The drumbeat is growing louder for Sheriff Dan Staton to quit.
Today, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 88, which represents 133 civilian employees of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office called on Staton to resign.
Last week, the union's officers met to discuss Staton's increasingly troubled leadership of the agency. "Local 88's leadership team voted unanimously to take this critical step that will help in the attempt to bring leadership credibility back to the Sheriff's Office," said Local 88 President Jason Heilbrun.
The move comes after a similar move yesterday by the Deputy Sheriff's Association, which represents the law enforcement officers who patrol unincorporated Multnomah County and Troutdale.
In his statement, Heilbrun referred to an Oregon Department of Justice investigation completed last week which examined Staton's behavior but found no criminal conduct.
"While the Oregon Department of Justice found insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against Staton, that investigation wasn't designed to address one of the most critical issues as it pertains to the sheriff: a failure of leadership," said AFSCME Local 88 President Jason Heilbrun in a statement.
"It is common knowledge across the County that Sheriff Staton has practiced vindictiveness, disrespect and retaliation against anyone who disagrees with him," Heilbrun continues. "It has played out in his brash and boorish treatment of elected officials women, people of color, judges and others in law enforcement. The actions and statements made by Sheriff Staton are directly contrary to the values of AFSCME and Multnomah County."
Heilbrun was at a January meeting Staton called with union leaders to discuss his concerns about a county charter review commission that was considering whether to make the sheriff's position appointed rather than elected, as it is now. Heilbrun's notes from that meeting led in part county Chair Deborah Kafoury and District Attorney Rod Underhill to ask the DOJ to investigate Staton.
Many of the issues Heilbrun refers to in his statement today about Staton's interpersonal behavior became public in a tort claim notice Staton's former chief deputy, Linda Yankee filed earlier this year. Staton settled that claim at a cost to his agency of $300,000.
In addition to the unions' unhappiness with Staton, the Portland Tribune reported today that Staton's predecessor (and the man whose resignation allowed Staton to become sheriff), former Multnomah County Sheriff Bob Skipper, has also personally told Staton he should quit.
"Skipper says he told Staton to resign for the good of the agency, adding that based on what he's hearing from Staton's employees, Skipper has lost faith in the sheriff's ability to lead the agency," the Tribune reported.