Josephine County Taxpayer’s Desperate Need: Qualified Candidate for Sheriff
By John Taft, Investigative Reporter 7-01 Ed/Doc
Grants Pass, OR July 8th, 2001 -- The current JoCo (Josephine County) sheriff has flauntingly broken his campaign promise of running the department without asking the taxpayers for more money. County residents are now pointing the finger of accountability at Sheriff Dave Daniel and asking him to hold the line and keep his word. This Daniel has refused to do and has appeared several times before the county commissions in a brown uniform, a gold colored badge, and hat in hand seeking more public money in violation of his campaign statements.
Daniel’s Enablers Revealed
Daniel made the following statement on Oct. 15,Th 1998, prior to winning the office of sheriff. "I intend to restore full police services to the residents of Josephine County without askin’ the citizens and the residents to pay more money to do it." Daniel appears to have known that his statements would be difficult to keep, but his response seems to be it’s only politics. In that case, it appears the sheriff is a political creature under the doctrine that to accomplish your goal you can say whatever is necessary to win an election. In order to make this type of deceptive morality work, you have to have accomplices. Daniel has a number of supporters within and out of the sheriff’s department. But the two that have revealed their soft underbellies and allowed Daniel to break his campaign fiscal promise are Commissioners Frank Iverson, and Harold Haugen. Iverson has been making a spectacle of himself while teetering on the political fence of confusion. Haugen has been a commissioner for close to 20-years and is carrying a lot of baggage now days.
Commissioner Jim Brock voted against the extra funds for Daniel. He asked the right questions and stood firm against intimidation.
Clue to Iverson’s Leap: Intimidation?
After the June 27th final budget hearing, these two commissioners took from other county departments and generously gave Daniel $250,000 and the DA $65,000. This despite public testimony at the hearing that Daniel couldn’t be trusted because he didn’t keep his word. A witness testified at the hearing he heard the sheriff, while wearing his official uniform and badge, and an accomplice intimidate and thoroughly browbeat Iverson in the halls of the county courthouse. Iverson didn’t deny that incident took place; he tried to puff himself up saying he couldn’t be intimidated. In this embarrassing position, it has to be noted, he voted to give Daniel more money and he had previously denied Daniel additional funds. What made the difference? Iverson’s parting shot was, "I believed the sheriff when he said he needed more money." It appears two county commissioners and a sheriff would do well to take a course in ethics.
There is no doubt in this writer’s mind that the residents of Josephine County got the fast shuffle, and have been flimflammed by three of a kind in this deal.
Think Twice Before calling the JoCo Sheriff’s Department
Grants Pass’s only daily newspaper sent Ace Reporter Howard Huntington to report on the final budget hearing. Huntington reported on the commissioners’ comments, a couple of anti levy comments and used the pro levy supporters to flesh out his story. What he failed to do and has done for years in his articles is to not tell the Courier’s readers what is really taking place on the political scene in JoCo. Huntington quoted Bob Matthies saying, "Everybody, whether they know it or not, uses law enforcement. Plus, it keeps insurance rates down."
Huntington ignored John Taft’s comment that in the opinion of many residents of Josephine County they are better off not calling the JoCo sheriff’s department when they need police help. Rather, people should consider calling the state police. This line of thought is reported to be backed up by none other than Bernie Ward, a talk show host on KGO. His advice is not to talk to the cops.
We appear to be entering a militarized type of police state in the US with the cops having a license to kill and not being held accountable for their actions.
Taft’s attitude of no confidence in the present JoCo sheriff’s administration is shared by a growing number of citizens. Locally this attitude could readily change with a new sheriff. Huntington chose not to print this dramatic statement. The citizens testifying during the hearing were approximately five to one in opposition to more money for the sheriff. This Huntington ignored also. And last, witnesses told of problems with both the sheriff and district attorney’s offices. In the opinion of many, Huntington’s political articles can be depended on to obscure what really is taking place on the political scene in JoCo.
Once the reader gets away from the front page of the Courier and into the commentary section of the paper, under the influence of Editor Dennis Roler a freer flowing form of thought takes place. Editor Roler is quite good about allowing letters to broach the serious problems in the sheriff’s department, the DA’s office, and other public agencies.
Daniel is two and one-half years into his four-year term. Some qualified candidates should be ready to announce their candidacy by this fall. Daniel has a number of weaknesses and these can be exploited to defeat him in his bid for reelection. Those inside the loop tell me Daniel is a key pusher to eliminate the present form of three county commissioners’ government. They would be replaced with a county manager type of government, if Daniel gets his way.
Josephine County needs to get rid of Sheriff Dave Daniel and bring back full public confidence in the JoCo sheriff’s department. Daniel needs to be replaced with a sheriff that represents all the people in the county, not just his friends. We need a man who can take constructive criticism. We need a man who represents the people, not public employees’ union with its special interests that conflict with the best interests of the citizens of JoCo. We need a sheriff that doesn’t kowtow to the federal police agencies. And lastly, we need a sheriff who will keep his word.
What does it take to Run for Sheriff?
The following requirement must be met under Oregon law to run for sheriff:
"206.015 Qualifications of sheriff; certification as police officer; determination of eligibility to be candidate for election to office of sheriff. (1) A person is not eligible to be a candidate for election or appointment to the office of sheriff unless:
(a) The person is 21 years of age or older;
(b) The person has at least four years' experience as a full-time law enforcement officer or at least two years' experience as a full-time law enforcement officer with at least two years' post-high school education; and
(c) The person has not been convicted of a felony or of any other crime that would prevent the person from being certified as a police officer under ORS 181.610 to 181.712.
(2) As used in subsection (1) of this section, "two years' post-high school education" means four semesters or six quarters of classroom education in a formal course of study undertaken after graduation from high school in any accredited college or university. The term does not include apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
(3) If the person is not certified as a police officer by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training at the time of accepting appointment or filing as a candidate, a person elected or appointed to the office of sheriff must obtain the certification not later than one year after taking office. A copy of the certification shall be filed with the county clerk or the county official in charge of elections. The county governing body shall declare the office of sheriff vacant when the person serving as sheriff is not certified as a police officer within one year after taking office.
(4) The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, in consultation with the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training, shall establish a procedure for determining whether an individual is eligible under subsection (1) of this section to be a candidate for election to the office of sheriff. A copy of the department's determination of an individual's eligibility to be a candidate for election to the office of sheriff shall be filed with the county clerk or county official in charge of elections not later than the 61st day before the date of the election. If the department determines that the individual is not eligible to be a candidate for election to the office of sheriff, the county clerk or county official in charge of elections shall not place the name of the individual on the ballot at the election. [1971 c.299 s.1; 1981 c.808 s.5; 1987 c.484 s.1; 1993 c.493 s.87; 1997 c.853 s.35]"