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TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Dan Staton has received a no-confidence vote from his law enforcement deputies The law enforcement deputies of the Multnomah County Sheriff's office have "overwhelmingly" approved a vote of no-confidence in Sheriff Dan Staton, according to the union that represents them.

The vote expressing disapproval is largely symbolic, and the union represents a minority of Staton's employees. But the law enforcement union typically has outsized influence. Union president Matt Ferguson has said the vote wasn't the result of concerns over pay or working conditions; rather, deputies are concerned about Staton's management decisions and style as well as integrity.

Staton did not return calls Friday or Monday morning, and could not immediately be reached for comment. But he has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Early this year the county approved a hefty settlement for Chief Deputy Linda Yankee after she accused Staton of creating a hostile work environment with misogynist and crude remarks. And articles in Willamette Week have suggested that an auditor who wrote a negative report about racial disparities in the jail was fired for her efforts.

The statement issued by the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff’s Association follows:

Vote of No Confidence

Members of the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff’s Association have overwhelmingly voted “no confidence” in Sheriff Dan Staton. This action reflects our strong belief that Sheriff Staton has lost the trust of the County’s rank-and-file law enforcement deputies and sergeants. Sheriff Staton has abandoned our core values of professionalism and integrity. He is no longer fit to lead our proud organization.

Whether a new recruit or the Sheriff of our State’s most populated county, we all swear to stay true to Oregon’s Criminal Justice Code of Ethics. Without compromise, we recognize and accept our positions as a symbol of public trust, and we commit to being above reproach. Yet Sheriff Staton has failed to uphold these basic standards.

Sheriff Staton leads ruthlessly and unpredictably through fear and favoritism, threatening to fire those in his way, yet rewarding those who get in line. He has fostered an environment of hostility, where those who constructively criticize his actions are met with retaliation, threats, and name-calling. His reckless leadership style has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted taxpayer monies paid to remedy his recklessness; funds which instead could have been spent to protect our community.

True to form, our attempts to constructively address his failed leadership were met with threats. Sheriff Staton likens dealing with his law enforcement deputies as “worse than dealing with a bunch of criminals.” And he has suggested that cooperation from our organization would lead to our President’s promotion to a higher rank, whereas our pursuit of accountability through a no-confidence vote would be met with him “slapping us in the face.”

Sheriff Staton has lost sight of our community’s demands for transparency and accountability. We no longer have confidence in his ability to lead our agency.

This article will be updated later today.

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