ROBERTS STALLS SHERIFF PROBE
July 07, 2000 11:00 pm

GOLD BEACH Appointments to the law enforcement fact finding committee were delayed again Wednesday to allow time for Curry County Commissioner Bill Roberts to revamp the whole concept.

Roberts said the original purpose of the committee was to look into what kind of a law levy people in the north county would support to get more deputies on the road.

He said hes since received phone calls from business owners who would rather see the committee look into what he called a particular item.

Roberts asked the people to put their ideas into writing. He asked that any appointments to the committee be delayed until he can study those letters.

The new committee would be more widely representative of the countys citizens, and would not be looking into the sheriffs office, he said.

Applicants so far include Leonard Foster of Port Orford, and Gloria Rodgers and John Welsh of Ophir.

The appointments were originally scheduled for June 19, but Commissioner Lloyd Olds was sick that day and Commissioner Cheryl Thorp opposed forming the committee.

Even Roberts original purpose for the committee didnt satisfy Dennis Johnson of Gold Beach.

He said 800 people did not vote for the sheriffs law levy, and he was speaking for them when he said, We want the sheriffs office cleaned up. We want an outside investigation.

The fact-finding committee would be appreciated, said Johnson, but he said he has also been contacting the FBI every day asking for an investigation.

He complimented some deputies, but said others dont show up on time and do their jobs. He said he would vote for a law levy if the sheriffs office was cleaned up.

After Johnson left the meeting, Roberts said, The fact-finding committee had nothing to do with this. That was not its purpose.

I dont know what to say, said Roberts. He told Sheriff Kent Owens that he understood how he felt, having been on the receiving end of a Johnson speech last year.

The sheriffs department does a tremendous job, said Roberts.