Last week, Don Clayton Jr., a Washington County lawman who combined the incompetence of Barney Fife with the work ethic of Homer Simpson, turned in his badge, capping a career that, with any luck, will never be duplicated.
Clayton first rocketed to notoriety two years ago, when he allowed a three-time rapist to slip from his grasp in the Washington County Courthouse. Tipping the scales at 300 pounds, the 5-foot-11-inch Clayton was unable to catch the fleeing felon, a task later accomplished by three Tri-Met riders. Sheriff Jim Spinden canned his deputy for the screw-up, which came on the back of Clayton's previously falling asleep in court while guarding a murder suspect.
A kindly arbitrator reinstated Clayton in November 2000. He was assigned to a desk job at the jail, which gave him continuous access to computers. That, as Clayton later admitted, was a problem.
A female coworker reported that during each of 10 shifts she worked with Clayton over a two-month period, she witnessed him viewing pornography. Confronted by Internal Affairs officers, Clayton admitted that in the past couple of months he'd visited pornographic websites--on duty--on a daily basis, sometimes up to four hours a shift. Asked where he accessed the sites, Clayton replied, "any place there is a computer."
According to sheriff's department documents, Clayton particularly enjoyed www.sextracker.com, a pornucopia of different adult attractions, and www.lottawoman.com, which bills itself as "The Biggest Fat Girls Site on the Net. It sizzles."
Deputy Clayton was so eager to visit such sites that he accessed them under the computer profiles of at least two of his colleagues after taking over their chairs.
After a follow-up interview with Internal Affairs on May 21, Clayton, who joined the sheriff's office in 1983, received a letter from Spinden signaling that his career was over.
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