton has been under fire in recent months, first for allegations of harassment and a hostile work environment, and then for a controversy over a new car.

AG: Sheriff Staton committed no crimes

Earlier this month, a criminal investigation into the harassment accusations ended with no charges. But Kafoury announced a new administrative investigation was beginning. 

Just a week after that, Willamette Week reported that despite the objections of a county fleet manager, Staton insisted on getting a brand new, loaded Dodge Charger R/T. County guidelines showed it was not yet time for him to replace his staff car.

Background: Staton: New car controversy 'my fault'

Staton will appoint former Portland Police Chief Mike Reese as the new undersheriff, effective June 20, which means Reese will become the interim sheriff when Staton leaves.

Reese told KGW he is looking forward to his new role.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the dedicated staff of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office and help with the difficult challenges they face," he said. "I am looking forward to keeping our community safe.”

Here's the email Staton sent:

I wanted to inform you that I have sent out the following email to the members of my Agency this morning:

I have been thinking about all of the employees here at the Sheriff's Office and everything that has transpired over the past months. You truly are the finest... I can no longer subject any of you to the challenges that I am facing. To that end I will be retiring from my position as Sheriff on August 16th of this year. I have informed the Chair and other Commissioners of my decision, to include District Attorney Underhill and the Oregon State Sheriff's Association.

With that, I will be hiring Mike Reese on June 20th as the new Undersheriff. We will begin the process of acclimating him to the Sheriff's Office operations. This will include transitioning the budget and those responsibilities associated to the position and rank he will hold as the Sheriff's interim designee. This will include introductions to our Board of County Commissioners and other elected officials and department heads of the county.

I will be sending out a follow up email to fill you in on additional plans as we get closer to my retirement date. I want to thank you for your expressed concern, support and continued service to the citizens of our county.
 


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