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SHERIFF OWENS TO RESIST PROBE BY COMMISSION

GOLD BEACH Commissioner Bill Roberts law enforcement fact-finding committee was expected to be formed Monday, but the appointments were postponed until July 5 by Commissioner Cheryl Thorp.

Thorp said she would absent herself from the appointments. She said as liaison commissioner to the sheriffs office, she questions the need for such a committee.

I know the sheriffs door is open, she said.

Roberts said three people had already applied for the committee. He said it needed to get to work as soon as possible to determine what might be needed on the November ballot to put more patrols on the road.

The applicants included Gloria Rodgers and John Welsh of Ophir, and Leonard Foster of Port Orford.

Commissioner Lloyd Olds was ill and not present at the meeting. County Counsel Jerry Herbage told Roberts that it takes two or more commissioners to form a committee.

Sheriff Kent Owens said, You can appoint this committee if you wish, but my door will not be open to them.

He said his office would not cooperate with the committee in any way, but that his door would remain open to the commissioners.

Roberts reminded him the members would be citizens of Curry County. Owens said he would not participate in Roberts investigation. He said the citizens of the county elected him to run the sheriffs office.

Why dont you move on and get to something more important, said Owens.

Getting more deputies on the street is important, said Roberts.

Owens asked Roberts why he did not participate in public meetings on the law enforcement levy if he thought it was so important.

Owens said he hadnt heard a word from Roberts about a shortage of deputies until it was time to run for re-election.

Roberts said he put Owens levy on the ballot, but didnt think 12 new deputies were needed.

As for the management of the sheriffs office, Owens said, Thats my business, not yours.

He said he wouldnt expect the commissioners to cooperate if he appointed citizens to investigate their office.

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